Tag Archives: Social Media

social-networks

Personal views on Social Media Audiences: Twitter, Facebook, WordPress & Instagram

social-networksIn a world overwhelmed by social media we have had to learn how we are comfortable integrating social media into our lives.  It’s a crazy web opening up our lives to millions of people.  Depending on the social media site you are using faceless, nameless people you have never met can comment both positively and negatively about you at all times.  Everything good about social media is also the bad things about social media.

Yes social media does give us a larger voice, but it also gives a voice to the irrational.  Yes we have access to information, but we all know the internet is full of false information.  Yes it’s fun, but at what cost?

Parents, teachers and people of the older generations often are preaching about how the youth today are putting too much personal information on-line.  People fear those of us who use social media religiously are putting ourselves at danger and with constantly changing privacy rules and settings we rarely know what is visible to strangers and what is not.

That’s why I created my fool-proof system for social media. My rules are simple and straight forward on how I behave online.

My first rule is in regards to Facebook.  Out of all the social media sites I believe Facebook is the most personal.  I view Facebook like my home or hub for social media.  It’s personal and I hold the information included as closely as I feel I need to.  85% of the time I do not add people I have never met before as friends on Facebook.  This is my life.  It’s my friends, my family, my colleagues and people I know and trust.

Yes I do post a lot of things publicly, but with Facebook I have that option to pick and choose what I post and I have the option of who sees it.  I often utilize this platform to post commentary that can spark debate.  Mostly because I know my friends and family  can handle a healthy debate or won’t start a debate just because they disagree. They will start a debate if there is one to be had, but not one just to argue.  My friends and family get me. They get my thought process. They make their points and then they go about their business.

That’s what I love about my family and friends. I can trust them to be mature.  I trust them to at least have a foundation for their beliefs.  That’s why I allow them into this personal world and I try my best to engage in the dialogue.

I also use Facebook to post personal things I want to share with friends and family, but I may not want future employers to see.  Another case is if I want to post something I don’t want someone being able to Google, but still may have a cute picture from a party worth posting.

Facebook is my home.  If Facebook is my home then Instagram and WordPress are like the city and state in which I live.  I reach a wider audience with these platforms, but not as wide as I do with sites like Twitter.  People choose to read or not read what I post. People choose to view or not view the photos I post.  You typically have to be searching out a topic to find my postings on WordPress or Instagram via tags and keywords.

Twitter, well twitter is the world because I use it more globally.  Unlike Facebook I don’t use privacy settings. My personal filter is also much less tight on Twitter.  The way I see it is that Twitter is like a blog.  It’s a place for me to succinctly air my opinions on large issues, current events, celebrities and life.  It allows me to engage a wider audience, but with that I am engaging thousands of people I don’t know.  You can’t control the dialogue.  By that I mean you can’t control the level of descent or negativity.  You can’t control the level of respect people have toward one another when engaging in an argument.  It’s global.

While my family, friends and colleagues are welcome to follow me on Twitter, they must do so with a clear understanding that I won’t hold back or ask my followers to hold back if they engage with me on Twitter.  I share my opinion bluntly and openly on Twitter.  I discuss topic I wouldn’t necessarily discuss on Facebook in front of my parents. siblings, nieces and nephews like dating when I was single or which soccer player in the World Cup is the most filled out. I’ve never actually talked about that, but it seems like a good Twitter topic.

Basically I view social media by audiences.  I chose who will see what and I allow full engagement, but with a bit more respect on personal profiles like Facebook.  Klout posted a great article about the different types of social networks and what they are used for. Here is how my views fit in:

Facebook:

Personal. Filtered and private. For family, friends and colleagues only.

WordPress and Instagram:

Shared Interest Community. I watch what I post, but I do post openly and honestly. Anyone can engage on my accounts and I invite them to, none-the-less I do use a bit more of a filter here as well since my audience is wider.  My blogs are easily searchable and we all know you have to be careful with what you post online.

Twitter:

Content Sharing. Is for everyone to use and abuse.  It’s for thoughts and mindless musings. It’s for engaging strangers on any and every topic out there.  It’s to speak passionately and openly.  It’s global.

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To Start Using YouTube or Not To Start Using YouTube

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I’ve spent a lot of time lately discussing social media with friends and colleagues alike.  What platforms are the best, what should I be using, what are you using, what are best practices and many other questions have arisen.

The theme that seems to have a few of us thinking the hardest is videos and social media.  When I first started using the internet back in middle or high school I had to connect using AOL dial-up internet.  Things like Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram and YouTube didn’t exist.  We had AIM for chatting, AIM bios for personalization, sites like gay.com for dating or sexual rendezvous and general chat rooms for online discussions.  If you wanted a blog you had a livejournel.com account or something of that nature.

