Consider social media the aliens in every alien invasion movie. It’s here, it’s powerful and it’s not going away.
Our world and the way we relate to each other is dramatically changed from a few websites not even old enough to be in kindergarten. Employers can look up future employees on it, blind dates are not so blind because of it and businesses can build a customer base thanks to it. So, what exactly is social media? In layman terms, it’s the social butterfly of the online world. Here’s a little synopsis of each community so you can decide what crowd you fit in.
Facebook/MySpace. First came love, then came marriage. What MySpace started, Facebook perfected. MySpace is a website designed for mostly younger audiences. Everything on your profile can be customized—from colors and background designs, to the ability to play music. Strictly speaking, unless you’re a band or a business catering to teenagers, your best bet is to avoid MySpace. Facebook is the more adult-like social media community. You can customize your Facebook page to an extent, but most people just leave it alone and let their profile and mission statement speak for itself. You can dedicate a page to your business, create a fan base, create an app, share photo albums of company functions and cite additional information about your business website.
Twitter. Twitter first became popular with celebrities and then everyone else starting “following” suit. Pun intended. Twitter is like Facebook and MySpace in the most primal sense. It’s only able to share status updates and pictures, not photo albums and notes. Twitter is that friend who knows everyone and has the ability put in a good word for you - or 140 characters to be exact. Twitter is able to you to similar businesses, organizations or individuals in your surrounding area, but a majority use it to cast a wider networking net and take the awkwardness of introducing yourself in person to business owners and local leaders. One big plus is that you can “follow” almost anyone on Twitter; very few people require you to "send a follow request" first, unlike Facebook and MySpace.
Wordpress/Blogger. These are—you guessed it—all about blogging! Starting a blog can be one of the fastest ways to build your reputation in the online world. You can choose your tone, your blog design/layout, what you share with your customers and friends and allow them to interact with you and comment on what you say. Blogging is like an online journal, so it can be as personal or professional as you like it.
LinkedIn. Linked In is a very professional website that allows you to post your resume and connect with other professionals you worked or went to school with. It's mostly a place for citing your professional achievements and accomplishments, so it’s good for individuals looking to add an online resume station to their portfolio.
There are many, many more social media outlets out there. These are just a few of the major players on the online who’s who list. By the way, all of the above are free services, so stop stalling and hop to it!