Tag Archives: facebook

Social Networking for Newbies

The Internet today contains an ever increasing proliferation of social media tools with millions upon millions of subscribers each.

How do you traverse your way from wide eyed newcomer to proficient and prolific social media power monger?  The loving Melbournistas team will hold your hand and guide you through the sometimes tricky terrain of getting started with social media.

Planning & Personas

It may seem silly to think about planning your Facebook or Twitter profiles, surely you just post how you feel and what you’re up to and you’ll gain followers right? Wrong!

Because the Internet is full of social media sites and the people that use them, to make the most of your online presence you need to make sure you have a clear idea of what part of your personality or interests you want to focus on.  You only need to look at the Janoskians or Cody Simpson to see how influential Aussies can be in the social media stratosphere.  But they each have a specific persona that they are using social media to portray.  You wouldn’t find the Janoskians posting a video where they enact a scene from Romeo & Juliet or talk about the latest performance from the Australian Ballet Company because that isn’t what their YouTube channel persona’s are popular for and it isn’t what their subscribers are expecting.

So think about yourself and your life, what’s interesting? What’s fun? What do you enjoy doing? What do you love to talk about?  What do you want to achieve?  Are you promoting yourself for potential job opportunities or is it just for fun?

Use these questions as a starting off point to decide which part of yourself you want to focus your social media presences on.  The key here is to focus on something you love!  To have sustained social media power you need to keep your posts coming, this is A LOT easier if you love the topic!

Your Avatar & Username
Now that you’ve decided who you are online & what you want to talk about it pays to take some time to decide on what Avatar & Username you’ll use for your social media presences.  A big part of convergence & social media is having a coherent presence across all the social media platforms you’re engaged in.  A great way to ensure you can keep your username consistent is to check beforehand via a username validation service such as Namechk or Usernamecheck, that way you can decide on your username & ensure it’s available on all the social media sites you want to work on BEFORE you get your profiles underway.
Similarly your avatar is an image that represents you in the online stratosphere.  Next to each of your online profiles you have the option to add an image of yourself or something that represents you.  If you decide to leave your image blank – Beware! This can be interpreted by other users as being inauthentic and a possible spambot profile.  Also make sure the image you choose is consistent across all your social media profiles, it builds your brand and tells the reader that you are the same person they connected with on Twitter & it’s your awesome blog they read.
Now that you’ve got your Avatar and username ready to roll, lets get social!

Chose your Social Media Platforms

Once you have an idea of what you want to say, then you need to get out there & explore where to say it.  Obviously there is not right or wrong answer to this, so instead of telling you where to go (so to speak) check out the list below of some of the plethora of social media sites that you can use:

The list above are for general social media use, which is a great place to start, but it’s always worth investigating to see if there are social media and networking sites that relate to your specific field or persona.  For instance DeviantArt is a fantastic social media site where artists create profiles & post their work online for artists and potential  clients alike can check out their work and collaborate.  There are literally hundreds of social media sites out there, so let your fingers do the walking to find the one’s best suited to you!
We highly recommend setting up your own blog or website so that you can publish your own content & have a central online presence for all of your social media nodes to link back to.  Publishing your own information and content can also help establish you as a thought leader in your chosen area, but more on that later…

Contribute & Connect

This may come as a shock to you but, to get the most out of social media you have to actually post things and get involved!  It may seem daunting at first, but the best way to find out how to use social media to your advantage is to dive in.  If you’re a bit shy, why not comment on something someone else has posted thats related to your persona.  Commenting & engaging with other people is as important as posting your own work on your blog/youtube/flickr/deviantart profile.

The whole point of social networking is to Network! Make sure you get out there, get involved, post a video, upload a photo, write a blog post & then link them all to each other!  If someone is interested enough to look at one piece of information you post, chances are they’ll like more of your work, make it easy for them to find you.

Keep your ear to the grindstone

The fun part of social media is that it’s always changing, there’s always new people to meet & a great new platform to try out.  Make sure you subscribe to any other blogs, social media sites or bookmarking sites (such as Digg or Mashable) to keep across any changes that are happening in your area of interest so that you’re in the know and ready to post your own thoughts and views as soon as possible.

Most importantly have fun! Social media and networking is there for you to be creative, show the world what you can do and what you think!


Privacy online, is there such a thing?

The world is too much with us.

With news that Facebook is introducing “frictionless sharing” it begs the question of if and how you can protect your identity online, or if you lose the right to privacy as soon as you step foot in the rabbit hole.

Facebook, known previously among users as having somewhat questionable privacy policies, the launch of “Frictionless sharing” has for some pushed the friendship too far.  Basically this new ‘feature’ allows apps from services and publishers to post a users activity without asking their permission for each item that it posts.  A once off, and possibly unread opt in allows third parties the right to access and republish your posts at any time.

But is this all too different from the once reproachable ‘News Feed’ that gives each user a stream of the most recent posts and activity of those that they ‘Like’ and are friends with?  When it launched in 2006, the news feed feature caused outcry and mass account deletion in protest of the invasion of privacy it posed.  But one wonders if Facebook would have reached the infinite proportions it currently has, if this feature had not been available.  Where would the draw card be for users to come back to the site?  Although initially it seemed as though our lives were being put on display against our will, now many users log in with the sole purpose of checking the news feed as an easy way of finding out what their nearest and (questionably) dearest have been up to.

Although Facebook acts as a “free” service, is it any real surprise to users that there’s a catch?  The reason it is free, the reason they have the money to run a multimillion user service with minimal downtime is that advertisers and marketing companies pay Facebook for something else, for us.  That means that the real ‘product’ that Facebook sells, is us, it’s users and our information.  Is it any wonder that a marketer or company wants to know the intricate details of their target audience, what we like, what we don’t like, how we react.  This is marketing 101, but in this case we’re creating our own buyer persona, can we really be surprised that companies are trying to get it?

To me it seems clear, whatever you put online, wherever it is posted be prepared for that information/image/text/video to be seen by the entire world.  That is the beauty and curse of the internet and especially social media.