We were simple back then, but have come a long way in just the past two decades.  As social media sites started to popup I was one of the first to accept the call.  I joined Myspace and dedicated some of my social time to Facebook back in college, but now I find myself falling behind.

Yes I do have an active Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WordPress account, but what about all the other services out there.  Should I care about Pintrist or Vine?  Should I create a regularly updated YouTube channel? What would my subject matter be?

My colleague had the best idea.  Her thought was that I should put a Nanny Camera, or other affordable hidden camera, in my house to just catch the random musings and interactions of everyone who passes through. From there I could edit the videos down to two minute segments.  Knowing the things that come out of my mouth my colleague banks on these videos being entertaining.

I think it’s a funny idea, but I need more than that.  What can I do on YouTube that I can’t do on WordPress.  What can I say audibly, that I can’t write?  What can I express in a video that I can’t express with an Instagram photo and a little descriptive text?

Maybe I am just too old for this stuff, but I am only 28.  I can’t be too old to figure out the point of a dedicated video service.  Maybe I’ll give it a try sometime and see what you all think.

Please share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Vine and YouTube.  Do you love it or hate it? Is there a point or is it pointless?

One way technology has changed for the worst

see eeverythingThe unfortunate part about getting older is the fact that I can remember the times before technology.  Technology has definitely made life easier as its continued to progress, but it has also taken away some of my favorite aspects of things like the internet.

Young kids today don’t remember the days of dial-up internet and AOL having the monopoly on the market as far as providers go.  LiveJournal and chat rooms are pretty much a thing of the past thanks to more public sites like Facebook, Tumblr and WordPress.  This is great in many ways.  I love these sites, but it is awful if you were one of the people who enjoyed the privacy from time to time given back in the earlier days of the internet.

popular-social-networking-sites-privacyYou see, before everyone and everyone’s parents got on social media I use to love having a place to turn to where no one I knew would read what I had to write.  They would hear my issues I felt I couldn’t share with family and friends and give me an outsiders perspective. Yet, I didn’t have to just write in a journal for no one to read.  I could write anonymously about everything on my mind and get feedback.  I had a place to vent.  I had a place to turn to.

online-privacyToday, most of us realize there is no such thing as privacy when it comes to the internet.  Your Facebook account is flooded with family, your twitter account is followed by everyone you know and your blog is publicized by sites like Google.  This is great 90% of the time when you want to be heard by the masses, but what about when you need to breathe. What about when you need to share your feelings but don’t want your family reading what is going on?

imagesTechnology is supposed to open us up to the world at the stroke of a few computer keys… but then why do I feel trapped by it today?  I have nowhere to turn when I want to speak my mind and get feedback from those of you who read regularly even though I haven’t met you.  Your unbiased opinions are helpful to me and I do appreciate them.  I just wish I could solicit them still. employers-privacy

My suggestions on how to increase your twitter presence

I’ve had a couple friends over the past few months ask me how I have grown my twitter account to have over 3,500 followers.  Let me start by saying I’m no expert, but I will give suggestions based on my experience on how to grow an  individuals twitter presence in general, if that is your objective at this time on Twitter, based on what worked for me.  These are in no way the only methods and some people can be less aggressive based on their objectives and content. If you are a Joe Blow random guy these are sure fire ways to increase your followers.
First of all, content is everything.  Some people will tell you that consistency is everything, but I argue that diversity of content is what is important.  Within that diversity of content you need to make sure that what you post is entertaining, welcoming to interaction and appealing to a wide variety  of people. Post about:
  • Hot topics like what’s in the media or live tweet during a popular television show like the xFactor using the # that they provide.  Almost all popular shows have a specific # in the bottom corner of the television screen during their broadcast.
  • Post tweets and postings that let your followers get to know you, or the you that you want them to know.  Be transparent and out there.  The more out there you are the more you will attract and intrigue followers.  Don’t be shy to say you’re drunk.  Don’t be boring.  Have fun with it.
  • Post questions or things that will get your followers to engage with you.  When they do engage by answering a question or asking one of you or simply giving opinions to you, respond!  Always respond.
  • Use hashtags in your postings.  This is something I am not great at, but it is helpful to use hashtags.

Second of all, remember you aren’t famous.  I don’t care if you have 500 followers, 1,000 followers or 5,000 followers, you are just a person on Twitter.  Follow people back when they follow you if your intent is to increase followers in general.  You can be some what reserved of course, but if there isn’t a good reason to not follow someone back then go ahead and follow them back (I try to not follow female porn people back… not my thing).  Be polite and engaging.  Cher responds to random tweets, so can you.  No one is too cool for school.

