New to Social Media? Here’s the first piece of the puzzle.

Guest Post: Cheryl Bledsoe
Cheryl has 15 years of experience in state and county government. Currently serving as the Emergency Management Division Manager at the Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA). Supervise & manage Emergency Operations Center for geographic area serving population center of 424,000.

Social Media Landscape

The world of social media can seem overwhelming to the newcomer.  There are many articles and presentations which tout its importance, but when faced with all of the online possibilities, it can seem easier to simply turn off the computer and avoid making any changes. Here are some simple tips and tools for understanding and observing the very basics of social media:

  • Spend 3-5 minutes per day watching a tutorial video like those available in the “social media pack” at  Each of these videos are 2-3 minutes in length and will give you a very basic understanding of key terms and concepts.
  • Find 2-3 blogs that you like to read.  Pay attention, not only to the content, but what do you like about what you see.
  • If you have a personal Facebook Fan Page, start paying attention to the businesses in your local community.  How do they promote themselves?  How often do they post something new about their business?  And what seems to be popular locally?
  • If you don’t have a Twitter account, venture onto and do a couple of keyword searches for some of the items in the news.  Watch how people talk to each other in this medium.  Look for #hashtags and @[name] mentions.  Click on either to learn more about the topic or see who is doing the talking.

The key is to be patient with yourself in learning about social media.  Because it is less than 5 years old, in most cases, there are many people who are still learning the ropes and many who will share their personal experiences in its use.  The challenge is to avoid running and breaking it down into bite-sized puzzle pieces so that you and your agency can use it effectively to share the information that needs to be heard.



One response to “New to Social Media? Here’s the first piece of the puzzle.

  1. Much too intimidating to be the first peice of the puzzle, that looks like the whole puzzle.

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