By Rei H.

As many of you have access to the Internet, you may have used or are familiar with social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. The best part of using social media is to find information instantaneously, connect with people, or get a simple idea.

(Flickr – Samara Gerard)

After working 20 years in the Tech industry, including seven years of professional experience as a social media expert, finding information and getting connected with people on social media have always been part of my life. Today, I would like to share with you some of my tips and tricks on how I have kept myself updated and connected with people through social media since moving to Ann Arbor in the summer of 2016.

1. Follow, follow, and follow!

When I came to Ann Arbor, I had no idea about the city at all. However, following the Twitter accounts below provided me with the local news, updates, events, and ideas to act like a “Townie.”

Another favorite thing for me to stay informed is to follow favorite cafes on Instagram. Here are some accounts you may find interesting.

2. Search real-time events

Google is a great source to search information; nevertheless, the search results may be too broad, outdated, or irrelevant, especially when you want to know what type of events are happening in your city. In addition to the football season, Ann Arbor has many great events and sports games all year long. When I see a large crowd in the city and I am unaware of what is happening, I use twitter to get an idea about the event because you can find tweets from the event organizer and people at the event.

To find events in Ann Arbor:

(1) Search “Ann Arbor” on Twitter

(2) Click (tap) “Latest”

To find which U of M sports team is playing:

(1) Search “#GoBlue”

(2) Click (tap) “Latest”

3. Join groups and communities

Joining groups and communities on social media will bring you so much more than you can imagine. In fact, I would have never been able to find out about International Neighbors if I did not join an Ann Arbor Japanese group on Facebook.

I attended one of the group’s gatherings and met a lady who connected me to Mami M. who in turn introduced me to International Neighbors. So, without Facebook, I would have never been here writing an article now! If you do not know any groups, you can search a group on Facebook.

Here is an example of a search result on Facebook:

Another social media I would like to share is Meetup. On Meetup, you can find local communities for enjoying hobbies, learning new things, and getting connected with people who have the same interests. On Meetup, I joined a Tech group and attended a couple of events to meet entrepreneurs of tech startups to learn how startups launch businesses in Ann Arbor. There are many groups in and around Ann Arbor. Maybe you can find something interesting.

Meetup groups in Ann Arbor:

4. Ask for recommendations

Finding the best local business or service is one of the most difficult things when you move to a new city. However, there is an excellent way to solve your problems once you joined the groups or communities on Facebook because you can ask for recommendations from the group members. For example, I needed to find a dentist quickly because my tooth crown came off when I ate a caramel. Through one of the Ann Arbor Facebook groups, I was able to get a recommendation from the local members within a few hours!

5. Build your network

Meeting new people is always exciting as they help you broaden your horizon by exchanging information, helping you discover new things and solve problems. Before moving to Ann Arbor, I did not know anyone; however, friends in Japan introduced me to their friends in Ann Arbor via social media. Letting your network know that you are in Michigan will help you get a chance to be connected with new people.

You may also find someone in Michigan (or even in the Midwest States) from your connections on Facebook and LinkedIn by using search functions. I found a couple of friends and business contacts who are in Michigan and got back in touch with them. Try to run a search. You will never know what you find!

Although social media has made our lives much easier, I try not to use it too much because I believe that face-to-face communication remains very important, not only to obtain information but also to be physically present and enjoy every moment. You don’t want to miss the good times with the amazing people in a beautiful and exciting city, Ann Arbor. So put your phone away, get out there and get the most out of your Ann Arbor life!