Posted by: Jess Scheve | February 10, 2011

The Best Links in Life are Free…

For a mere $25 per month you can learn how to use social media from “industry experts.” Or you can take a look at some of the free resources that the web has to offer. The choice is yours.

Recently I came across Exploring Social Media, a “how-to” social media guide from the folks at Social Media Explorer.  The guide offers webinars and expert advice on how to use social media. Now, I’m not knocking this program as I myself am paying to learn about social media via my Master’s program at Kent State, but I would like any social media “newbies” out there to know that there are many free resources that you can find online.

"Free" sign

donanza.com

I’ve outlined a few below.  You will find links to some of the tutorials below each source, but please note that  many of the sources listed offer advice and tutorials for multiple social networking sites. The list is by no means comprehensive– but it will get you started.

Go Directly to the Source

Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Delicious all offer support pages and/or “how to” guides. If you’re just beginning, the pages can give you information on how to get started. If you’re a veteran, then don’t overlook these support pages just yet- there’s often troubleshooting information.

Howcast.com

With video tutorials on everything from blogging to how to use twitter for business, Howcast.com is a great resource for learning about various social media platforms.  There’s even a video that walks you through setting up a Twitter account.

Blogs

There are numerous blogs out there that offer advice on how to use social media. The ones I’ve listed here have multiple resources on various social media. If you don’t find what you’re looking for at one of these blogs, then try a blog search engine like Technorati or BlogPulse.

eHow.com

With a combination of text and video tutorials, eHow.com offers information on how to set up a Facebook account, how to use Foursquare, how to get blog traffic and more!

The advantage that a program like Exploring Social Media offers is that it does give you the opportunity to ask questions. You can post questions on blogs or in forums, but there is no guarantee that you’ll get the answers you need. If you only have a limited amount of time to learn about social networking, or if you absolutely must have the one-on-one support that paid tutorials offer, then don’t let me stop you. If you can’t fork over the extra cash, however, then check out some of these sites.

Money Tree

vcsu.edu

In the spirit of transparency I would like to make a disclaimer: I am NOT an expert in social media. Like you, I’m still learning about a lot of this new media.  That being said, if you know of any other great sites please feel free to share them!

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Responses

  1. This was super helpful! I will definitely be bookmarking a few of these links. I still haven’t really got delicious figured out– I used it for a class briefly but never mastered it. Thanks for sharing all this great content.

    • Thanks Ellen! I’m glad you found it useful. I haven’t really used Delicious yet. Do you like it?

      • I did like the idea of it, and it was helpful to me personally to have the tags on my links, but I don’t think I’ve gotten good at the “social” half of social bookmarking.

  2. It’s good to have a overall understanding of “how to” start those social media~ I just start my journey of Foursquare. U know what, they just got 7 million users last week…

    • At first Foursquare kind of scared me. I didn’t like the idea of people knowing where I’m at all the time but I guess it’s no different then posting your location on Twitter or Facebook. Either way, if I do decide to try Foursquare it’ll probably be a while lol.

  3. Great suggestions! Which has been the most helpful to you personally?

    • Thanks Anne! I really like the Twitter Glossary in the Twitter Help Center because it gives a quick run-down of Twitter lingo as well as links to more information on each particular topic. I also found the Mahalo post on how to use Delicious helpful. I haven’t actually created a Delicious account yet but it’s good to know that when the time comes I can look over the step-by-step instructions and save myself some time.


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