By virtue of the fact you are reading this online and you are interested in the work taken on by AARP Rhode Island, you are qualified to become an active user of social media to support and engage in our efforts. The Internet now provides remarkable tools to communicate to large audiences, but you can play a more active role in increasing the reach of our campaigns. If you are new to social media, don’t be intimidated. It has grown, in part, because it’s easy to learn.
There is a reason they call this “social networking.” When AARP Rhode Island reaches out to members via social media, we are not just reaching members. Potentially, we are reaching our members and many other people they are connected with online. Each new connection opens up a network of others who use social media. Information and ideas can spread fast, and you can become a vital link in the network.
Here are some tips on becoming more social-network capable.
Ask for help. Identify that person who talks about Facebook all the time and simply ask him or her to share their knowledge and expertise. Children and grandchildren are usually willing to help, too. It only takes a few minutes to create an account and learn the basics. Most people love to show off their abilities and in doing so they add you to their network of online friends.
Get online help. There are countless online tutorials and FAQs available to help you set up and manage your account. Us Google to find help by literally typing your question into the Google search field. Also, we have loads of advice about Facebook and Twitter right here at aarp.org. Once you create an account, Facebook and most other social networking also sites have exhaustive online help resources as well.
Worried about online privacy? Our research shows that this is a top concern. But when it comes to social networks, it is important to note that because Facebook, YouTube and other popular services are free, you will never be asked to enter credit card information, your Social Security number, your address or your telephone number. Facebook preferences also allow you to set up you page so that only people you know or approve can see anything other than your name. And you’re not even required to post a picture of yourself. Of course, there are always scammers who will try to take advantage of Facebook users. Learn how to protect yourself.
Just do it. We hear people say, “Why would I want a Facebook account?” It’s an understandable question. But we also find that as soon as people find their personal answer to that question they become social network enthusiasts. For example, once someone experiences the joy of seeing the latest pictures of their grandchildren, they are anxious to learn more about Facebook and other ways it can be used to connect to friends and family. And that leads to the next point.
We need you. AARP Rhode Island advocacy efforts are increasingly relying on the Internet and social media to organize and mobilize members and supporters. In addition to foregoing the cost of First Class Mail, our messages reach new and ever-growing circles people through the connections that social networking provide. Plus, the Internet is a bridge to videos, photos and downloadable documents that we can’t practically distribute to mass audiences any other way.
You don’t need to have a Facebook account to see AARP RI’s Facebook page or Twitter, but you do need to join in order to add your comments and “share” important information to the network of friends you create.
Please help us by getting started today. Sign up for Facebook and join Twitter. You’ll be glad you did.