All this week, we'll be taking a look back at some of our favorite articles from the past year. This one is from our "Five Baby Steps" series that originally ran in January 2011. Lots of smart tips below!
We live in a world where social media has become part of our everyday lives but it doesn't have to be intimidating. Social media can provide rich interactions, rewarding learning experiences, and connect you to individuals you might never meet otherwise. If you've been wary of things like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, or LinkedIn, here are five baby steps you can take to get started:
Get yourself connected. If you have an email address, internet connection, and a computer than you are ready to embark on your social media journey.
Do some research to figure out where you might want to start. Do you want to connect with friends from near, far, past, and present? Then Facebook is right for you. Are you interested in online discussions with companies? Try Twitter. Do you have a massive photo library that you'd like to put on public display? Go for Flickr. Love video and need to get it off your hard drive? Upload to YouTube. If you are looking to forge connections for professional reasons, create a LinkedIn account.
Create your account and lurk. Just because you have an account doesn't mean you have to jump in with both feet on the same day. With Twitter, it is quite easy to create an account and start following brands or interesting conversationalists without actually having to participate in conversation.
Participate. Take the leap and say something. Stop lurking and let the world know you are there by Tweeting a brand you love about their product, finding friends on Facebook, uploading digital content to Flickr or YouTube, or providing recommendations for former colleagues via LinkedIn.
Try something new! The more you engage with social media, the more rewarding it becomes so after you start to feel comfortable using one tool, try something new!Leticia Barr is a social media addict who can be found blogging at Tech Savvy Mama, Tweeting, and uploading her videos to YouTube. She provides social media consulting to companies like BitDefender and also serves as the social media manager for Blogalicious.
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