Many folks aren’t active in social media for a variety of reasons: they’re too busy, they’re overwhelmed, they don’t know where to begin. A myriad of platforms from Tumblr, to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+ are available: how and where should a social media newbie begin?
Following are some thoughts on where you (you, not your company) should get started:
1) Unless you eschew all connections to the professional world, everyone, and I do mean everyone, should have a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn has reached such a level of proliferation that I respectfully don’t understand why people still don’t have a basic profile. Recruiters and hiring managers may question that choice as well. LinkedIn becomes especially important if you’re looking for a job or expect to embark on a job search in the near future. LinkedIn profiles rise above all other search results on Google.
2) When you establish your LinkedIn profile, include a snazzy headline, upload a professional (or professional looking) headshot and fill in your work experience. Once you’ve done it, it’s done!
3) If your friends and family haven’t harassed you into creating a Facebook account, I’ll wager that you won’t now. And even if you buckle under the pressure and create the account, no laws will be broken if you aren’t active.
4) Unless you have a burning desire to Tweet, it may not be for you, especially if you’re not already there.
5) Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+ are worthy of some exploration. Pinterest has been on fire over the last 14 months and has experienced a 4,000+% (not a typo) increase in site traffic. If you like sharing ideas and images (think of books you want to read, recipes, fashion and home decorating concepts), run – don’t walk – to Pinterest.
6) Tumblr appeals to Generation Y (today’s twenty-somethings) in large part because of its visual content. If you like to read blogs, Tumblr’s worth a look.
7) Google+ still hasn’t met with great success and while it’s similar to Facebook, it presents some innovative features that Facebook just doesn’t offer. Some social media watchers have predicted that Google+ will disappear in another year or two. Not so, say I: Google continues to sink a lot of money and manpower into Google+. It may never have 800+ million users, but many of its fans are loyal platform advocates.
8) If you do nothing else, do this, even if you don’t have immediate plans to become active in social media: gobble up your profile name and handle (Twitter-speak for your username). What does that mean? If your name is Jane Smith, set up an account on the platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) you may use. Reserve your name or something close to it now; if you don’t, someone else will.
Next week I’ll address “Social Media Lite for Business:” the must-dos for brands – even if you do nothing else.