Recently I’ve been asked by many people who work in communications what social sites they should be using. I decided to put together a short list of must-use sites. The only way to truly understand any of these sites is to actually use them. If you don’t use them, you don’t understand them. End of story.
Love it or hate it, this is one of the places where the action is. If you are looking to interact with people online, this is a great place to do it. If you’re a professional communicator or a web professional, you need to understand Facebook, how it’s used and why it’s so damn popular.
It’s ugly, clunky and I find it annoying. That being said, professionally it’s fairly ubiquitous. If you are looking to network, or think you might be in the future, LinkedIn is the site to use. This is in large part because all of the professionals who aren’t on Facebook are on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is also useful for determining ways to meet people you don’t know but want to because it shows you how to network through your existing connections.
If you haven’t tried Twitter yet, you probably believe the stereotype that it’s just a ton of people announcing the mundane BS of their lives.
The truth about Twitter is that it is whatever you make it. There are many brilliant people who tweet very interesting things. It’s a great place to share ideas, learn new things, meet people from around the world, and pose questions to a large volume of people. It’s all about who you follow, and what you tweet. If you follow boring people, and tweet boring stuff then Twitter is going to be boring.
If you have any passion for writing, blogging is a very fulfilling activity. The power to publish your ideas to the world is something that was impossible for all but the a small number of people for centuries.
If you write for a living, the ability to write about any topic of your choosing, in any style is especially liberating.
You don’t have to use WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger are suitable alternatives. That being said, I greatly prefer WordPress. The point is that there is a lot you can learn about yourself, through blogging. It also helps to understand the mentality of bloggers in general.
There are plenty of other social sites that are worth using, these are the four must-use sites at the moment.
If you take anything away from this, it should be:
If you don’t actually use these social sites on a regular basis for a prolonged period of time, you do not understand them. It doesn’t matter how many articles you’ve read on social media, if you don’t live it, you don’t get it.