Simple answers to 6 basic social media questions

Filed in 11 comments

Every new enterprise —  whether it’s a new project, new class, new relationship, or a new business — begins with some degree of Confusion. The key to getting past the initial uncertainties is to (a) silence your “fear” [False Expectations Appearing Real], (b) focus on one objective, and (c) put in effort.

My social media students have so many questions that most don’t even know where to start. Below is a list of the FAQ’s . . . and some answers; they are in no way complete, but they may provide a foundation of knowledge to build on.

1. Where can and will social media take me?

Social media is a set of technologies, strategies, and tactics that will help build your business by increasing both your understanding of your customers/clients/community and their knowledge of how your products and services can help them.

2. What makes social media so important?

The world has changed. There is a New Normal and the old techniques of marketing and communication will no longer work in the same ways as they have in the past — because everyone can become a publisher and everyone can gather information on their own [without depending traditional media].

3. How much time do people need to spend online?

Among peoples’ greatest online fears is that they must be continually updating their statuses on dozens of social media platforms. Most social media consultants suggest that short periods of time, e.g. 15-30 minutes two or three times a day can accomplish a number of objectives for entrepreneurs as well as managers and executives in firms of all sizes — if you have a strategy set in place.

4. What is a blog?

The word “blog,” which is a silly-sounding word to many, is just a shortened term for a Web Log. Very simply, a blog is a website with recurring content. Bloggers can write whatever they want whenever they want. This is an example of everyone having the opportunity to become a publisher. Are all blogs “equal”? Of course not. Of the hundreds of thousands of blogs and bloggers, most might be termed “frivolous,” i.e. trivial, inconsistent, unresearched, etc. But the fact of the matter is that many bloggers who write about important and interesting topics in unique styles are fast becoming highly influential throughout the world.

5. How safe are social media sites for private, confidential information?

Not “safe” at all. The Best Practice is not to write anything on a social media platform that you wouldn’t want the world to read. There is a difference between publishing “personal” and “private” information. Personal information about yourself can be wonderful for building trusting relationships. Private information does not belong on the Global Whiteboard.

6. How many social media platforms do you really need to know and use?

Answers to this question vary depending on WHY an individual or a business communicates online. To effectively build an online presence as the Go-To source for information on a certain subject, these five venues offer great rewards: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogging, and YouTube.

For more basic information on these platforms, check out the articles in these categories

Blogging Basics

Facebook Basics

LinkedIn Basics

Twitter Basics


Definitions of Web 2.0, Blogging, Microblogging, Reverse-Engineering, Future of Marketing

No Guarantees, but here’s how to go viral on video

Enhance your LinkedIn profile to increase find-ability

10 Social Media Newbie Mistakes

What to Tweet to stand out from the Masses

Please add more questions about social media and how it works in the comment section. You’ll get answers from me and other readers.

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   25 September 2010
Jan 21, 2011
8:02 pm
#1 Yorinda :

Hi Shari,

I love this clear information you are providing.
The questions you are addressing are great and so are your answers.

Thank you so much for posting this.
I will come back again.
Love and Joy

Author Jan 22, 2011
12:05 am

So many people get turned off from social media because there is just so much to learn. The best advice is to take baby steps, and I was hoping that this article would be a good first baby step.

Jan 31, 2011
1:22 am
#3 Vanessa Jensen :

Nice job on this posting Shari * This is helpful information for many people *

Author Jan 31, 2011
1:38 am

Vanessa, keep in mind that we want EVERY posting to add value, and as nice as flattery is, some people consider it “noise” — just talk without adding anything. So the ideal thing is to point out exactly what you thought was helpful.
I hope that helps YOU and Everyone else as well.

Feb 3, 2011
11:03 pm
#5 Vanessa Jensen :

I see..sorry about that *

I completely agree with social media being a great platform to help a starting business grow…there are so many possibilities with social media, someone is able to reach such a large audience with just one click…VERY helpful when starting a new business

Author Feb 3, 2011
11:33 pm

sorry about what, @Venessa?

Mar 22, 2011
2:23 pm
#7 Jackie Wright :

Could you explain how to handle individual vs company presence? I have my own FB and LI profile. I’m in a company MKT dept. The company wants to begin a social media presence. Do I create and maintain the company’s profile – seems impersonal? Do I let the company co-opt my personal profiles? What happens when I leave the company? Because of my career field will my identity always be taken over by a company? Do I create a new separate work related profile? Would I delete or update that profile as I continue my career?

Author Mar 22, 2011
6:22 pm

Jackie, you have some great questions here. Perhaps I need to try to answer these in a separate blog post . . . hmmmm, sounds like a plan. Stay tuned.

Jun 22, 2011
10:51 am
#9 Bao (Michael) Vo :

This post is interesting because many people just blog about what they are doing such as going to the mall or bought new shoes. Blogging should be about important and interesting subject that attract people’s attention.

Jun 22, 2011
11:38 am
#10 Tyra :

I found your instuctions to be very useful. I haven’t blogged with wordpress before but I find this site very easy to handle. I found your instructions easy to follow as well. I enjoy blogging for many different reasons — the main one being that I just need an outlet sometime for my many thoughts on various subjects. Through my writing, my hopes are to touch at least one person in the process. Thank you

Jun 22, 2011
4:10 pm
#11 Qadir201blog :

wow!!! learning is putting me on a natural high!!

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