Image Credits: Eric Kim Photography
Social media may be one of the easiest ways to maintain web presence these days. It doesn’t require you to have much experience with technology or any fancy web languages such as HTML or CSS. However, there are so many options for social media now. Facebook and Twitter are the most popular social media websites, but if you want to truly optimize your web presence and be seen as a versatile writer, you’re going to need a lot more than just those two accounts. I personally use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, FourSquare, Instagram, and Good Reads regularly. I consider Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to be the most important social media websites right about now. Facebook and Twitter are obviously the champs, but as the web becomes more and more visual, Pinterest and Instagram are proving to be equally important. I recently spoke with BitRebels.com editor and global advertising director, Diana Adams and she said:
One thing to remember is that it’s a visual web these days. Someone can write the best post in the whole world with no pictures, but it won’t be shared as much across the board in social media as a mediocre written post with kickass pictures. It’s just how it works these days (hence the success of Pinterest, infographics, etc.)
In short, Facebook and Twitter are great, but if you really want to be found on the web, utilize Pinterest and Instagram, too.
Then there are social media pages that serve for specific functions. Many of my friends use Flickr. I admit I have a Flickr account, but pretty much only because I am required to for class. I only use it when required to for class. I take pictures, sure, but I think to call myself a photograph would be an insult to the true photographers out there. It’s just not one of my specialties. In contrast, I do have a Good Reads account (you can check it out and see what I am currently reading on the side bar of this blog). In addition to being a Writing Arts major, I am also an English major. Reading/literature is very important to me. I am constantly reading, analyzing books,and commenting on it. This is one of my special fields and it is important for me to connect with others with this shared interest. Good Reads is full of a community of people with this same interest. By using this website I am able to connect and network with these people and share in discussions about what we are reading, what we want to read, and what we have read. Furthermore, we can discuss and debate on the literature. Good Reads is a more specific, better community for this kind of work than say Facebook or Twitter.
Image Credits: Wareham Online
Being a member of social media pages is important, but it’s rather meaningless if you don’t connect with and interact with others. One of my twitter friends, Brian Humek and I talk about this frequently. We are both annoyed by what we call “self-followers” on Twitter. Self-followers are people who promote their own content and talk about themselves, but refuse to interact with or acknowledge other followers. I don’t really understand how people can do that. I know I have many great Facebook, Twitter, Good Reads, and other social media followers. They are very smart and insightful and I have enjoyed connecting with them and sharing different ideas. By connecting with my followers I have learned more about social media, blogging, writing, SEO, web design, etc. I have made colleagues and helped them with their projects and they have done the same for me. Some of them I have had the pleasure to get to know beyond just discussions of work projects and they have become close friends to me. These friendships are fulfilling for personal reasons, but also extremely beneficial. These are the people who will remember you if they need your help on a project in the future. These are the people who will remember your name when asked to give a recommendation for who to follow or maybe even hire. These are the people who can help you build your web presence and create a following online.
In conclusion, yes, social media can involve a lot of work and at times seem overwhelming to maintain, but once you get used to it you will see a great increase in your web presence, and in the 21st century, that’s what it’s all about. People these days are hired based on what comes up in search engines about them. Make sure you can be found easily for all of your good content that you’re producing, and make a few friends along the way to help in the process!
Image Credits: Bob Kaplitz Blog