Social media is constantly evolving and changing. It seems nearly every day a new form of social communication comes out that your peers rave about or Facebook makes a monumental change, remember timeline? Keeping up with all the new trends can sometimes feel like a full time job. How are you supposed to keep up?
First, it’s not a competition. Stop trying to join everything by putting a major effort into nothing. The point of social media is to connect, re-connect, and engage with your friends and family. Not to be unable to communicate with because you only check your FourSquare page once a month. Commit to a few forms of social media and be an active user. My favorites are Facebook and Twitter. Although I participate in many more, I only check these outlets once to twice a week. This way, my friends know if they want to connect with me online the best place to do it is on Facebook and Twitter.
Do not be intimidated because your friends have over 500 Facebook fans or 300 Twitter followers and you can barely hit 50 of each. The important thing is that you are regularly contributing to a few sites. Be patient, once friends of your friends see that you are someone who is dedicated to contribute to social media, others are more likely to start following you.
Second, don’t try to be a superhero in the social space. Brands like Carnival Cruise Line and Nike have entire social media departments dedicated to being active online. You are just one person participating in the discussion and no one expects you to constantly monitor yourself online. Checking your Facebook page once a day will ensure you know what your friends are talking about and will allow you to be a factor in any discussion.
Where to go from here? First, determine what social sites are important to you. Do you enjoy Flickr and Pinterest? Great, start building your photo albums and boards. If you are unsure where to start, my recommendation is Facebook; it is the most widely used social network and is extremely user friendly. If you are still confused, do you research and ask your family and friends for help. Many articles are written weekly about the best way to use Facebook.
Overall, be smart about where you spend your time in the social space and get out there. I look forward to connecting with you online. Good luck!