It’s helped me to build my professional and personal networks (often blurring those lines); introduced me to new music, places, and foods; helped me score free stuff; and allowed me to be a louder advocate for the brands, sports teams, and people I like.
Heck, I’ve even scored a few dates.
So you shouldn’t be surprised when I say I love social media. That’s right, love.
Sure, like anything, social media isn’t perfect; there is plenty about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, et al that drives me nuts. But the truth is, as I’ve said before, if you don’t like social media, then you must not be using it.
With that in mind, I thought I’d share a list of 50 reasons why social media is so lovable. Here they are, in no particular order.
1. Twitter chats, which are a fun, fast-moving, easy way to meet and engage with people — and seem to happen every hour of every weekday
2. Great photographers on Instagram [Tweet this]
3. When people reply on Twitter — especially people higher up the food chain, who clearly have no need to write back to randoms but do anyway
4. That Facebook allows you to edit posts after the fact if you realize you made a typo
5. People who take a break (or “sabbatical”) from social media and just take that break, without making a big deal about it when they sign off or when they come back
6. People who create an entire Facebook profile for their new child (or dog) and share all the photos of him/her there — so you actually have to opt in to see them
7. That there’s always someone out there looking at or posting to Twitter, and always something new to see, no matter what time of day it is
8. People who know the difference between a blog and a blog post [Tweet this]
9. That you can really get to know someone via Twitter, and then take that relationship offline. Or, as Brian Fanzo says, “Social media won’t replace a handshake, but it’ll turn that first handshake into a hug.”
10. How social media levels the playing field, giving everyone a voice, allowing small businesses to reach customers just as easily as bigger businesses can, and allowing anyone who wants to say something to be heard
12. Businesses that remember social media is about people interacting with other people, and that engage with their fans and followers individually — whether it’s to respond to customer service issues or general questions, to show more personality, or just to be appreciative when you share their content or mention them [Tweet this]
13. Brands that don’t try to ruin big events like the Super Bowl with excessive “real time” posting
14. How quickly and easily people can mobilize to support a cause or people in need (e.g.: the Ice Bucket Challenge or @drew)
15. Tools — like HootSuite — that allow me to more easily monitor my mentions and other threads
16. When people make the effort to send a more customized LinkedIn connection email — especially when you don’t actually know them
18. People who group related photos together, and post them to Facebook in an album, rather than individually
19. When so-called “experts” practice what they preach
20. People who favorite AND reply to tweets, instead of just favoriting [Tweet this]
21. Having a direct line of communication to some of my favorite actors, writers, TV personalities, politicians, etc.
22. Going to conferences: Networking before the event using Twitter, so you already know a bunch of people; live-tweeting during the event, so you’re more involved in the content being presented and activities; and staying in touch afterwards with the people you met
23. People (and brands) who share different content on every social channel, creating a reason to connect with them in multiple places [Tweet this]
24. TV shows like Shark Tank, where the stars’ Twitter handles are in the opening credits, and they tweet along with fans, providing a live, running commentary while the show airs
26. How you can connect with and engage with people all over the world, and it feels like they’re right next door
27. The ability to schedule tweets — not all of them, but a few every day so you can space things out and don’t have to post them all at once
28. Instagram filters that make me feel better about taking pictures in bad-light situations
29. The direct correlation between the amount of time you devote to using social media and the relationships you build and the rewards you get
30. Executives, actors, musicians, and other too-important/too-busy people who clearly tweet for themselves
31. People who are their authentic self on social media, and display real personality (even if that personality isn’t one I like)
32. How social media unites the world in mourning when someone famous passes away
33. The Why I Social podcast, hosted by Chris Barrows, and the way it introduces me to even more new people, deepens my connection to people I already follow, and provides insights about how different people use social media — and not the usual suspects, either [Tweet this]
34. The way you can get to know a brand through the voice and point of view of its employees — for better and, yes, for worse [Tweet this]
35. The way you can stay in the loop about what’s going on in the lives of some of your less-close friends even though you’re not in touch outside of sites like Facebook
36. How quickly and/or easily great photos, articles, videos, news, and other info can spread (no comment about misinformation)
37. Those times when it feels like the whole world is watching the same TV show, paying attention to the same event, or talking about the same topic
38. How easily you can find a community based around common interests
39. @ElBloombito, still active even though Michael Bloomberg is no longer mayor of New York
40. People who know to keep quiet when they have nothing constructive to add, or no actual experience with or expertise on a topic
41. When a brand or media site likes your content so much that they re-share it — and give you credit for it too
42. When movies put a hashtag on their poster
43. People with perspective, who realize that social media isn’t real life. It’s a version of it, an extension of it, but it’s not real life. People don’t share everything that’s going on in their lives. Things said on social media, and the way they are said, often do not reflect the totality of someone’s actual views or the context in which they were said. No matter how “real” or “authentic” people are online, there is more to them than what they post or tweet. Good for the people who get that.
44. Brands — like @CMIContent — that are prepared for customer engagement and make it a point to reply to what seems like every mention
45. How easy and fun — and sometimes random — it is to reconnect with long-lost friends [Tweet this]
46. Getting to know your coworkers and industry colleagues in a different context
47. How much fun it is to teach someone about the power of social media, and seeing them get it
48. When a brand displays a legit, funny sense of humor
49. The Draft option on the Twitter mobile app, so I can type a tweet when I think about it and then post it at a later time — or, in some cases, never post it
50. How everybody uses social media however they want to use it, and no two people use it the exact same way [Tweet this]
What can I say? There’s a lot to love. As I’ve said before and will say again: If you don’t love social media, you must not be using it.
Want to share the love? Tweet this blog post. And tell me what YOU love about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, et al by leaving a comment in the space below.