social media 620x353 Beginners guide to social networking

Jumping into the social waters

Last week I started to put some effort into our social media presence. Though I had created Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc etc accounts from day one, I’d never really used them. I guess because I don’t use Facebook or twitter that much in my personal life I wasn’t really connecting to them.

However, with me getting into the swing of writing an (almost) daily blog, I wanted a way to quickly share the links with quite a lot of people. Twitter seemed like the perfect thing for this. So it is that I began last week with 11 (yes 11!) followers and ended it nearing 100 – should cross that mark today. 100 may be a pretty small number of followers to many people but 100 from 11 in a week isn’t too bad.

As I embarked on this social networking journey – I spoke to various people that I know and more often than not was asked why. To many of you, it may seem like second nature, but many do not really understand the benefits of social networking, what it means and what they can gain. If you have been in the social networking game for a while then you may want to sit this one out but otherwise enjoy your introduction to social networking.

Defining Social Networking

Social Networking is simply the grouping together of organisations and individuals to make communications through online interactions. Much like any community, people socialize and keep other people updated about what is happening. The big difference obviously is that this is all done online which, in turn means you can ‘socialise’ with many people at once.

From a business point of view, it means you can quickly tell a large group of people what is happening in your business. Maybe you have a special offer on, rather than put a poster up and explain it to individuals, you can tell hundreds or even thousands of people at once. It’s all about making connections, socially.

Quantifying Social Networking

Some stats for you:

  • More than 50% of people online use social networking
  • Over 1 Billion use Facebook
  • 98% of 18-24 year olds online use some sort of social networking
  • Around 200million tweets are sent a day
  • Almost 3 billion hours of YouTube watched a month

(source: http://www.statisticbrain.com/social-networking-statistics/)

Yes, lots of people use social networking. That includes potential clients and potential business allies.

Types of Social Networking

There are really two types of social networking that people use, content based and microblogging. Chances are using a combination of both on different networks will be the best way to proceed in building any potential social empire.

Content based social networks are things like YouTube in which the content you share is given the top priority. You have a profile on your page but it is what you post that does your talking and gets your connections engaged.

Microblogging is the publishing of short messages publically or within a certain group. Things like Twitter and Tumblr let you give ‘status updates’ telling the world what is happening. People can reply, retweet and talk about you messages. It’s a great way to let the world know what you’re doing.

Connect to the World

If anything has defined and changed in our lives in the last decade it is social networking. Its everywhere and people depend and expect it. Things like twitter and Facebook allow you to make real connections to customers whether current or potential.

Social Networking is not just something you could do to connect. It’s something you should do.