Social media scares the sh*t out of some people, but it shouldn’t!

  • August 31, 2012
  • INK Team

This blog post comes from Cody Permenter, our newest social media intern. Follow him at @codypermenter, and check out his website:

Social media

I was watching America’s Got Talent with my grandmother the other night and the talent competition was featuring popular artists from YouTube. My grandmother turned to me and asked, “What is YouTube?”

I was in shock. I didn’t know how to explain this to her. YouTube is something that has been engrained in my life since I was in the seventh grade and discovered I could watch my favorite Green Day music video instead of doing my work.

My grandmother thinks that Facebook and Twitter are just things that occupy me when I am on my phone, but it is so much more. Social media offers a way to stay connected with others in ways never before seen. It allows me to connect with friends and professionals in the media world.

The fear of social media is not something that only people from my grandmother’s age may experience. Some Millennials who have grown up during the evolution of social media are also wary.

Everyone can have a strong social media presence. It doesn’t matter if you lived through the Great Depression or never missed an episode of Ren and Stimpy, social media can be used as a tool to connect with friends, family members and even potential employers.

Here are three tips to start engaging others with social media.

1. Bare necessities

Sign up for Facebook and Twitter. These are the two most commonly used social platforms and can be utilized for personal and professional use. Chances are you already have Facebook—one in every 13 people worldwide utilizes the site.

Twitter takes a little more getting used to. Professionals should follow people in the industry they are a part of and not be afraid to reach out to others using Twitter. If you read an article you like, tell the journalist.

2. Supplement with other platforms

Two other platforms that I use to supplement my social presence are Pinterest and Instagram. These can add some great visual elements and draw people in to your network. There are tons of social networking sites out there—choose the ones that best fit your life.

3. Track your network

Use services like Klout or Kred that will track your social media presence. These services give you a score by linking all of your platforms together and showing you how influential you are. People should track their social media to see trends and change them if needed to expand their network.