New Years Resolution

A Social Media Newbie’s New Year’s Resolution

In January 1, 2013

In the fridge here at work, I have a grapefruit, an apple, and a Greek yogurt in a lunch bag left over from last week. Not very exciting.

It’s not that those foods are necessarily boring, but hearing about them certainly is. And that’s exactly why so many “old” people have been reluctant to jump into the deep end of Facebook, Twitter, or the social media platform du jour. They just assume the conversation is a bunch of drivel — stuff they have no interest in or time for. In fact, on more than one occasion when I’ve asked someone in my age bracket if they use social media, I got a snarky response: “I really don’t care what’s in someone’s refrigerator or what they’re watching on TV.”

I’m ashamed (but honest enough) to admit I was one of those old codgers not all that long ago. But after experiencing firsthand what our well-oiled social media machine here at Melamed Riley has accomplished for our agency and our clients, I am a believer. The power of these platforms is nothing less than phenomenal … for brands and businesses.

For personal use, however, the jury is still out for me. Why? Frankly, because both my Facebook and Twitter accounts collect a lot of digital dust. (It’s tough to see their real value if you don’t use them, right?) I’ve just never been able to get very excited about either platform for enriching my personal life. I think mostly because, early on, I was seeing too many postings about refrigerator contents and the like. But in 2013, I resolve to get more social.

To do so, I went to Rachel VanArsdale, Partners Riley’s Social and Digital Strategist, for the most basic of basics on getting more active. She’s written plenty of other more in-depth material on the topic of social media, such as social media etiquette, profile maintenance, and making first impressions. But for this blog, I wanted her to dumb it down to a whole new level — my level — to make the initial social media experience as easy and as attractive as possible for someone “my age.” Here is her advice for getting social media newbies hooked:

Friend only friends: Only request to be friends with your closest friends and family members first. If you don’t want to constantly read the political views from that guy you really weren’t that close to in high school anyway, then don’t “invite” or “accept” just anyone initially. Dip your toe in the water with those people in your life you care about most. Get the hang of how you want to use Facebook, then broaden your circle bit by bit.

Follow only favorites: Tweets can be just as inane and annoying as Facebook posts and can turn off a newcomer just as quickly. So when first jumping in, start by following just a few of your favorite folks — people you almost always find fascinating or funny. You can always branch out from there.

Rick Riley

Mom always said, “If you don’t have anything nice to blog, don’t blog anything at all.” Okay, that’s not true. In fact, mom never read a single blog, nice or otherwise. But it’s still good advice. So look to me for nice … or at least interesting, relevant or funny. Well, maybe smartass or irreverent or sarcastic, too. But that’s it. If it doesn’t fall into one of those categories, you didn’t hear it from me.