Assimilate and Be Happy!

With the New Year rung in, and everyone’s resolutions on the forefront, I’ve seen a pattern in my social and professional circles in regards to addressing social media in New Year’s Resolutions. Social Media is on everyone’s resolution lists in someway, whether to start a platform, be more persistent with existing platforms, or even whittling down to a few platforms so as not to overwhelm themselves. So with a serge of individuals in social media infancy or social media overload, I thought I’d offer some thoughts and suggestions to help people decide the best platforms for them to use.

Tip 1: You do not have to have a presence on every platform that exists to man.

So many people are trying to be on every platform so they can stay current on the latest trends and be those ‘early-adaptors’. They also have informed me that they “don’t want to miss anything” (my favorite excuse I’ve heard so far).

Well, interestingly enough, unless your job is Social Media Marketing or Management, this is social media suicide. It is almost guaranteed that you will get burned out. Not only that, more than likely you will not be able to keep up with the plethora of platforms and their updates and nuances.

Keep it simple. Have a solid CONSISTENT presence on 2 or 3 platforms, and learn them well. One of the best parts of social media and the onlinecommunity is that you can always find a friend or colleague who is on a platform you are not. Learn from them about their platforms and they will learn from you about your expertise on your platforms.

Tip 2: Select platforms that you can assimilate into your lifestyle

So many people join Facebook, or Twitter because those are the primary social media platforms at this time. However, these individuals are also those who end up not maintaining their online presence very well, because they cannot assimilate these platforms into their life.

Select those platforms that you can adapt into your daily routine. if you want some help: here’s a helpful guide to some of the more popular platforms:

avalaunchmedia.com

Courtesy of avalaunchmedia.com

For example, if you love letting people know where you are at all times and what you’re doing, then Twitter is your platform. (My one piece of advice: no one wants to know when you have “special moments” with your partner or your porcelain bowl, so keep those to yourself.)

Another example would be if you love photography, Instagram will probably serve you better and allow you to assimilate it into your life style. Of course you can always have a Twitter or Facebook account and share your Instagram to those platforms. You may also enjoy Pinterest, the visual DIY platform (which is the bane of my existence).

Tip 3: Try a platform to see if you can assimilate it

There are pros and cons to this, however I encourage it. Create a presence, use it and try to assimilate it into your lifestyle. If you cannot, clear your profile and delete the account so that you remove your online presence from that platform. Now not all platforms will allow you to delete the account so, when that happens, I suggest placing information that will direct visitors to your other platforms that you do use.

Tip 4: Become an expert on your few

I eluded to this earlier, but so many people do not learn platforms well. They only learn the basics because they have not been able to assimilate them into their lives or they are managing too many. Learn your 2 or 3 platforms well and become an expert on them. Be the person that individuals can identify as the “go-to person” that they can go to if they a question on that platform.

If you’re interested in other platforms, reach out to your online community to learn about those platforms. That’s why we are online; to be a community that shares information and experience. You don’t have to be an expert on everything. But you should be an expert on what you do know.

Tip 5: Have fun

This tip is always in my hints and tips. If you are not having fun, or getting overwhelmed you need to re-examine the platforms you are using and how you are using them. If you have been able to identify platforms that you can easily assimilate and have become an expert with, you shouldn’t hit this point of wanting to destroy your iPhone because you’re overwhelmed. (Which I’ve seen once or twice in my time..so sad).

Social Media should never be a burden, nor should you be overwhelmed. You don’t have to have a presence on every social media platform to have an online presence. Build your online presence by using the couple of platforms you enjoy, have assimilated into your life and are consistent with. It’s all about balance, and even in social media, you need to have a balance.

Until next time!

Peace, Love and Pandas!

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About bdproffer

I am currently the Assistant Manager for the University Activities Board at Michigan State University. After earning my B.A. from the University of Michigan-Flint, I entered the Student Affairs profession. After a few years in the field, I returned to school and earned my M.A. in Educational Leadership-Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University. In my spare time I blog about my thoughts and musings on current issues in higher education, student affairs, web 2.0, LGBT issues and general life inspirations and observations. I also volunteer for Kappa Sigma Fraternity.
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