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using-social-mediaEvery person uses social media in their own way. 

I realize this statement seems quite obvious as well as quite simple. It’s the meaning behind it that’s much more significant.

User behavior is at the core of good design, good functionality, and the overall adoption and use rates of every product or service out there.

If you create something that is hard to use, it isn’t going to be successful.

That’s not to say that all people need to find the same use in what you have to offer. Social media is a perfect example of this.

How YOU Use Social Media Isn’t the Same Way as I Do. And That’s OK.

When evaluating how people use social media, you can look at it from the standpoint of the goals each person has for it, if social media is being used for personal or business reasons, and the overall strategy a user has for their social media accounts.

In my case, I use social media for both personal and business reasons. I don’t play the numbers game. Who I aim to connect with and if I’ll proactively search for others to connect with varies by platform.

I also have varying levels of the minimum “degrees of separation” between myself and another user.

For example, I rarely use Pinterest. I pay no attention to who follows me there, and I don’t bother putting in energy to follow others’ back. Google Plus is where I have the most non-US connections, and probably the platform where my number of followers has grown the fastest relative to the time I’ve put in. My thoughts on who to follow back on Twitter have evolved over time. I don’t care who chooses to follow me, I organize those I follow into Twitter lists, and I put zero time into trying to find others to follow.

LinkedIn puzzles me a bit because I would never send a connection request to someone I didn’t know, yet I receive connection requests from total strangers all the time. In my mind, LinkedIn is all about connecting with other people for professional and/or job-seeking reasons. I would never recommend someone I didn’t know for a job, nor would I ask a favor of an introduction from someone who I didn’t know. So, I don’t understand the reasoning behind connecting with strangers on LinkedIn (unless you are recruiter).

My Facebook Friends are the ones who I hold closest to me. We need to be first degree connections – second degree at most – if we’re going to be Facebook friends. Facebook is where I share the most information about myself and have the most photos (by far), so I find it to be the most personal social media platform to me. I rarely initiate Friend requests, and ignore many more Friend requests than I accept. Mainly because many of the requests I receive are from people I simply do not know.

But that’s just me.

And that’s just how I happen to use my social media profiles.

You might only have an account on Facebook, so as a result, you have 1,100 Friends. If someone’s going to connect with you online, it has to be Facebook, so it’s likely you are much more free to send and accept Friends requests.

Perhaps you were first bitten by the social bug when Pinterest was introduced, and now throw the most amazing birthday parties with the most creative handmade decorations and yummy recipes as a result. Or have poured all your time into tweeting messages in 140 characters or less. You may be a Twitteraholic and have the tweet count to prove it.

The longer I’m active in this social realm, the more aware I become of how vastly different each and every person’s views and approach to social media really is. I’d love to hear your take on social media and social media connections, so I would love to know…

What is your most used social media platform? Does your opinion of who to connect with vary by social platform?

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