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Social Media Basics Series, Part Two: 10 Truths About Social Media

Posted September 13th, 2011 in Social media by davecopeland

Second in an occasional series on how to use social media, from the basics of getting going to intermediate and advanced techniques of information exchangeBe sure to check me out Tuesday, Sept. 13 (this afternoon), when I will be leading Profnet’s Twitter-based #ConnectChat on social media for writers and journalists.

  1. Updates get lost quickly: the average link on Twitter has a half life of 2.8 hours (meaning half of everyone who will see it and click on it will do so within three hours of you posting it).
  2. That means most people will not see most of what you post.
  3. And that means you should not feel compelled — or should even attempt — to see everything everyone else posts. It’s simply impossible and will lead to fatigue.
  4. Use social media to get a pulse of what is happening right now — the really important stuff with get reposted so even if you’re not online when news breaks, you won’t miss the big stuff.
  5. People who constantly talk about themselves do not get their content reposted. Find a better way to get your message out.
  6. You do not need to be on every social network, nor do you need to be the first one on every “next, big thing.” Early adopters are seldom experts, and all-inclusive adopters are just crazy.
  7. The average Internet user spends one out of every 4.5 minutes online on social networks. That’s way too much. Use a program like HootSuite to schedule outgoing messages and spread them out during the day, then spend a few minutes at the start and end of each day responding to mentions and messages and getting caught up; spend the rest of your time doing something productive or fun. I’m a so-called social media “expert,” I use it extensively in the classes I teach, and write professionally about social media, yet I rarely spend more than 60 minutes in any given day on social media (and, yes, that includes time spent seeing who has gotten fat since high school on Facebook).
  8. People who call themselves “social media experts,” in my experience, tend to be full of shit.
  9. Size doesn’t matter: In the four years I have been using social media, the quality of information I get from the people I follow has always been more valuable than the number of people I have following me.
  10. Social media is here to stay. At some point we’ll all be a little bit less obsessed with it (I hope), but at some point we’ll all use it, too.

Previous posts in this series:

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