Demystifying Social Media

Jibe Media

May 18, 2012

The Loch Ness Monster.  Extraterrestrials.  A teenager’s mind.  There are a lot of mysteries in this world.  Some that could keep us up for hours fretting about at night.  I mean really, someone tell me once and for all, which came first – the chicken or the egg?

But of all the questions that we have left unanswered, social media shouldn’t be one of them.  Especially as it relates to doing business.  Here’s a quick social media 101 tutorial with the top 5 most important things to know about social media.  Hang on; this is going to be a fast ride.

#1) Your reader’s digest of some of the highest performing social networking sites:

Facebook: a collection of all your friends, sort-of friends and “I had to add them as a friend so I wouldn’t hurt their feelings” online, where you can share photos, videos, random thoughts and opinions for all of the above to see.

Twitter: in a way it is an abbreviated version of Facebook. You have 140 characters to share your thoughts, favorite links or inner most hopes and desires.  You can follow (receive updates or tweets) anyone you’d like from Justin Bieber (don’t deny it, you’re a fan) to your surprisingly tech-savvy grandma.

LinkedIn: a place to shamelessly network in the business world.  Your profile consists basically of a resume of past jobs, skills and hirable traits.

Google Plus: Facebook with a Google twist.  Let’s keep it at that.

Pinterest: a digital pinboard where you can post favorite images to help you organize party ideas, decide what to wear, gather design ideas or collect recipes (among many, many other things).

#2) Even though they may seem all alike, they are different. Each social media platform cannot be treated the same.  You have to learn the nuances of each, and proceed accordingly.  On Facebook you can post a paragraph, while on twitter you are limited to 140 characters and on Pinterest, you really don’t need words at all.

#3) Don’t be socially awkward. Be the gregarious one on all of your social media sites and show your personality.  This is true for your personal accounts, but it’s  even more true for your business accounts.  People need to see the culture and personality behind the corporate front.  So don’t be caught being shy.

#4) Don’t be afraid of Debbie Downers. There are always a few that won’t have so great things to say about you or your company, but treat it as an opportunity to win them over with sincerity and transparency.

#5) Don’t be negligent. Leaving a social media asset unattended can be disastrous.  If a potential consumer were to go to your Facebook page that hasn’t received the proper care and attention, they’ll be turned off and will most likely doubt your credibility.

And there you have it – one less mysterious, unanswered question in your life.  Hopefully you were able to keep up and didn’t experience any mental whiplash.