I’ve been thinking about all of the social media available and considering how it works in my life. I like them, but it takes some time to figure it all out. So I thought I’d just share with you the ways I use social media and how much time I spend on it. This is not a how-to or a promotion post…just info on how it works for me.
One thing I really like about all social media is it levels the playing field a bit. Big businesses, movie stars, politicians, athletes and little old me are all on the same page. Sure, they have a million followers and I have about 17, but I can communicate with them and they hear my voice.
Many blogs and businesses have Facebook pages that they use to share information, connect with their customers/readers and build real relationships. If you really like a product or blog it’s great to go to their Facebook page and give them a “Like.” You find out about special deals or exciting news. If you follow a blog page, like The Pennington Point, you get extra inside information, tips, news that you wouldn’t get just on their blog. I post fun pictures and ask questions and have more back and forth conversations on Facebook. If there’s a blog that really encourages you, their Facebook page posts are always a blessing to see in your feed.
Facebook groups are also a wonderful way to use Facebook. I am in several groups and it’s a way for like-minded people to gather, share information and help one another. Anyone can start a group for any reason.
I check Facebook every few hours when I am in my recliner checking my email. Sometimes, if James is working late at night I will hang out on there and chat with friends after the kids have gone to bed. That’s maybe once a week.
Twitter used to really confuse me. I just started playing with it and I discovered that it is actually really simple. You send a message out to the Twitter world in 140 characters or less and people respond and it’s a fun exchange. I have connected with famous people, other bloggers, companies and local businesses all through Twitter. While I don’t Tweet more than a couple of times a day, I do enjoy it. If you want to try it….don’t be intimidated. It’s really just as plain as saying, “Hi there!” And it’s great to Tweet about what other people are doing. Tweeting generously is the best method.
It’s also a great way to get in touch quickly with someone you know is on Twitter (like if I’m going to be somewhere and you want to meet me you can Tweet me). Most people have it connected to their phone so they get an instant notification that you’ve Tweeted them and it’s similar to texting.
I check Twitter only when I’m out somewhere and have a few minutes to kill, like in line at the grocery store. I’ll scroll through and respond to things that catch my eye. It doesn’t use up any of my real time. Also, I use TweetDeck to set Tweets to go out even when I’m not around. It organizes my preferences into easy to follow columns (see image above). But if you Tweet me I will get it right away….how fun is that?!
OK, y’all know I’m having a romance with Instagram right now. I can take pictures with my phone, edit them in one of my apps (Snapseed is my favorite) and send it out on Instagram. Also, it’s connected to my Twitter account so those images go out to my Twitter friends. Some people get really creative with their Instagram pictures and others just send lots of pictures of their kids. Either way….it’s a fun way to see what other people are enjoying.
I only check Instagram when I am either killing time somewhere or when I am posting something to my Instagram feed. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes a day.
Yes, yes. I talk a lot about Pinterest. It is by far my FAVORITE social networking site. Even though it is a social network, I really just use it to gather things that I love. You create boards (like recipes or party ideas) and then add things that you find on the internet to your boards. I am so bad at making files on my computer and putting things in the files, but now I don’t have to. Pinterest keeps it all for me. It’s like reading a magazine full of only things you love. You can comment on pins and connect with people, but I don’t really. I just pin things.
I do Pinterest at night after everyone else has gone to bed. I’ll go on there and look through what’s on my main wall (which shows me the pins of the people I follow) and pin things and go check out some of the original sources. I’d say I spend about 15 minutes a day on Pinterest.
This is my newest little excitement. It’s different than Pinterest because people only post their own projects and not what they see all over the web. You can scroll down the main page and see great ideas and talk about them and ask questions. It’s interactive and more personal. It’s very new, so I haven’t used it a lot, but I really like it.
I check Hometalk a couple of times a week. I like going in and seeing the expert answers to some of the gardening questions and looking at people’s home ideas. I can see that it will grow and I will start to pop in once a day.
And that’s it for me. I don’t do Google+ or any other probably wonderful social networking activities. These 5 take up about half an hour each day plus popping in for quick, fun interaction. Because they all notify me on my phone if someone tags me or leaves me a comment, I will just jump in and reply, but I am not just sitting there staring at it.
I think the key to managing it all is being very strict with yourself about when and where you will use it. I could let myself spend all day chatting and watching and some days it’s tempting. But I don’t. I make myself stick to the plan.
If you have any questions about any of these 5 I’ll be happy to try to answer. I’d also love to hear how you use these or any other social networks to improve your blog, business or just life in general.