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Useful Social Media Tips: How To Get the Most out of Your Social Media Experience

Updated on February 17, 2015


Many today view social media as either a great way to connect with others or as an unnecessary pain; an obligatory evil created to satisfy those of a younger demographic. In the grand scheme of things, websites and apps like Facebook and Twitter serve more as a form of entertainment than a tool for communication . From quizzes and games to stupid news stories and trending topics, social media has found a way to become our new favorite plaything.

Though it seems completely frivolous, social media does have a few advantages. For starters, small businesses have found that social media outlets provide their companies with a useful companion to traditional forms of advertising. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram give patrons and customers a chance connect directly with these establishments. This personal connection builds trust with the company, which is returned with repeat business. Name brands and big time corporations have also taken to the social media scene. Having a Facebook page or a YouTube channel back up your company’s website gives these companies another chance to spread their gospels and get customers interested in their services and products. But aside from the professional uses of social media the average Joe can also find a way to turn social media’s mind-numbing ways into a more useful avenue.

Why You Need a How-To Guide for Social Media

Social media was designed to give us another way to contact the people we already know. During the course of its existence social media has also become a method for making new friends and rekindling old romances and friendships. However, what really keeps users coming back for more are the bells and whistles that are added on a regular basis. You can be friends with someone on Facebook and yet you don’t have to see their posts. You can follow numerous fan accounts on Twitter until your entire Twitter feed is filled to the brim with facts about your favorite TV show/singer/band etc. From pinterest to Intsagram to whatever your favorite app or website is everything has become so customizable that it is almost impossible for us to encounter things we don’t like. Though it sounds great to have a newsfeed that is completely, one hundred percent yours, diversity is the spice of life. Expressing your individuality is one thing but preventing yourself from learning about others’ culture and interests is not only a disservice, it almost creates a sense of ethnic cleansing. As a species humans are more likely to congregate in packs comprised of individuals that share similar interests or come from similar backgrounds. But if we always agreed and always followed what someone else said we would have no hope of moving forward; we would always be stuck in the same place following each other in the same worn out circle until the end of time.

There are two purposes to the hub: To help you, the user, get more out of your social media experience and to help you customize your settings to ensure that your social networking reflects the diversity of the world we live in.

1. Unfollow, don’t Unfriend-A Facebook Tip

Unfriending is pretty self-explanatory. If you decide that you no longer wish to be Facebook friends with someone you can simply unfriend them. This action does not, however, prevent that user from sending you a friend request in the future. To prevent all contact from a particular user you have the option of blocking someone. However, blocking and unfriending are such harsh courses of action to take. The better option is to unfollow a user you no longer wish to see posts from. The follow option, borrowed or stolen as the case may be, from Twitter, allows someone to remove updates on undesired friends from their newsfeeds. The original user still remains Facebook friends with their counterpart and can still interact with them if need be, however, they will no longer see status updates or shared items. Selecting this option does not inform the other person of your action. What it does do is remove headaches, stress, and frustration from your Facebook experience. By unfollowing a particular user you keep them in your life without having to deal with them on a regular basis.

2.Follow and Friend People You Disagree With

On Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram users tend to follow friends solely because they know them in real life. On occasion, these people might post things that make you feel angry or uncomfortable. Instead of taking immediate action, just continue scrolling. In real life, you’re not going to agree with everything your friends and those around you say or do. Therefore, in order to prevent some type of social disconnect from occurring, your social media experience should reflect your real life. Contrary to what some may believe, social media is not a means of escape from the real world; it’s an extension of your true self. Saying one thing in real life and doing another online creates a hypocritical state of being, which only causes more problems down the line.

3. Share, Like, and Retweet to your heart’s Content

In the same way that your friends’ habits may annoy you on social media, a few of your tendencies may come to irritate those around you. Instead of worrying what other people will think about you continue posting, sharing, liking, favoriting, and retweeting. It’s not your responsibility to please others on social media; you should only be concerned with making yourself happy.

4.If you’re a fan, follow every account that you can!

This will annoy your friends. You will be blocked, unfriended, and unfollowed. But if the people you supposedly call your closest pals can’t accept your loves and obsessions do you really want them around in the first place? No matter how old we get or where our lives take us in we’re always looking for acceptance from others. Since the internet is an extension of who each of us are in the real world it makes sense that this need to feel like you belong carries into our social media lives. If you’re passionate about something, display that obsession to your heart’s content. If you get blocked, then you’ll get blocked. Your true friends will always stand by you in the end.

An example of my personal Twitter feed.
An example of my personal Twitter feed.
The Lady Gaga fan page I co-manage with a few of my internet friends.
The Lady Gaga fan page I co-manage with a few of my internet friends.

5. Live-Tweet, Don’t Live-Repeat: How Turning Social Media Into Your Diary Can Ruin Everyone’s Day

A mistake that some individuals make when they first join Twitter, or any social media site for that matter, is to document everything. While it may be cute to snap a pic of your lunch or dinner for Instagram, rehashing your entire day for the world, or just your immediate friend group to see, can become tiresome and annoying. Why is this action different from sharing and posting about your loves and interests? Sharing a million and one posts about your favorite TV show or singer might seem similar however, this action differs from using social media as your personal blog. Real life can be boring. No one, friend, co-worker, acquaintance, or otherwise needs to know that you got a flat tire on your way home from picking up your dry cleaning. When you post about your interests you’re expressing your love for something you care about. When it all boils down we all run errands, have jobs, and eat food. But what we don’t all share is your unique perspective on the world.

My live-tweeting of the recent broadcast of Saturday Night Live's 40th anniversary special.
My live-tweeting of the recent broadcast of Saturday Night Live's 40th anniversary special.

When you’re live-tweeting your favorite crime drama or a major event, like The Academy Awards, be sure not to rehash everything that the other members of the viewing audience are witnessing. Only share key points that you find interesting. Other viewers will scroll through tweets with the hashtag pertaining to the show in question. What they’re looking for are other people to share their experience with. They’re not looking for your play by play reaction to the episode’s climactic scene; they want to join in on the larger conversation that’s taking place.

In the end, live-tweeting properly takes time to master. Remember to take things slow. Live-tweeting serves as a chance to discuss your favorite programs with viewers from around the country, and in some cases, (thanks to the invention of live-streaming), from around the world. You’ll never meet these people in real life but they can still serve as your critical review companions for the night. Be open, be honest, and, most importantly, be brief. If you follow these points, you’ll be sure to have a great live-tweeting experience.

If you have some useful social media tips that you'd like to share feel free to leave them in the comments below!


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