New Uses for Old Social Media Tools

 When people find out I work in social media, one of the most common questions I hear is "What's the next big thing?" But the truth is, I don't see a Facebook killer on the horizon - it certainly wasn't Google+, which many say is already being phased out of existence. Instead, what excites me most in the social space are innovative uses for the same old social sites we've been using for the past five to ten years.So, without further ado, here are my favorite new or unique ways to use old social tools.

  1. Twitter lists - Although they are not new, Twitter lists have gone "out of sight, out of mind" for many people - yet they are still insanely useful. If you're not using Twitter lists to categorize people you're following into meaningful groups, you're missing out. You can also check out the Twitter lists of people you admire and respect in order to follow "influencers of your influencers" with one easy click.
  1. Pinterest - Am I really calling Pinterest "old" already? Yes, at five it's getting up there for a social site, but there are still so many untapped ways to use everyone's favorite digital "crackbooking" tool. One of mine is to use secret boards to showcase blogger relations campaign results. Simply save each of your blog hits to a private Pinterest board, tagging and describing each however you like, and then add clients and anyone else you'd like to share it with as pinners to that board. Voila-you've got a visual, creative, innovative way to refer back to a campaign and see all your great results.

If you really want to showboat, you can use a public board instead. Remember though that some bloggers won't be thrilled to find themselves on a board of "conquests," so think before you pin results publicly.

  1. Facebook - A little-known feature worth exploring on Old Man Facebook is Interest Lists, which are not unlike the above-mentioned Twitter lists. If, like me, you find yourself with far too many pages to follow, you can simply group them into Interest Lists (e.g., Rockstar Clients) and then spend time each week perusing those lists. You can also browse and subscribe to the Interest Lists of others. If that's still not enough for you and you want to be sure you won't miss any content a particular Page puts out, you can choose "Get Notifications" by hovering over the "Liked" icon at the top of a Page. That will subscribe you to their page and ensure you see all their updates.
  1. Instagram - Sure, you can share photos and show off your hipster cred through clever hashtag usage on Instagram, but what else is it good for? How about influencer identification and outreach? Top Instagram users may have 500,000 or more followers and super high levels of engagement with their content, so why not find those folks for your industry or interest area, follow and cultivate relationships with them, and find ways to work with them to benefit all parties involved. Let the haters hate-this is cool stuff as long as everyone hashtags appropriately (e.g., #client, #sponsored).
  1. Google+ - I'll admit, my take on Google+ has always been "do it for the SEO," but after learning more about virtual photo walks and other cool uses of Google+ Hangouts, I'm now a believer. Especially for tourism clients or other businesses with a huge visual element, being able to do a virtual tour live on camera can be supremely compelling. As the Google folks extoll, "comments are not conversations, but live video chat is." If you want to take engagement to the next level, video chats are hot - and although Google+ may be phased out soon, it looks like Hangouts will stick around.

And there you have it-my five favorite new things to do with old social media tools. Be sure to check out our thoughts on some new social media features, too! If you have similar tricks to share, I'd love to hear about them in the comments below.#Disclaimer: an older version of Lara's post once appeared on her former employer's blog, but it has been updated for your reading pleasure here.