At one of the breakout sessions I attended in San Diego I had the pleasure of sitting with a group of professionals taking notes on social media 101. I realized how many people actually had no idea what social media is or how to use it. In light of this I thought it would be a good idea to give a very brief overview of some social networking sites and what to do with them. 

Facebook - By far the favorite of the younger crowd and it's expanding quickly to all ages. Facebook is a great way to network and keep in touch with family, friends, class-mates, and co-workers. It's a place where conversation flows freely and there are some great privacy settings that make it so you don't receive spam. While some people fear it, I think it was said best at one of these breakout sessions that Facebook is like attending a cocktail party. While it's a private party, keep the conversation pleasant and you won't go wrong. My recommendation is to start slow if you're new to this stuff. It's pretty easy to create an account and get started. If you need some assistance, send me an email and I'll be happy to show you the ropes. 

The biggest misconception with Facebook in my eyes is that people think its okay to solicit their business to friends and family. The truth is, no one on the network wants to receive ads, products, or promotion (big companies will advertise). Facebook is not your resume, people want to learn about you and not your company. That being said they do have a nice feature called Fan pages, and yes we have one. The fan page is separate from our individual profiles and take a company identity over a personal one. 

LinkedIn - The best networking site for professionals hands down. It is your online resume and its a great way to network and even land jobs! Yes, I said it, and I've actually networked myself to a job through this site. It's not a place to post your pictures and chat with friends like Facebook is, but rather a place to meet up and network with professionals and make connections. Here's a chance to check out my public profile  as an example. 

Twitter - One of the more simple and interesting forms of social networking is Twitter. The easiest way to describe it is forming a short sentence to tell your network what you're doing at that exact time period. There is no picture posting, no friend requesting, & no detailed profile. in my personal opinion, Twitter is great for celebrities, athletes, and large companies to connect with their audiences. But needless to say, I can be found there as well . Twitter is a great way to communicate if you have an extensive network and are following a lot of friends. The best way to use Twitter is to search for people that share your interests and read what they have to say on a consistent basis. 

Four Square - An up-and-coming form of social networking, Four Square allows you and your friends to share what hot spots your currently at (bars, restaurants, venues) and gain points for it. These points don't earn you anything (yet) but if you and your network use it frequently enough, it would make a great way to socialize. 

 

So much for a "brief" overview. I know it's a detailed subject but I hope you got something out of it. If you have any questions on social networking feel free to email me or post a comment (MikeJr@MikeDelRose.net). These are only a few of the social networking sites and some of the most popular. (I didn't include MySpace among some others). If there are some other one's you're interested in learning about let me know and I'll post them.