Training Gets More Social

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By Lorri Freifeld, Editor, Trainingmagazine

Training’s 2012 New Year’s resolution is to expand its presence throughout social media. This January, you will see rich content published on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and Google+, all linking back to our new “Daily Update” tab on http://www.TrainingMag.com. To help you “join the conversation,” here are a few tips for a positive social media experience:

1. Do one thing, and do it well. Facebook. Google+. LinkedIn. Twitter. StumbleUpon. Digg. Reddit. Busuu. Bolt. YouTube. Vimeo. Second Life. Flickr. Flickster. Foursquare. Ning. MeetUp. MySpace. Wikipedia. Tumblr. Yelp. Google Places. Overwhelmed yet? You should be. I am overwhelmed, and I do this for a living.

Diving into multiple new networks leads to one place—frustration. You will get more value out of your social media time if you choose one platform and master it. Whatever you choose, dedicate one hour to Googling “getting started on (name)”. Having learned a handful of helpful tricks, follow Social Media Examinerfor a digestible daily dose of social media education.

2. Keep it concise. The Internet already is overrun by information. Your contribution is as unique as you are, so engage, but keep your remarks to the point. Other users are more likely to take your message to heart if you are thoughtful enough to not waste your words or their time.

3. Have a goal. Social media has an unfortunate reputation for being a waste of time. With so much information at your fingertips, it is easy to be led from an article to a blog to a Facebook page; an hour later, you wonder if you learned anything of value.

Half of the blame belongs to the information-overload nature of social networks, but the other half belongs to social media users who have not established criteria for what information they will or will not consume.

So, make a goal. Want to be up-to-date on current events? Read headlines and news articles. Want to improve your professional performance? Read industry blogs and how to’s. Want to stay in touch with friends and family? Read their tweets, blogs, and status updates. Ignore everything else.

4. Don’t box yourself in. Social media has the potential to break down age-old prejudices by creating windows into the lives of people who would never cross paths in daily life. Resist the temptation to friend, follow, or subscribe only to people you know personally or organizations that reflect your own world view. Connect with a handful of outlets representing another race, religion, political platform, or lifestyle, and appreciate that, for the first time in human history, you can learn from their experiences real-time from the safety and comfort of your own computer.

5. Ask a 13-year-old. Ever wondered why a five-year-old can master a television remote? Developmentally, children and preteens are still learning systems. They are naturally scanning for “how things work,” and they waste relatively little energy being frustrated. This makes them ideal consultants for a first foray into social media. By age 13, American teens already have their own presence on most major social networking sites and know how to find answers to their technology questions. Paying your neighbor’s son or daughter $15 to set up your profiles and give you a tour is the lowest-cost, highest-value consultation you will find this side of 1985.

Here’s where to find us:

Twitter: @TrainingMagUS @LorriFreifeld

LinkedIn: http://goo.gl/oHokF

Facebook: Facebook.com/TrainingMagazine

YouTube: YouTube.com/TrainingMagUS

Google+: GPlus.to/TrainingMagazine

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