As a content creator and blogger, I love working with social media. I am happy when I earn your “likes” and ever so grateful there is no “dislike” button. I don’t think I could take that kind of rejection.
Since 2008, Facebook has been my go-to platform for work and personal writing. It is my online home for what is happening in my daily life. It helped me find a community of writers and readers. Throughout my career, I’ve used FB to inform, engage, and inspire others to take action and hopefully write checks to worthy causes.
But, deep down, I knew there was a whole world of social media that I was not a part of and that needed to change.Here is what I’ve discovered so far.
Coming in a close second to Facebook is LinkedIn. The platform is easy to learn because it is similar to Facebook. I love it because I can keep my personal life out of it and focus on my personal brand instead. I learned how to network online better than I ever did at an in-person happy hour. And I am more likely to befriend strangers on LinkedIn than on Facebook because they could be the missing link to a new opportunity.
Here’s the bottom line. If we want successful careers, LinkedIn must be a big part of it.
I never thought Twitter would last this long. Wasn’t it a few years ago when people were calling for its demise? As a writer, how can I possibly say all I want to say in 140 (now 280) characters or less? It was too limiting for me, and I didn’t want to bother with it. But, I think the Trump administration has changed my mind about Twitter. For the record, I don’t follow the president on Twitter. He doesn’t deserve me as a follower; if only to read what outrageous thing he tweets next. However, I am a huge fan of members of the media. Jake Tapper, Dan Rather, Yamiche Alcindor, and other media giants may not be my Facebook friends, but I would follow them anywhere. As an added bonus, this platform has also introduced me to some of my favorite pop culture stars of the decade – Sarah Cooper, Randy Rainbow, and my all-time favorite – Room Rater.
Twitter – I’m a fan.
Where to start? If I want to see what my kids are up to, I need to be on Instagram. They don’t post that often, but when they do I get a window into their lives. As a content creator, I don’t have the best images to post. I know that a picture speaks a thousand words. But what pictures work best? And what are the rules? Do I have to be a graphic designer to be effective as a marketer? Is it okay to share other people’s images and repost with my own content?
Instagram – I don’t understand you yet, but I’m not giving up.
The back end
Digital marketing didn’t exist when I went to college. So, I’m learning it now. I’m spending my Thursday evenings taking classes toward an integrated digital marketing certificate. Before this, I used to think learning one platform and doing it well was the way to go, but that is no longer the case. There are so many social media platforms to choose from and if you want to reach a certain demographic or target audience, you need to know where they live online and engage with them on a regular basis. And it isn’t enough to learn the ins and outs of the social media platforms. You also need to know the tricks of the trade to get noticed. Things like images, hashtags, keywords, analytics, and search engine optimization.
So much to learn and so little time. But, I’ll get there because I like being social.