It used to be that we would receive our social updates at the local street corner, the school bus stop, and even the local grocery store. Today, however, we are apt to “catch up” online.
The Why of Learning More About Social Media
In my last two blog posts, I shared what I like best about my favorite social media app, Instagram, and how to make the most of Facebook. In today’s blog post, I have decided to focus on how we can learn more about social media, on a daily basis, and how to decide which social media apps will provide us with the ultimate efficiency and enjoyment.
As most of us know, today we live in a world of endless apps. The opportunities to connect with one another – whether it is friends and family, colleagues and business associates, or celebrities and influencers – are mind-boggling. The challenge now is in understanding how social media apps work and how they can best benefit our lives.
I often find that when I hear about a new app and want to try it out that I get a little nervous. Even after being a social media admin and working with computers for over thirty years, I find that I can be intimidated by new technology. Is this the same for you? Every app is so different in many ways. Sure, the login process is usually similar. However, the wording can be different and, therefore, cause some confusion. Once I am signed in, then it is figuring out what to do next. Just by being a little anxious, my experience can go from okay to not okay. Does this happen with you?
The good news is remembering there is always help just around the corner. And my blog post today is intended to provide you with inspiration on how to use social media for best connections, further learning, and better organization – even on how to use that new app you want to try out. Here are my top six tips for learning more about getting around easier in our social media world:
- Google anything. Really, literally google everything.
I google everything. Yes, I sure do. No, really, I do. All. The. Time.
Most recently, I googled how to set up my “Google My Business” account. I had already set it up months ago. I just wanted to be sure I was doing everything correctly, and that I was taking full advantage of every section. I wanted to make sure I was understanding how each section worked and how each one could best serve the promotion of my book. As, ultimately, I wanted to learn if there was a way to promote my book better on “Google My Business.”
I watched three to four different videos on YouTube, all under twenty minutes, skipping parts I watched in a previous one, and taking notes of important points. I even opened up my account and started using the new information I was went along. Each presentation offered at least one or more pieces of valuable information to improve my account.
I will more than likely need to google a different aspect in the future. But for now, I am happy with what I learned and am hoping my “Google My Business” gets more traffic.
- Be curious….Don’t be afraid to explore.
Being curious about something you want to know about is key to success in finding your answer. Ask Google questions. Pick the best options provided to learn more about your topic or question.
Over the past year or so, I have been in search of a newsletter app which will work for sharing news about my books and promoting them to family, friends, and followers. However, it has been a struggle.
I started out with just using the body of my Yahoo email. Then, I found TinyLetter (Perfect! as I’m such a letter-writer) and loved it; however, over time, I found it to be confusing when updating headings and adding photos. I didn’t know enough code. And there wasn’t enough information online to learn more about how to get around on the app. So, I went back to using my Yahoo email.
Next, I finally decided to try mailchimp. But it is set up for marketing, and I couldn’t just send an email to anyone without first asking their permission. I felt doing that was kind of awkward after I had been sending email newsletters for several months. So, I put mailchimp on hold and, instead, found an email template on my favorite design app, Canva, and sent it as an attachment earlier this month. By my next newsletter, I am hoping to have discovered a newsletter app that will work for my needs. Currently, I am checking out Flodesk, which looks promising.
I will continue to be curious about finding the best newsletter for my company and my books. And I encourage you to continue to be curious about that one app you need in your life at this moment.
- Be cautious…but be willing, ready, and open to broaden the scope of your current knowledge base.
As always, it is important to be cautious about any link you click on. But don’t let that keep you from broadening your knowledge about any subject. The world wide web offers so many possibilities on so many topics that it boggles the brain. Being cautious means if a site doesn’t sound right, don’t click on it. If your virus protection discourages you from proceeding ahead, don’t click on it.
Last night, I wanted to learn more about how to gear my LinkedIn profile and account towards being a writer and self-published author instead of a social media admin or in desktop publishing design. I was happy to watch at least two YouTube videos which offered valuable information. I was able to design a new banner (in Canva – so easy!), and update my tagline and About Me section.
