Over the past few weeks we’ve seen a dominance of certain social media updates come and go. From Christmas Day wishes, New Year’s celebrations and Fiscal Cliff happenings, our newsfeeds are now revolving around what our friends plan to do with this fresh batch of 365 days. #NewYearsResolution tweets range from volunteering and leading a healthier life, and Facebook (News - Alert) status updates have been flowing since before midnight on Tuesday.
Research shows that you’re more likely to achieve your resolutions if you write them down and have support. Google (News - Alert) launched an interactive resolution map on its 2012 Zeitgeist website, with resolutions categories including "Love," "Health," "Career," "Finance," "Family," "Education," "Do Good" and "Other" for people around the world to share their New Year’s resolutions. While we use social media to share all of these resolutions, there are some things to think about when it comes to the social sites themselves and how we do or do not take advantage of them. Here are some social media resolutions for 2013.
Image via Shutterstock
1. Actually Keep in Touch
The beauty of our connected world is the ability to stay in touch with people that previous generations never had. Although I’m sure there are some people that you would like to keep in the past, for the most part it is nice to keep in contact with friends you might have easily never heard from again. Instead of just randomly scanning their profile page one day or occasionally liking a status update, utilize what social media is offering by actually getting together, getting on the phone or having conversations with those you want to reconnect with.
2. Spring Cleaning
People can change a lot in one year. When was the last time you updated your “About Me” section, changed your passwords or filtered through apps you don’t use? There have also been updates to privacy policies on social media sites, so it’s never a bad idea to ensure your online security as frequently as possible. It’s just like creating new playlists, completing loads of laundry, cleaning your room or organizing your life. The whole idea behind New Year’s resolutions is a fresh start, so why not apply that to your social media presence?
3. Work on Filters
I don’t mean Instagram, although it could be exciting to switch it up if you are constantly turning to the same filter to edit your photos. I mean the personal filter. Taking a shower? Great, I’m all for personal hygiene. Do you need to tweet about it? No. There’s a limit for how much of your personal life you should really share. For those of us who have basically grown up with the Internet and social media, we’ve been getting “the talk” from almost every place we can – parents, teachers, employers, etc. Be careful of what you put online and think before you post – is it something that will genuinely interest people?
4. No Tweeting at the Dinner Table.
I am the type of person who will zone out entirely of an actual, live, human conversation if I’m watching TV, reading a text or any other distraction on my phone. This resolution is at the top of my list for 2013. Make it a point to avoid interrupting real-life scenarios with social media. Don’t tweet if you’re interrupting a conversation and don’t browse your news feed when someone is talking to you. It’s just basic respect to actually spend time with a person while you’re with them. Don’t worry, you can post all of the pictures and statuses once you’re back home.
5. Try Something New
Social media is constantly evolving, changing and offering new features. Engage in a conversation of interest on a Twitter (News - Alert) chat, create a blog or use a new app on Facebook. Try tweeting along with popular hashtags, trying an Instagram photo challenge or interacting with business pages on Facebook. Just a tiny step out of your comfort zone can help you maximize what you can get out of social media.
6. Pay it Forward
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube (News - Alert) are all great resources for keeping others informed about what exciting stuff is happening in our lives. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to share big moments of your life with people who care. You know what’s also a wonderful thing? Sharing about other people’s big moments. Retweeting, crediting someone else’s story and sharing other people’s good fortune is a nice thing to do and can only increase your online presence. Just how in real life it’s nice to think about other people, same goes with social media.
7. Use it Professionally
If you are a company, take advantage of social media this year to increase your customer interaction and brand awareness. Consumers are on social media, and in today’s digital age, that’s where you can generate a lot of attention. Update your Twitter and Facebook images, respond and interact with those who like or follow you and use social media to offer interactive or incentive programs.
These are some just some ideas to think about while using social media over 2013. Have fun and Happy New Year!
Edited by Rich Steeves