Additionally, you aren’t famous so why are you following 100 people but have 600 followers?  Twitter, for me, is about respect, appreciation and participation.  Follower your followers people.  I can’t stress the importance of that.  I often won’t follow someone who is not famous if they are not following a majority of their followers back.

Thirdly, take part in Follow Friday and things of that nature.  This includes #FF #SO #HHD #FollowFriday.  You should both respond to tweets of this nature when you are included and post your own recommendations.  (Follow Friday and the related hashtags I mentioned earlier in this paragraph are used by twitter users to recommend people they think their followers would like to follow).

It’s my personal belief when you are below 1,000 followers you should be hyper-engaging on this bullet point.  When someone includes you on a #FF I suggest clicking reply typing Thank you #NowFollowing > and then including the others in that tweet.  Right before or after replying with this you should follow all the other twitter profiles included in the tweet.  If you don’t want to follow everyone in the tweet for one reason or another just delete the person you don’t want to follow.  This will both show thanks to the person who tweeted you and will send a reminder to those you followed to follow you back.

You should also make your own recommendations on Follow Friday.  Every Friday you should send out at least one #FF tweet.  My suggestion is to include more than your real life friends.  An easy way to select who to include is to use a website like followfridayhelper.com.  When I use this website I use it to send out follow Friday’s to all those who have tweeted me in the past 5 days sorting by most recent mentions.

Fourth, don’t be afraid to be following more people than follows you in the beginning.  Once you have 500 to a 1,000 followers I suggest you start to tip the scale back to a 50/50 split.  You can do this by using a website like who.unfollowed.me.  This website is amazing in my opinion.  It allows you to see a few different lists from your twitter account.  The two that are of most important in my eyes includes “who unfollowed me” and “who is not following me back”.  When you reach your 500 to 1,000 followers don’t hesitate to go to this website and unfollow those people who have unfollowed you recently or who are not following you back, but be sure to give people two or three weeks to follow you back before you unfollow them.  My view is that it’s best to be within 200 followers of the number of people you are following (whether that be you following 200 more or less than are following you).  This allows for you to be following celebrities, television shows and companies that won’t be following you back.

Five, ask for help.  I have many friends ask me to send them a follow Friday, to tweet them regularly if I can and to engage with them on Twitter.  They ask me because they know it can help them increase their twitter followers.  It doesn’t hurt to ask.  The worst someone can say is no.  They won’t send out a #FF for you.  If they don’t then they are a douche bag and it doesn’t matter anyways. When I first joined twitter I asked for help.  Actually I remember asking my friends what #FF meant.  Everyone gladly taught me, included me on their follow Friday’s and I have grown from there.

Six, remember social media (TWITTER) is just a thing online and not real life.  Don’t take it too seriously.  Have fun with it and remember the motto live and let live.

Seven, if you have a book, cause, company or anything of that nature you want to promote from an individuals twitter profile remember to be strategic.  Tweet regularly and often about the thing you want to promote but make sure for every 1 tweet about the thing you are promoting you have 5 tweets not directly promoting that thing.  Those 5 tweets can include tweets in response to someone else tweet to you about he thing you are promoting, but you don’t want your twitter profile to be an infomercial.  That will just turn people off.  Mix it up while promoting whatever it is you want to promote.
Eight, tweet constantly.  Twitter is a second by second and you need to be there as much as possible.
Hope that helps!

How has social media changed your life or been used in your life?

The recent announcement (and by recent I mean in the past few hours) that Facebook will be purchasing Instagram, I had to think a bit about social media and what I have used it for, how it has changed my life and what would be different if I didn’t use it so frequently. 

Thanks to social media I:

  1. Met my husband via MySpace back in 2004. 
     
  2. Won backstage VIP tickets to a Blondie concert via Twitter!
     
  3. Found someone to rent my apartment so that I could break my lease utilizing and integrating Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. 
     
  4. Raised close to $40,000 from an entirely online and social media event for a local not-for-profit organization utilizing and integrating Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Email, Text and the Internet. 
     
  5. Used Facebook, Twitter and other platforms to integrate social media into 6 live fundraisers over the past 4 years. 
     
  6. Met numerous new friends via Twitter and FourSquare.
     
  7. Reconnected with former high school friends via Facebook. 
     
  8. Sparked a religious debate over the separation of church and state and stopped talking to a sibling due to this debate. 
     
  9. Reached over 450 new supporters for a local not-for-profit while raising $1,000 for the same organization at the same time. 
     
  10. Became more competitive in the job market thanks to my understanding and background in social media. 

How has social media changed your life? What things have you used it for?