It’s hard to go wrong with an app once you are in it. YouTube, and other viable apps, offer their own library of videos, courses, and online learning. You don’t always need to surf the Internet to find what you are looking for when you are using other search engines such as Pinterest or even, YouTube. It’s just once you have viewed a Pinterest idea or a YouTube video, and choose to click on a link, that you need to be careful.
And, as I have pointed out in some of my previous social media blog posts, do not keep watching something just because you clicked on it. If it is not serving your purpose, close out of it. You can always skip ahead, once it is buffered, to see if the video improves and provides you with what you are looking for. If not, there are many more to choose from.
- Face the fear…and surf anyway.
Never let fear keep you from learning. Always be willing to surf the Internet and learn to your heart’s, or should I say, mind’s content. There are hundreds of thousands of trusted sites to learn from, many that offer free courses on every topic you can imagine. And in no time, you can be well-versed on any topic you choose.
If you are not sure about a site, think of someone in your life who is more computer-savvy, and ask them for their help. Before you know it, you can be more comfortable getting around on that site and the Internet in general.
- Define what you want to know.
As you search the world wide web for information, the important thing is to define what you want to know. Then, go for it.
I always try to have a pad and pen handy. This helps me formulize what I want to learn. And keeps me focused, too!
Once I have my list of searchable clues, I just click on Google and start typing. Sometimes the answers I am looking for don’t come as easily as I had first hoped. But just by changing the wording in the search bar, the link selection updates providing other options for my quest.
Defining your search makes your experience more productive and less time-consuming. It is so easy to let distractions hinder a goal. When time is of the essence, keeping distractions to a minimum will serve anyone best in the long run.
- Don’t give up….Keep learning.
Whatever you do, just keep learning. Think about what you want to learn. I am not just talking about understanding how a rainbow exists and why the colors appear in the order they do. Or how to remodel a kitchen, put on a fundraising event, or start up a daycare. I am also talking about how your vacuum cleaner or microwave works (manuals come online now) AND learning more about social media and computer apps.
Remember, you can google anything. If you search and search for information, like I did with the TinyLetter newsletter app, and don’t find what you need, it is probably wise to search for a different app that will do the same job – maybe even better. If you want to learn more about Instagram, Spotify, Reddit, Pinterest, etc., just google it. It’s amazing what a few short videos can do to help you be more efficient on a certain app. The opportunities are endless.
It has been said, and I will say it again, you can learn anything you want to. Today’s Internet and endless websites and apps make it the best time ever to broaden your horizons. Sure, you may need to become certified at something, like being an electrician or mechanic if you want that as your trade. But the initial discovery and learning phase can show you if what you are thinking about doing is something you really want to and can do. Or you may just like learning new things (like me).
- Learning social media as a hobby is like learning about life.
For years, I have been interested in learning more about social media. The more I learn about social media, the more I discover that it is an ongoing process. The moment I learn one app pretty fair, it gets updated, and I have to learn it all over again. It’s sort of like life. A person shouldn’t give up just because life has changed. And no one should give up on learning about social media just because an app has been updated.
Social media can be scary to get around, but it provides wonderful ways to appreciate our learning capabilities, as we use an app to connect with others. So, if you want to know more about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, WeChat, Nextdoor, or Meetup, just “google” it. You will be amazed at the information available for your further learning.
Social media is not going away. The Internet is not going away. And I believe that if I cannot learn how to code, then I can at least learn social media as a hobby. It’s a lot less intimidating and a lot more fun – if viewed without pressure. Just learn it as you go, learn it as a hobby, and/or learn it because you love to learn new things.
As I Close This Blog Post…
And, on this note, this will be my last social media blog post for a while. I’m not sure how long “a while” will be, but I will be back. In an effort to write my second book, I will be focusing all my efforts in that direction. I love blogging about social media, so I won’t be gone longer than I need to. In the meantime, keep learning, keep connecting, and keep smiling!
To follow me daily, find me on Instagram at @virginia.alice.crawford. Hope to see you there!