Make the Most out of Social Media in 4 Easy Steps

by Jennifer Healy

Social media has grown enough in popularity so that even the most tech-averse have likely joined Facebook by now. But while Twitter is only slightly newer -- at almost 10 years old -- it’s still mysterious, uncharted territory for many.

If you’re curious about the platform and how to make the most of it, but you’re not sure where to start, read on.

1. Listen first.

If you’ve been shying away from Twitter because you don’t believe you have anything useful to say, you should really reconsider. Instead of thinking of it as a platform to give a monologue, remember that you’re on the platform to be part of a conversation.

Think about it this way: You wouldn’t stand in the corner at a party and yell things about yourself in order to meet people, right? You’d probably start by finding a common interest (“I have that same ‘Band X’ t-shirt. Did you see them in town last month?”) Or asking someone a question about themselves (“How do you know the host?), or even just listening to a group conversation already happening.

The great thing about Twitter is that these topics and conversations are even easier to discover thanks to #hashtags and lists, which allow you to zero-in on what you care about with a few clicks. Get started by following people and organizations who talk about the things you are interested in -- it won’t be long before you find you have a lot to say after all.

2. Talk to strangers.

Forget what your parents told you -- on Twitter, if you’re not talking to people you don’t know, you’re missing the real value of the network. Twitter is an open platform, designed for sharing communication around a topic quickly and widely. Have something to add to a conversation? Think a tweet was funny or interesting? Jump in! Twitter allows you to connect with people you’d never have the chance to connect with otherwise -- no awkward, “Did you try the bean dip?” conversation starters required.

3. Be consistent.

Bombarding people with buckets of information, only to then go silent mid-conversation, isn’t going to garner you much traction on Twitter. You don’t need to stay plugged in 24/7, of course, but if your usage is sporadic, connections -- and therefore the experience -- will suffer.

4. Share and share some more.

Twitter is about more than just speaking your voice. The way to garner more followers and have meaningful conversations through this social media outlet is to connect with what other people are saying, as well. If you read something you like, re-tweet it, or comment on it directly to move the conversation forward. When it comes to the Twitter world -- sharing really is caring.


Jennifer Healy is a Social Media Manager at U.S. Cellular in Chicago. She has a background in journalism and has worked in social media for over 5 years. When not tweeting, Jennifer can be found snapping photos, running, or doing both at the same time.

Article: Copyright © Studio One.

Internet & Social Media: "Make the Most out of Social Media in 4 Easy Steps"