There’s never been a better time and place to social network than right now, and chances are, at any given ‘right now’, you’ll have your phone to hand.
The smartphone has therefore unsurprisingly become social networking’s best friend.
With that in mind, here are our top ten tips for social networking on arguably the smartest of phones, the Samsung GALAXY S4.
The first step in any social networker’s path to infamy is Facebook. Facebook is a network within which you connect with friends, make new friends and document every waking moment for the pleasure and pain of those you’re Facebook friends with.
Of course, how far you want to take it all is down to you, but whatever your degree of social exhibitionism, chances are, you’ll benefit from having a Facebook profile to some degree.
Events, for example, are easily organised on Facebook. The Facebook Messenger app on the Samsung GALAXY S4 makes the service a viable party-planning tool. Being reminded of loved ones birthdays can save a feud, and posting a birthday wish can simply make someone smile.
Like chatting online with any of your mates whenever you fancy? Of course you do! Which is exactly why Samsung’s own ChatON app is hugely popular.
Samsung’s ChatON is one of the best free instant messaging apps available on the Android platform. Introduced at IFA in Berlin back in August of 2011, ChatON became an instant hit with Samsung and Android fans, particularly due to the fact that it cleverly supports both 1-to-1 instant message chats and group chats.
Plus, you can share tons of emoticons and create personalised animated messages, to help you pepper your IM chats with an extra bit of fun. And you can use ChatON via your web-browser on a computer, as well as your Android smartphone or tablet.
Once you’ve scoped out Facebook and added people you know to one social network, it’s time to check out Twitter, and follow people you don’t on another social network.
Twitter is generally less personal than Facebook. Rather than see friends’ photo albums and relationship statuses, it’s a great means of staying on top of current affairs, keeping tabs on movers and shakers relevant to your industry as well as having a good old rant – in 140 characters or less.
The accounts you follow generate your news feed, and people can in turn follow you. The official Twitter app is always a safe bet to get tweeting on your GALAXY S4, though there are plenty of other apps in the Google Play Store, with Plume being a popular alternative for example.
If you want more than 140 characters to express yourself online, a blog, coined from the term ‘web log’ is the way to go.
Blogs are websites that act as an online journal, usually revolving around a topic. They’re generally free to start up and vary in terms of the ease with which they can be set-up and maintained.
Major blog providers even offer Android apps to ensure you can update your blog on the go, and what better phone to do it on than a Samsung GALAXY S4?
Take TUMBLR for example. Create a free account and blog, select from a number of free or paid templates and hey presto, you’ve got the building blocks for an online outlet.
To post from your smartphone is a doddle. If you’re posting text, open the app and simply create a new post. If you want to post an image, just take a picture, and share it to the Tumblr app – it really is that easy.
What isn’t that easy is posting high quality pictures. Yes, the 13-megapixel camera on the Samsung GALAXY S4 is one sharp shooter, but a few rules of thumb will help your pictures pack a bit more pop.
Try macro shooting for example. Taking a close up shot of an object adds dynamism to the shot. If you include a deep background, you’ll also create background blur, giving the illusion you’re using an SLR.
Most importantly, use Samsung’s smart camera features. A dip into the camera settings reveals a gorgeous interface of clearly detailed features, ranging from Sound & Shot for a bit of audio oomph through to Drama Shot, detailing moving objects throughout their journey.
Finally, download Instagram. For starters, it can make a mediocre picture look more polished, but more importantly, it ties into Twitter and Facebook making posts work that bit harder.
The ability to snap a great 13-megapixel still photo isn’t the extent of the GALAXY S4’s image capturing capability. It also packs a full HD video camera on the back.
Loaded up to the nines with ways of making video better, any self-respecting blogger or social media fan will specifically need to check out Animated Photo, which lets you create quirky and arty animated GIFs, with part of your image frozen while other areas move.
Finally, you’ll also probably want to swap out your video resolution to 720p. Why drop the quality? Because generally, social media videos benefit from speed of download first and foremost.
Facebook check-ins are mainly popular as they place a check-in on your timeline and also inform nearby friends of your whereabouts.
Foursquare is the original check-in service and rewards you with badges for regularly and diverse check-ins.
Finally, Google+ check-ins tie into Google’s location service, complete with Google’s awesome user generated location reviews, perfect for reading up on a restaurant or leaving your feedback for the world to see.
Because the Samsung GALAXY S4 and social networking aren’t all about fun and games, the LinkedIn app and network in general bring it all back to business.
Enabling you to connect with people on a professional basis, LinkedIn is a great place to showcase your achievements, learn more about others and connect with relevant parties.
Google Plus is the newest major social network, but its value shouldn’t be underplayed.
For starters, it’s got Google behind it. In addition, it’s tightly integrated with your S4.
If you give an app a +1 in the Play Store for example, it’s linked to your Google account, and in turn your Google+ profile.
+1 is your way of showing you respect and value something. With Google’s location services mentioned above and Picasa being sucked into Google Now, odds are the network will only grow.
Our recommendation? Stay ahead of the curve and check it out, pronto.
If the whole point of social networking is to maximise your reach, a great way of doing that is to cross-pollinate, so to speak – or link up your accounts.
Put simply, make sure you put your blog URL in your Twitter description, and tweet your blog posts.
You’ll also want to include your Twitter handle in your LinkedIn profile (if you deem your tweets suitable for work, that is).
Instagram even gives you the option to post your retro-fied snaps to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, so you can share with friends, family and followers in one click.
Hopefully these tips will help you get more out of social networking and indeed your Samsung GALAXY S4. If there’s one final tip we could give you it’s this, stick at it – Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is online infamy
So plough on, GALAXY S4 in hand and most importantly, enjoy it.