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This one is too soft, this one is too hard, but this one is just right

This one is too soft, this one is too hard, but this one is just right

As a public relations student, it seems that I am expected to not only be aware of, but also be plugged into, every social media out there—and right now, there are a lot.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flikr, YouTube, MySpace, Digg, Blogger… shall I go on?

Being connected to each of these sites can be as easy as setting up an account, filling in a few ‘About Me’ pages, and inviting friends. Actually maintaining each site and using it well is another story. The time and energy it takes to keep up with the accounts can become outrageous; it could be a full time job!

So here is my suggestion: don’t do it. By now, we all know the importance of social media’s role in the communications and marketing fields, but it has to stop somewhere. Like most things in life, becoming fully immersed and skilled in a few strong areas leads to greater success than spreading yourself too thin.

Too Soft

Recently celebrating its fifth birthday, YouTube is currently serving over 2 billion videos every day. While there is plenty of information, history, advice, tutorials, music, home videos and especially humor that can be shared and viewed through this site, I do not subscribe. Unlike many of my friends who subscribe to their favorite ‘channels’ on YouTube and post videos of their own, I find this form of obtaining information and communicating too much of a time waste. This is not to say I don’t watch an occasional funny clip or find a tutorial helpful, but it is too easy for me to get sucked into video after video of nonsense; therefore I do not have a YouTube account.

Too Hard

One of the more professional social media, LinkedIn, allows you to connect with other professionals by uploading information about your education, work experience, and even adding your full résumé. A brilliant idea in theory, I found the site more difficult to navigate and set up than others. It wasn’t the site’s layout or overwhelming options that I found most irritating; it was the fact that LinkedIn sent over 700 invitations on my behalf to people I know, and don’t know, without my even being aware of it!

The site asks for your email at various times to confirm your identity, and at some point it apparently was able to access my complete email address book. Within the next 24 hours I had received over 100 emails from friends and strangers alike asking why I invited them to this network. I even received one email from an angry wife inquiring how EXACTLY I knew her husband. I didn’t.

Needless to say, I decided LinkedIn was not the social network for me, so I cancelled my account, if for no other reason than to stop the wave incoming emails from those confused.

Just Right

Facebook is the obvious network for a college student like me. I have had my account since high school and know my way around the network as well as any other college student. The newer network that I have found surprisingly intriguing, however, is Twitter. Once opposed to this status-updating network, I wondered how people could find it interesting. I have discovered that you make it interesting.

I now enjoy posting comments about recent news or activities that I can attach links to or tag the appropriate friend’s or company’s twitter account. I attempt to make it both significant to my life and hopefully engaging in some way to other people.

I have found the sites that work—and don’t work—for me, and I think that is what social media are about and why there are so many options. It is not about the number of sites you can be connected to but rather the quality of time and information you dedicate to the sites that fit your lifestyle best. Social media are great tools to help promote you or your company. They should be used to complement your services, not appear out of control or be impossible to manage.

For more information on the various social media and which ones may be most appropriate for you, or for help in setting them up, please contact Morris Creative Group.