I first started using social media with the introduction of Bebo. Facebook quickly exploded and very soon every man, woman and the family dog had an account somewhere on the web. Today I would like to give a very brief extrapolation about how I have found the more popular of the social media applications, performance wise.
As I go through, I will talk about Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, LinkedIn and Pinterest. I will allow you to make your own conclusions and even advise you to try out each of them in turn to see which suits your own needs, whether it be personal or professional.
First of all, let us talk about Facebook. It is certainly a booming venture and the uses that you can put it to have grown incredibly since it’s conception. There are many millions of people who use it and it works for both businesses and for personal use alike. So, you say, what’s the down side? Well, as advertising goes, it is very easy to set up and market your product to hundreds of thousands of people in a very short length of time and the targeting programmes that are utilised are relatively good. My only real issue with it is that it was designed as purely a ‘social’ application and thus, even as it grows, it will always be used mainly for friends and family connecting, posting and enjoying memories.
As someone who uses social media to meet contacts inside the literary world, I find that the only real use I have for Facebook is a stage for my funny cat videos and amusing antics; a mere moment’s release from reality.
Secondly, I would like to say a little something about Twitter, who is undoubtedly Facebooks strongest competitor. I have found Twitter to be a wonderful way of connecting with people inside the industry that I am interested in, whether it be literary, musical, artistic or if you simply like Bird Twitching and are looking for others who do the same of a weekend.
Most of the people you follow or who follow you, unlike Facebook, are most likely people you met through the application and not school chums or workmates. This, I find, is perfect for its purpose. When you find people who are interested in the same things as you are, you follow them; the chances are good that they will follow you back (Unless, of course, it’s someone uber-famous like Brad Pitt or Tim Burton). If the person you find has sent out a tweet, feel free to comment and start up a conversation. It’s all part and parcel of the application and people welcome it.
I have met a great many people on Twitter and am glad of it. There are many others out there who have the same likes as you do, so don’t be afraid to jump straight in.
When Robin Williams died Facebook was aware but the reaction of the ‘Twitterverse’, as it’s known, was incredible. There were people all chatting and mourning from all corners of the globe. Celebrities and common people alike were all conversing and posting pictures of themselves standing on tables as they held sheets of paper saying, “Oh Captain, my Captain,” a reference to his role in the landmark movie, “Dead Poet’s Society” and instigated, I believe, by the lovely Amanda Palmer, writer, performer and beloved wife to Neil Gaiman.
I find, however, that Twitter can, as like most other social applications, take over my life. I am constantly checking it to see if I have any lovely red notifications and also have personal notifications coming through for a few of the people that I have chosen to follow, myself. This gives me a wee message whenever they make a post and allows me to keep abreast with what’s going on in the community.
Next on the list has to be Instagram. I understand that it has come on leaps and bounds since it’s creation but, as it stands, I cannot see any real sustainability. From what I have seen, they have taken a single aspect from other applications, the posting and storing of photographs, and made a whole new application around that premise. With most other social applications out there offering this as an expected element, I do not really see the point of it.
Next on the list is Vine. Now, this application, although I do not use it myself, does have some really great merits. Basically, the way writers, poets and artists use Twitter, musicians and performers use Vine. This gives them a worldwide platform to post their work and share it with the people who matter, the general public. These are the people who will be buying the songs, videos or going to the shows and so having a platform that allows artists, musicians and performers to display their work is great. It is also highly possible that the more popular postings will be seen by producers and others in the business. I would advise this and the utilisation of the YouTube channel option wholeheartedly.
Now, LinkedIn. What can I say? Not a lot to tell you the truth; I have only just found out how to pronounce it properly. I believe it is very useful in the business community and even a must but I have always seen it as an interactive phonebook and not much more. I have no personal use for it, at this time, and so cannot really comment but please try it for yourself if you feel it may be useful to you. You can always come back here and let me know how you find it by leaving a message in the comments section.
Lastly, Pinterest. Personally I found this absolutely irritating. Agreeably, I know that it is used to get posts on subjects that you may have an interest in but the topic selections are too broad and I ended up getting far too many posts arriving on my screen that I had no pinterest in (see what I did there?). Basically, if you like it then I do hope it continues to please but I cannot be having with it, myself.
As I said at the start of this blog, all of this is simply my opinion and I obviously do not wish to offend anyone. If you have anything to say about this article, please, I welcome any comments you may wish to leave at the bottom of this page. Alternatively you can contact me on my twitter handle, @AuthorMcGowan.
Take care and I hope you find the right social media platform for your own personal needs. We’re all different and that is why there are so many options out there.