• Finding Your Way Through the Social Media Jungle

Are you tweeting, pinning, friending, liking, linking in, blogging, uploading, posting, meeting up?

Are you unsure what these mean?

Are you lost in the confusion of the social media mass?

If so, you aren’t alone – even with the millions of social media users out there today. That’s why I attended a “Utilizing Social Media” seminar at my local library recently. At first, it seemed a strange location for such a workshop. A library which holds tradition on its shelves is hosting a forum on a medium through which it may become obsolete.

Yet the library setting also speaks to the necessity we all have of embracing new communication channels or being left in the past.

That’s a risk no business owner, job seeker or professional out there today can take.

Gretchen Gunn, seminar speaker and principal at MDG Services Inc., offered advice on understanding the social media jungle to the couple dozen gathered.

As a top performer in staffing management, Gretchen has extensive experience in recruiting talent and matching individuals to their best careers. Gretchen does not claim to be a social media expert but does hold vast experience in using a variety of social media strategies in her business.

So what is social media?

Simply put, social media allows businesses and individuals the opportunity and platform to start conversations and engage with important audiences.

Why does social media matter?

Because it’s the new way people are learning, listening and paying attention to all sizes of business and industry.

What can social media provide?

  1. Control. Each individual is in the social media driver’s seat. We control how we learn information and how we use it.
  2. Accessibility. Social media breaks down barriers. No longer are consumers following industries as a whole. They now are following the specific leaders of those industries.
  3. Information. Social media is the avenue by which we learn about a person or a business before we approach them, and then decide if we want to approach them.
  4. Platform. Social media has transformed content consumers into content producers. This has encouraged the communication shift from monologue to dialogue.
  5. Opportunity. Social media is changing the way people market themselves and their businesses. It’s allowing for a more specific messaging and marketing opportunity.

What is social media’s potential?

This is no fad. Social media holds an enormous user and audience base. And it’s growing.

Through this seminar, I gained a greater appreciation for the medium. I gained an increased urgency to understand it better and to use it more effectively. I also learned that I’m not alone. I’m not nearly as behind as I may have thought.

How about that?

The library opened my mind up to new thoughts and introduced me to new subjects. Guess it ended up being the perfect backdrop after all.

Did you know?

  • Twitter claims 175 million registered users.
  • Facebook claims 800 million monthly active users.
  • LinkedIn claims 150 million members.

Nicole van Esselstyn is trying to stay informed about social media as Rhudy & Co. provides more services in this area for its clients. Coming soon, a social media part II – tips on how to make your social media accounts more successful.