Ask Marina: Social Media Basics

This is a segment I hope to keep running where I answer your social media questions to the best of my ability. Hopefully you find these extremely useful.

1) What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen in social media lately?

John and Hank Green, aka The Vlogbrothers are making things, and making money off those things on the strength of their fan base. They’re also doing actual problem solving via crowdsource. Every day they seem to make the world slightly better and more connected than the day before. I can’t watch them closely enough.

2) What is an app that hasn’t been created yet that you’d like to see?

If I knew that, I’d be in development. It’s rare for me to be in a situation where I have an idea I’m not trying to implement in some way.

3) If you had to visit four online sites every day, what would they be?

Is that a minimum of four or a maximum? The four sites I always have live and logged-in are my RSS reader, Facebook, Twitter and my own personal blog. I keep my blog open because there’s never an end to the improvements you can make to your own product, especially something like a blog that’s infinitely customizable and doesn’t have a deadline.

4) How often do you attend digital/social media networking events? What was the subject of the last one you’ve attended?

I don’t have a lot of time to socialize, even with other media people. I’m in the process of setting up a free social media training for small businesses in my neighborhood, so that’s taking up most of my time right now.

5) Name 3 comedians that have a social media presence you like.

Marc Maron and Doug Stanhope are certainly speaking to their base online, and as a fan of both of them, I really appreciate their honesty. Hannibal Burris is another good one, but the comedian to follow online right now is Patton Oswalt. Not only is he funny, witty and on-topic, he’s helpful. That hits all the social media bases.

6) If you were to put together a “tool kit” that consisted of the most valuable social media sites being used, what would you include and why is each site valuable?

Twitter: For quick bursts of insight, twitter has no match.

Facebook: Fans can have a much more casual, almost personable relationship with clients via Facebook. It’s also a good place to look really interesting and exciting without putting pressure on fans to take action.

YouTube: Videos are fun and easy to record and make. They’re a good way to foster a feeling of “behind the scenes” connection.

Reddit: Reddit calls itself “The front page of the Internet,” and it’s usually right. Heavy social media consumers spend their whole day mired in content. It can be difficult for a busy professional to gauge the weather. Reddit brings everything online together in one easily accessible place.