Do you still use a rotary phone? What about a Walkman? Are you still watching TV through an antenna? I would guess the answer to at least MOST of these questions is a resounding: NO!
If you are willing to evolve with technology over time, what’s your hesitation to try new social media tools? Unless you’ve been living in a cave since 2004, you’ve heard of some of the new tools: SnapChat, Vine, Instagram, Pinterest. You might be aware of other brands using these tools, but yet you wait. Is it the sheer speed in which it is coming at us today that causes hesitation?
If you are under the age of 35, you’re most likely living and breathing a world of inner connection and communication that has no boundaries. You’re connected with others across your town, state, country and perhaps even the world. Digital socialization is the world you live in.
If you are over the age of 35, you’ve either adopted the ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’ mentality, or you are still hoping social media will disappear into a big black hole. Here are the facts: Facebook alone has over 1.5 billion users – that’s bigger than the population of North America and Europe – COMBINED! LinkedIn has over 300 million users and 3 new people create a professional profile every second! Instagram has 200 million VERY active users, loading over 60 million photos per day, making it a platform with some of the most engaged users!
You’re probably wondering why you need social media at all, when you’ve done just fine your entire life without it. Studies show that if you spend the same amount of time online connecting with others of common interest and professions, as time spent attending a networking event, you would triple the number of connections made. From a business perspective, the stats are even more impressive. Consider this: sales people that use social media outsold those that don’t by 78.6% in 2012. While 97% of all consumers use social media to locate and target local businesses within their communities.
Let’s look at it from a personal perspective. The productivity and time saved using social media as a venue of information is worth it alone. We can sit hours upon hours in front of the news, newspaper, online publications and so forth pursing the news, industry and current events of the day, or we could generate a customized Twitter feed that would narrow down our information, bringing relevant content within mere moments. (This takes being organized and using tools to filter the information—see also 3 Time Saving Tools And Lots Of Apps To Save Time)
Instead of diving head first into all social media platforms, start small and consider the right platform for you based on their basic connection types. Knowing why you are there and how you will use each is a great place to start. It will determine the content you create and share, as well as how often you will post and the audience you will try and connect with.
Are you only wanting to connect with friends and family or will you use it for personal and professional networking? Set privacy settings accordingly and share appropriate content based on the audience you are connected with.
Are you on here to consume news and media, or to build and nurture relationships? If you are consuming content only, tools like Flipboard and Twitter Lists are helpful to sort through the content. If you are wanting to build and nurture relationships, lists on Twitter and tools like SproutSocial help you not miss a word they say so you can reply or ReTweet them more often.
Definitely the spot for professional business networking and possibly for job search. Beef up your profile on either account to ensure you can be found and that your profile stands out. Add video clips or SlideShare presentations and even short posts (with a photo) that can really set your profile apart from the masses.
This hot new tool allows brands to share 6 second videos…that’s right SIX SECONDS…to engage and draw people in wanting to learn more. The Home Depot has several brilliant Vine videos and started a campaign to get others to share what they can #FIXINSIX. Spend some time here and you will be inspired…as well as intimidated by the talent there!
Instagram, YouTube and the List Goes On…
With each profile you explore the advice is the same. See how others are using it, see if your competitors are here and what type of content are people sharing and consuming.
Now, go on…create a profile and just start surfing. Like any other transition in technology: VCR to DVD; Antenna to Cable; Walkman to iPod; it takes a little willingness and time to try it out, experiment, learn and apply. So come out of that dark cave you’re snuggled comfortably in and see what the world has to say. You may find yourself wondering why you waited so long.
I’d love to know…what is the most recent “shift” or technology adoption you have made? Share it in the comment section below.
Need a little guidance getting started on these? Here are a couple resources:
Learn How to Use Twitter to Build Your Business