You’ve heard it on the news, in emails, online and from your friends and family.

Lets face it, the likes of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media tools are here to stay.  Even if you can’t come home to Idaho County physically, there are plenty of opportunities surfacing online that allow you to connect with friends, classmates, business contacts and prospects that enable you to virtually come home to Idaho County.

Twitter.com deserves mention. While Idaho County is very slow to venture into this micro blogging mechanism, the information gleaned has been of great value so far.  I have setup a Twitter alert that picks up twits whenever the keywords “Idaho County” or “Grangeville Idaho” are mentioned, and are emailed to me in a weekly digest. From information about Idaho County’s public health department reports on local eating establishment violations, to weather advisories and swine flu outbreaks in Idaho County, the value of information we can glean from this instant messaging tool is worth its weight in gold…. and should I mention, its FREE!

Facebook.com has risen to the surface as one of the most popular social media tools, and is gaining more and more popularity every day.  There are alot of Idaho County residents who are using Facebook to connect with friends, share photos and generally stay in touch. From a Grangeville High School Alumni Group composed of 169 members and reunion groups for various graduating classes, there are many Idaho County oriented groups popping up.  By using the Facebook search feature, you can find friends and groups easily and follow the link to join.

Using Facebook as a business tool is perhaps an area that might need some time to catch on in Idaho County. In one Idaho county, social media has been used very effectively to engage its residents in dialogue and communication according to an article in Idaho Business News titled “Social media being used to inform public on proposed nuke plant”.  The article states that “supporters of a proposed nuclear power plant in Elmore County have set up a Web site, Facebook page and Twitter feed to provide information”.  For any issues, Facebook seems a very effective way to open dialogue for supporters and protesters who can lodge their comments freely through the network of connections.

Youtube.com is a social media application that brings visual content into play for millions around the globe.  If you’re lucky enough to capture the hearts and interests of followers, your youtube.com video can go viral.  While I have not experienced a viral video sensation, I’m happy dabbling with real estate videos and other recreational videos for fun and to add to my arsenal of online media services as a web designer and licensed real estate agent.  I have launched my home grown videos and also created playlists of other Idaho County related videos on a youtube account.  My videos show up in search engine results and generally add a nice feature to my (former) real estate site.

In using social media, content is your choice as well as your target audience.  The more time and thought you give social media, the more return you can have from it.   It’s a simple mantra.  In an age when we have so many different elements competing for our time, its important that social media is used in just the right formula that will produce the kind of friendships, connections, information, business opportunities and results that works for our individual lifestyles, goals and objectives.

Take advantage of the wonderful opportunities presented to stay in touch with the people and the places of  Idaho County by venturing into the social media tool that works for you!

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