Written by Anita Hamilton, 50+ World
Are you like me? I’m not an “early adopter” of new technology. I often wonder if I’d ever be on the computer at all, if not for my kids and the demands of being a one-woman small business owner, now an editor and writer at 50+ World. And I am a veritable dinosaur when it comes to social media and using my smartphone.
But (sigh) that is my reality. Now repeat this mantra 100 times:
“I must learn how to do new things and make technology work for me”
I am on Facebook and LinkedIn, and have some level of comfort with them – after only 9 years or so of practice! But I turned my face to the wall and ignored Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, hoping against hope they would all turn out to be quickly-passing fads.
And then, I could ignore them no longer: Instagram hit the 1 billion mark of users, Twitter went over 300 million, and Pinterest, over 250 million and counting. I wanted a piece of those social media pies on my menu of shareable offerings.
It was past time to put on my Sherlock Holmes deerstalker cap (or is that Inspector Clouseau’s beret?) and bumble into the social media mystery of these sites, so I’m here to share my experiences with you.
Learning how to use Twitter
What I knew about Twitter would fit on a pin-head, something I had judgmentally assumed all Twitter users were. After all, if something can be said in only 140 characters, is it even worth saying? You can see how I might have not only been heading down the wrong track with Twitter…I was completely off the rails.
I knew enough to know I needed help to achieve what I saw as the 3 Most Important Goals for a Twitter User:
- Understand what Twitter is and how it works — the nuts and bolts, as it were.
- Realize how Twitter wasn’t a burden, but could be a benefit to me (as an editor/writer for an online magazine).
- Understand how to establish an initial and ongoing presence on Twitter without making a fool of myself.
Yes, I was going to need a lot of help, especially for Goal #3.
I reviewed Techboomers’ Twitter articles and tutorials, and quickly got my head screwed on straight about Twitter and how to get started. If you’re thinking about venturing onto Twitter yourself, I recommend checking out these Techboomers tutorial gems:
- What Twitter Is and How to Start Tweeting
- How to Create an Account on Twitter
- How to Create and Follow Twitter Profiles
- How to Make Your Twitter Homepage Captivating
- How to Tweet on Twitter
And of course, they have plenty more to help you learn the other nuances of Twitter and the features it has to offer!
Once I got started and followed Techboomers’ easy-to-follow instructions, it was easy to set up Twitter — even for me. You can check out my tweets & follow me at Twitter.com/50PlusWorldNews, and let me know how I’m doing!
Tackling Instagram: the image-based social media
I knew Instagram had something to do with pictures. End of story. See, I am capable of writing something less than 140 characters, after all.
However, it turns out that Instagram is much more accommodating than Twitter, for those of us with a lot to say and not enough characters to say it in coherently. Instagram allows a whopping 2200 characters, plus up to 30 hashtags for each image! It’s truly the War and Peace of social media platforms!
If you’re a story-teller and a photographer, or use photographs to help tell your story (or vice versa), Instagram will be a great fit for you with its visual story-telling focus.
Buoyed by my success with the easy set-up of Twitter (and forgetting it was easy because I’d done my Techboomers research first), I plunged into setting up Instagram. I ended up going around in circles on Instagram for almost a week, by doing things backwards. Take it from a tech dinosaur like me, who prefers to use my computer and not my smartphone….use your smartphone.
And better yet, if you’re nervous about it or have any Instagram questions at all, this FREE and easy Instagram course on Techboomers will solve all the mysteries for you and walk you through setting it up step-by-step.
Look at my pics & stories, and follow me to see what Instagram is all about: @50plusworldnews
My struggle with Pinterest
I did get Pinterest set up, as you can from the screenshot above – and I do post regularly and love many aspects of it, so I won’t get into my Pinterest nightmare in this article.
Safe to say you need to know what you’re doing if you don’t want to get sidelined on Pinterest right off the bat. That said, Pinterest is a great place to share and organize your photos on this popular digital version of bulletin boards.
In hindsight, once again I really wished I’d read these Techboomers articles below before I set up Pinterest, because it would have clarified things immediately and shortened my learning curve.
- How to Use Pinterest Course
- What Pinterest is and How to Find Creative Ideas
- How to Contact Pinterest Customer Service
I’d love your feedback on my pins at Pinterest.ca/50PlusWorldNews.
I certainly haven’t mastered Twitter or Instagram as yet, and as I said above, I had a real problem with Pinterest that resulted in my account being (unfairly!) suspended temporarily.
If you’d like to hear more about my biggest challenges with Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest, and/or learn my tips for small business owner/bloggers, check out the full article: Warning: Dinosaur on Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram
Happy sharing on social media!