By Page Austin, Harvest Lifestyle Manager
Did you know that 3 out of 4 Americans use social media sites? It is how people communicate, engage, and connect with others. Understanding social media not only benefits you professionally, but also as a parent. Children are using social media everyday. As a parent, you can't monitor their social media usage if you don't understand the tools and lingo.
Before you start using social media, remember the acronym THINK.
There are 5 questions I ask before I post something on social media:
1. Will I offend anyone? If so, who? Does it matter?
2. Is this appropriate for a social media site, or would it be best communicated another way?
3. How many times have I posted today?
4. Would I want the post on the front page of the Dallas Morning News?
5. Is this something I want to share, or is it just me venting?
We are quick to post on social media, however, using the acronym THINK and these questions will help you make smart decisions. Many people don't realize how their words can be taken out of context or how emotions can be added that was never intended. So when in doubt, THINK!
Social Media for your business.
I often get the question "what social sites should I use to help my business grow?" My answer is typically a question back, how many sites you can manage and manage well? It's important to have an online presence, but if you can't generate content or manage engagements, you probably don't need to be on multiple sites. If you only have the bandwidth to manage one site, then only be on one site. Determine who your audience is and research what social media sites they use. For example, if you are trying to reach women ages 25-45, you would want to be on Facebook and Pinterest as those sites are used frequently by women in that category. If you only have the bandwidth to do one, that's totally ok! Don't get overwhelmed with multiple sites. Pick one and do it with excellence.
I love the pancake marketing mix. It shows a variety of social media platforms and how people use them.
So for the 101 seminar, I focused on three social media sites: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Let's take a look at Facebook for a moment.
Did you know:
- Facebook has 163 billion monthly active users
- 63% of users engage on a daily basis, that's 864 million active daily users
- The average user spends 40 minutes on Facebook each day
- 30 million businesses have a fan page
Facebook allows you to easily share content--thoughts, news articles, photos, videos, and so much more. Facebook is thought of as your "home" on the internet. It's a place people can go to leave you a message, browse through your pictures, and chat with you while you are online. I use facebook as an online scrapbook and to share my life with friends and family. It's a great way to keep in touch, and even find long lost friends that you haven't spoke to in years.
Businesses use Facebook to build their brand and engage with their consumers. It's free and serves as the perfect outlet for advertising to billions of users.
At the 101 seminar, many who attended were not Twitter users. So what exactly is Twitter? It's a microblog where you can post very short pieces of information (140 characters or less). I personally love Twitter. It's a great way to get information in real-time. In fact, when I was in DC an earthquake shook the District. We had no idea what was going on! The news sources were all over Twitter pushing out information.
Check out these stats:
Twitter is a great way to connect with companies and celebrities. I was watching a movie and tweeted to Hugh Jackman. To my surprise, he tweeted me back!! Day made! Now, I can't guarantee a celebrity will tweet you back, but it is possible!
Twitter is also responsible for the start of #hashtags. Hashtags came on the scene in 2007.
The hashtag is when you use the # sign before a word that you want people to search. Adding #HarvestBetterTogether for instance will label your specific tweet as related to Harvest. A search of "#HarvestBetterTogether" will give you all related tweets from everyone on Twitter. Here is a great infographic that explains #hashtags
#Hashtags are also used on Instagram and Facebook. They are great for making your content searchable. So if you have a business, use #hashtags that are related to your business. For example, if you were going to promote your health product you could use #hashtags such as #health #motivation #weightloss #gains #organic. You can also search for popular #hashtags on the internet. People also use #hashtags just to use them. For example, "I love Bluebell ice cream #yum #cookiesandcream."
Instagram is a photo-sharing, video-sharing site that enables users to share them not only on instagram but on other networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. It really is all about visual sharing. Check out these stats:
What social media sites do you use?