Twitter is about more than telling people what kind of sandwich you had for lunch and Facebook is about more than posting party pictures from your days in college. The next time people tell you that social media is worthless, point them to this post. These are very real ways new media sites have made my life easier:
- When I was in Las Vegas, a city I don’t know well, for BlogWorld 2010 I asked for directions to a bar I was trying to find by tweeting at a friend who had just checked in there on Foursquare.
- I commonly ask for recommendations for movies, music, and other forms of entertainment on Twitter.
- As a writer, if I meet someone who might have freelance work for me, I can connect with them on LinkedIn when I get home or even with my smart phone before I even leave the party rather than relying on them to remember my website or having to keep track of a business card.
- Speaking of work, if you need a job, you can mention it to your friends/followers to see if anyone knows of any job openings where you might be a good fit.
- I tweeted at a hotel where I was planning to book a trip once, and they sent me to a hidden page on their website with awesome travel deals for upcoming weekends.
- Once, I was trying on shoes and trying to decide whether or not to buy. I posted a picture on Facebook and got my friends’ opinions before I made the purchase.
- Need to know an obscure fact? Someone on Twitter can probably help you remember who sang that song stuck in your head or what movie that quote you like comes from. If you ask, people will gladly offer up trivia tidbits and it’s often easier than using a search engine to find the fact.
- I once saw an a-lister tweet that he forgot his power cord at home and was already at the airport getting ready to board a long flight to another country. One of his friends brought him a back-up. Even if your network isn’t as robust, often they can help you identify where you can get replacement items in a hurry.
- Forget the lyrics to a song? Twitter knows. Twitter always knows.
- And even better, if you can’t find what you need on YouTube, most bands have their most popular songs posted on MySpace. Yes, MySpace really does still come in handy from time to time!
- Also handy when it comes to music – I was wondering when a favorite band of mine would be going on tour again, since there was nothing listed on their website. I asked them on Twitter and they pinged me when the page was updated. It isn’t just bands – ask questions about products to any small business on Twitter or Facebook and most will reply.
- When I was apartment hunting, I made sure to mention it often using social media. Some people responded with apartment listings they had found that might work for me.
- Once of my Facebook friends was recently selling her changing table. She posted a picture on Facebook and within a few hours, someone had replied, as one of their friends was pregnant and interesting in buying. It’s much easier than selling items on eBay or Craigslist.
- Last month, at about midnight, I needed some web design help with my website. I asked on Twitter and even with my relatively small network of about 1300 people at the time, over ten people replied. At midnight.
- When my sister’s computer died a few weeks ago, I mentioned it on Twitter and a number of people offered computer advice both for fixing the problem and for purchasing a new laptop.
- A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook about a conference he was attending. Within 24 hours, he found people to carpool with him to the event.
- He also found a hotel roommate.
- Twitter usually explodes with news of something important happening, even before major news sites have stories online. If you aren’t near a TV or radio, it’s often the best way to stay up-to-date.
- Want to pass the time while waiting at the doctor’s office? There are always links to some interesting reads on Facebook or Twitter.
- If I don’t have an acquaintance’s phone number or address, I can still wish them a happy birthday on Facebook. In fact, Facebook even has birthday alerts so I don’t forget (or let me know for people who I don’t know very well). Phone calls are always better, in my opinion, but a Facebook note is still nice, especially for new friends.
- If you need to know what time something starts, just ask your social media friends. They’ll even translate it to your time zone if you’re too lazy to figure it out (like me…I hate dealing with time differences).
- Many stores offer coupons just for checking in with a location-based app. I’m always down for saving money.
- Posting pictures to Flickr or Facebook makes it easy to exchange photos lots of people took at a single event. Do you remember the days of getting double and triple prints, or worse, scanning pictures and emailing them to everyone?
- If you’re a member of the media in some way (blogger or otherwise), social media makes it really easy to connect with people to get a quote for whatever story you’re working on.
- Similarly, if you want to link to a source for your article, just ask via social media. People will send you relevant links. Who doesn’t love promotion. It works the other way too – you can get promotion simply by paying attention and sending links to people who need them.
- Twitter DMs are great to contact someone if you just have a short message. It’s faster than email.
- With a Twitter DM or Facebook message, you can also exchange email addresses if you don’t have that information. It’s easy enough to search and find someone’s social media profiles, even if they don’t have a blog or contact information listed elsewhere online.
- It’s pretty easy to meet new people on social media sites, especially on Twitter. If you’re dating, online dating sites (which are, in essence, social media sites) are a great alternative for people who don’t like bars or clubs.
- Just now on Twitter, I saw someone tweet that his plane had just landed and he was wondering if anyone had the sports score for a baseball game that was going on. It’s much quicker than trying to find an up-to-date score online.
- Conference hashtags (like #BWENY) and Facebook event pages make it super easy to find other people attending an event.
- Occasionally, I read a post I like but forget to bookmark it. They aren’t always easy to find by searching on the site or with Google, but if you send a message to the blogger on Twitter, they’re usually happy to help you find an old post.
- Want to travel? If you are active on Twitter or Facebook, you can couchsurf with the best of ’em – travel planning is a breeze, even on a budget. At the very least, people will recommend hotel and tourist destinations, and you might even be able to find someone to pick you up at the airport.
- Companies often tweet out discount codes and post coupons on Facebook. For example, if you aren’t already, you might want to follow Rick and Dave – they’ve been tweeting out 20% off codes for BlogWorld tickets.
- If an appliance in your home breaks and you can’t find a manual online, ask your fans/followers. Often, you can find someone who has had the same problem in the past and can help you find a fix.
- Stuck on what to make for dinner? Ask your friends online. People will offer up quick recipes you can make.
Okay those are my 35 contributions…but I’m sure there are more. For all the naysayers, add your experiences too – how has social media made your life easier?
WOW ! seriously this post is an eye opener to all those people who say twitter and Facebook are distractions and time wasting sites , they have their own advantages too , really enjoyed reading every point .
I came across your post and am excited to learn more and more of social media marketing. I am
an artist with a website . Thanks for your great information and inspiration! Jan Law
Hey Alli, even if people don’t know how to make use of social media effectively this is definitely an eye-opener. I would call it as an effective usage of social media. Great read. Cheers!
I’m going to have to add an important one….
36. LBBQ (Location-based BBQ).
It’s crucial to keep in touch with peers via FB, Twitter, Foursquare and Gowalla to take note of the nearest top quality BBQ establishments, wherever you are. If not to eat there, just to take comfort in simply knowing if you needed to, you could. Some people get a sense of security or serenity with proximity to the ocean or mountains. For me, it’s BBQ. 🙂
As I was typing #35, I actually thought to myself, “Dave will not understand this one. He always knows what he wants for dinner.”
Earlier this year when a band I am Tech Mgr for had our bus break down we posted the news on FB & TW and within an hour we had trucks and van coming from all around Florida to help us move equipment and haul all 7 of us from town to town the rest of the weekend to complete our schedule.
Wow, what a great story. That’s really awesome – the power of social media at work! It also restores your faith in humanity in general when people come together like that to help, right?
I love the Information… Great Blog Post…
Hi Allison. Wow. So brilliant of you to post all these 35 ways on how social media can make our lives easier. I didn’t even realized them. Thanks for this post.