In this fast paced world, it can be a challenge to keep up with your own daily list of to-dos, let alone technology, the latest news, or what your out-of-town family and friends are up to. Believe it or not, social media outlets can help you with all of this.
Here are some ways you might use the most common social media platforms, either professionally, personally, or both.
According to the statistics posted on Facebook there were “757 million daily active users on average in December 2013”. Although you may prefer to use it as a place where you can be yourself, post personal pictures, and stay in touch with friends and family, Facebook has recently become a way to advertise your business and keep up with your favorite brands, businesses, and community groups as well.
By following a few brands and joining interest groups you can keep up with businesses and industries of interest, just as you would the happenings of your friends and family.
Think of LinkedIn as a business-focused social networking site. It’s primarily used to promote your own personal brand as it pertains to the professional world. Building a LinkedIn profile with a resume, examples of work, and industry related information is where many begin to develop that brand.
Businesses can have their own profiles as well, using LinkedIn as a way to market their products, communicate within the industry, and target groups of potential customers.
Remember though, as with many other social media platforms, it isn’t only about what you or your business is up to. You will get as much, if not more out of LinkedIn by using it to expand your industry knowledge and your network by engaging in conversation and connecting with other professionals.
Twitter can be used for blogging, as a news feed, to spread the word, or to just give a quick and simple update on just about anything, both personal and professional. With a limit of only 140 characters per “tweet”, users focus on engaging in existing conversations and telling personal tales. Tweets can include links to URLs, pictures, videos or documents.
As a business, you can promote, advertise, discuss, post jobs, and follow competitors.
Even if you aren’t the “tweeting” type, using Twitter as your own customized, personal or business news feed is one of the most effective ways to partake. By following users of interest, your news feed is filled with up-to-date information based on your own interests and needs.
Pinterest is all about discovery and inspiration, on virtually any subject. You create a “board” of your choice and “pin” information and pictures to it, creating your own visual board or portfolio. For example, if you are going to build a tree house for your kids, you could search “tree house” on Pinterest, browse through the many posts that come up and pin any ideas, pictures and articles to your own “tree house” board. You can pin pictures and information from outside Pinterest, and follow other “pinners” as well.
Businesses are slowly getting interested in Pinterest as well, using it to post information, market their brand, and connect with other “pinners” on industry related topics.
Originally created as a way for users to reach out to and create “circles” of people they could socialize with, Google+ has now become much more, allowing you to tie all of your Google apps, web experiences, and contacts into one big system. You can choose whether to share information privately or publicly, giving you a little more control over who sees what.
Having expanded into the business world, Google+ allows you to easily join in conversations about subjects that matter to you. You could even create a community about your own business or industry. It has the ability to connect you with your customers, whether they’re searching for you via Google search, Maps, or Google+ and improve your rankings in search results.