Monday, February 10, 2014

Hey baby, not on social media? This might help …

Newbies, like babies, need to start exploring social media
We were all newbies in social media once
It’s been 15-20 years since social media began (depending on who you believe) and 10 years since Facebook launched and yet more than 20 percent of Americans are still not using social media.

If you find that hard to believe, the latest Pew Internet & American Life Project survey - Social Networking - has some interesting data. It found that only 69 percent of men are using the Internet for social networking while 78 percent of women are using it for that purpose. This despite there being slightly more men than women in the United States who are on the Internet (85 percent of men vs. 84 percent of women, according to the Pew Internet study How Americans go online)

So, is it too late to join the social networking party? Absolutely not. Here, for you or someone you know, are… 

5 Questions to Help You Decide Where to Start in Social Media

Why do I want to be on social media? Whether it’s to keep in touch with family and friends, rediscover old acquaintances or keep up with news and information most people find being on a social network adds value to their lives. Not knowing why you’re starting on social media or being there "because everyone else is" are reasons you won’t give this a fair chance. 

How much time will I be able to spend on this in the beginning? You don’t need to spend a lot of time in the beginning. Fifteen minutes a day, once you’re set up on one social network is plenty … if it proves valuable you can always spend more time later.

Am I missing out on something important? For some it’s not seeing family photographs. For others its being the last to hear about big news. Still others are looking for new ideas and insights. Whatever your reason you should know it going in so you can decide if the time you spend is worth it.

Am I willing to give and take? It’s called "social" media and so if the idea of sharing a little of yourself with others is repellent then perhaps social media will never be for you. But if you are willing to share then it’s likely you’ll find kindred spirits on a social network. In fact, if you have an obscure interest or hobby there may be no better place to connect with the like-minded than on a social network.

Will I give it a fair chance? As the numbers of abandoned social accounts shows there are a lot of people who think they want to be on social media, who start an account only to lose interest in a short time. A good plan might be to commit to a daily look in on your social page for one month. If, after that time, you don’t feel it is working for you then you can walk away. At least you will have given it a fair shot. 

Now, all you need do is pick a social media network where you know some people and get going.

Easier said than done perhaps, but here are some resources that might help:

4 Resources for Social Media Newbies

 So, are you ready to jump into social media? Do you know someone who might need a nudge? Please feel free to share this post with them. If I can help, please just ask.