Today it seems like everyone is on social media. Social media is used for many different things: staying in touch with family and friends, keeping up-to-date with news and trending topics, and promoting businesses and social causes. It allows you to connect with people all over the world who have different backgrounds, interests, hobbies, and professions. With so many different sites, how do you know which one is right for you? Click here for an quick comparison graphic of the most popular social media sites.
Facebook – Created in 20014 by Mark Zuckerberg as way to keep up with his friends. It is the world’s largest social media site with more than I.5 billion active users worldwide. It allows you to send messages, post status updates, and share photos and videos. Depending on privacy settings, requesting and accepting friend requests will determine what can be seen on your timeline and home page. It works well on both a computer and mobile device.
Twitter – Another popular social media site, Twitter is designed around short updates. Each tweet (or post) is limited to a total of 140 characters, spaces and punctuation marks. You can attach short videos and photographs to a tweet. Twitter is most popular for inventing the hashtag, which has now been adopted by many other social media sites. With over 289 million active users, it can be used on a computer but because of its quick real-time messages, it is most often used on mobile devices. You connect with other users by accepting and requesting to follow other users.
Instagram – Instagram is a photo-sharing app for mobile devices used by over 300 million active users. The simplest of social media sites, it allows you to upload photos or short videos, write a caption, and add hashtags so your followers will be able to see them. It is most popular with teens and young adults.
Pinterest – Unlike other media sites that are based on sharing status updates and photos, Pinterest is focused on collecting and sharing things found on the Internet. You organize the things you collect on Bulletin Boards. You can follow other Pinners who have similar interests and repin (or save) their items to your boards. It is available on both the computer and mobile devices.
LinkedIn – While the other social media sites are more for personal use, LinkedIn is more of a professional networking site. You create an online resume (or profile) of your skills and employment history. As you add contacts and make connections you build your network. Your connections can go in and endorse your skills. Many businesses use LinkedIn to screen and recruit potential employees.
If you are over 50 and interested in learning how to use these popular social media sites, the Richland College Emeritus program will be offering Social Media 1 (Facebook) and Social Media II (Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other sites) classes starting in January. Spring registration begins on November 22 for current students and November 28 for new students. Contact the Emeritus office at (972) 238-6972 or the Business Office Systems and Support program at (972) 238-6215 to sign up for these popular classes. FYI—If you are over 65, the classes are FREE to Dallas County residents.
Take a “working tip” from one of our BOSS students who is currently enrolled in Richland College’s online POFT 1309 Administrative Office Procedures course and how she discovered the merits of Twitter and that it can be a wonderful networking tool for helping administrative assistants (and others) get handy advice and tips from other admin professionals.
As part of a recent class assignment, Edith Garcia set out to explore some ways Twitter might prove helpful to administrative assistants in getting up-to-date information on how to be more successful and efficient in getting their work tasks completed. In the process of researching Twitter, Edith found that she had to change some of her original opinions of this social media platform. She has now come to view Twitter as a quick, invaluable way of getting tips from other admin colleagues.
“One of the areas I decided to research was social media. As I reviewed some of the articles, the one that caught my attention was ‘Why Twitter Is Worth It.’ One of assignments in this course was to create a Twitter account. I didn’t have one until a couple days ago. I had always thought it [Twitter] was just a place to gossip in a few words. I didn’t know there are a lot of professionals advising others.”
“There was one example that informed me of the fact that you can get a lot of great [Twitter] feeds concerning your work. It can come in handy when you are in a struggle and can even find out things that are helpful. By following professionals on Twitter, you can enhance your knowledge. I plan to keep this Twitter account and to follow administrative professionals to enhance my knowledge and get some great advice.”
http://www.iaap-hq.org/ – Blog article: “Why Twitter Is Worth It”
If you want to improve your productivity and decision-making skills, consider taking POFT 1309 Administrative Office Procedures in the BOSS program at Richland College. Richland College is located in northeast Dallas at 12800 Abrams Road, and both online and on-campus courses are offered. For more information contact Becky Jones, Associate Dean, firstname.lastname@example.org
***Get a Free Copy of Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2013***If you are a student in the Dallas County Community College District, you are eligible to download a free version of Microsoft Office 2013 Pro Plus (or 2011 on the Mac) which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote.
- If It’s Top Secret—Then Keep It Top Secret! If you get labeled as the “company blabbermouth” and tweet sensitive, confidential information, your career (and your job) could spiral downward very quickly.
- Don’t Get Too Familiar—After all, this is your job and you need to maintain a professional image and tone. Tweeting personal information (and for goodness sakes avoid profane language!) is a no-no. What happens at home and in your personal life should stay that way—at home and personal.
- Don’t Get Addicted To Twitter—Aside from preserving your thumbs (and your other fingers), you need to focus on your work tasks. Just remember the company didn’t hire you to tweet friends and family, you were hired to work for the company—if in doubt, check your job description!
- What Did You Say About Your Boss?—Use common sense and control the urge to blast your boss via Twitter. Even if your boss is wrong, the social media network is not the place to vent, and if you think your account is private–think again!
- Avoid Unflattering Comments About Clients/Customers—Keep your thoughts private and to yourself and away from Twitter. Clients and customers are to be valued and respected, and unflattering observations about them should not be broadcast on Twitter.