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Social Media for Business and Personal Professional Use: FAQ

Social Media - Frequently Asked Questions

What is social media?
Social media is content generated by individuals (such as consumers), and published via highly accessible technology, including blogs and applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Unlike traditional media (newspapers, television), where you need significant resources in order to get published, social media is open to anyone, and can be just as powerful.

How can I get started with social media?

The best thing to do is to be active. Pick a few sites that are well-suited to your interests or to the content that you want to promote, and be active everyday. Vote for others, leave comments, add friends, and submit content. 


How do I set up an account with a social media service?

Registering an account with a social media service such as Facebook or Twitter takes just a few minutes. All such services will require you to provide your name (first and last), a user name and password. Some sites require you to include a phone number, as well. After you set up an account, you may choose to add as much or as little personal information as you like.


How many social media sites should I use?
While there are hundreds, if not thousands, of social media sites out there, it’s impossible to use them all. Generally, it’s more effective to use a small number actively, and if you want to have accounts at other sites that you use occasionally, that’s fine. Because part of being a successful social media user involves building a profile and a reputation at the site, it is much more realistic to achieve this when you’re using a small number of sites consistently.


How much time should I spend on social media sites?

How much time you spend is up to you and what you want to accomplish. If you’re using social media primarily for fun and for connecting with others, there’s nothing wrong with being on these sites a lot. However, if your main purpose with social media is to promote a website or blog you should limit the time you spend. Other activities like content development and site management should not be sacrificed due to the time you spend on social media sites. Generally, you may need to use social media sites a little bit more at first in order to get familiar with the site, its users, and to build a profile. But later you should be able to cut back on the amount of time that you spend, but still be active on a regular basis.

How much information is too much?

That is entirely up to you, but the rule of thumb is to post only information that you want the world to see. There is no expectation of privacy with respect to information you post via social media. And remember that what you publish may be around for weeks, months or even years, so consider the content carefully and be wary of disclosing personal details.


Are there rules of behavior in social media?

If you have ever witnessed an overheated exchange on an online bulletin board, you may not think so. But here are some best practices:

• Do not blog or post anonymously.

• Do not use pseudonyms or false screen names.

• Do not post anything that is untrue or misleading.

• If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, point it out.

• Do not post copyrighted material unless you have been authorized to do so.


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Science Library: 317-940-9937

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