Social Media Relationship Stalking (we all do it)
This semester in my digital media class, I learned a lot about social media. I learned about how much social media has grown in the past few years. I learned how businesses can use Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to promote their products and services. I learned how nonprofits can use those same tools to increase support for their causes. I learned about new emerging social tools, such as Foursquare, that might have as much influence as Facebook in a few more months. And much, much more.
New Product Launch: Me!
But one of the most important things I learned was how to use social media to develop my own personal brand. Yes, I, as a person, am a brand. This was very valuable to me since I will be graduating in twelve days, and I will need to sell myself to employers. Not only can prospective employers look into my Twitter and Blog to learn about me, but they can also see how I use these tools. If they see that I am using them effectively, then they know that I can be an asset to their company.
My Twitter Brand
I joined Twitter about two years ago, and I first I didn’t get what the big deal was. Then, a lot of my friends started joining, and we used it to talk back and forth. Then I started following CNN to keep up with the news and some of my favorite celebrities, like Ashton Kutcher. I was more of a passive user, only reading what others were saying.
When my class started, we were assigned to post “professional tweets.” Then, I became an active tweeter. I was posting interesting stories about social media, advertising, celebrities, or anything I thought was worth sharing.
Soon, my follower base increased, I was getting retweeted, and tweeters were mentioning me. That’s when I realized I was using twitter professionally. I was a source that people could go to to get industry news. I can use my Twitter as an example of my work to show that I understand the communications industry.
Blogging Like a Pro
For many jobs that I have looked at and/or applied to, they ask for a writing sample. What better way to show off my writing skills then to send them a link to this blog?
This blog (you should know because you are reading it!) has a theme. I talk about social media and the digital world as a whole. And, go figure, this is the career path that I would like to continue on. Showing that I am aware of what is going on in this industry will be impressive to prospective employers.
Not to mention, when my name is put into a Google search, my blog and Twitter are some of the first things to come up! How’s that for SEO?
Social media is huge. And it’s free. So why wouldn’t nonprofits use this platform to engage with supporters, tell their stories, and attract even more supporters? Social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, help nonprofits gain an audience that is more open to causes as opposed to advertisements. Many major non-profits have recognized these great opportunities that social media can give them.
Here are some examples that have made great use of social media:
- Goodwill: This organization, which provides job training and employment opportunities for the disabled, uneducated, and others challenged with life’s difficulties, uses Twitter in a way that other organizations do not. Goodwill uses lists that make it easy for monitoring its bloggers and other advocates. Some of the lists include one for green news, another for veterans, and one for thrifty bloggers. This also allows followers to scan through the lists and find information that is relevant to their interests.
- Invisible Children: Three young men started this organization after filming the sad situation of children soldiers in war-torn Africa. The footage is uploaded onto YouTube and has receieved thousands and thousands of views. Through the YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter efforts, President Obama has signed assigned with its cause.
- Make-A-Wish Foundation: This organization makes wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses a reality. The foundation recognizes that it doesn’t have to have an ordinary Facebook page with just a like button and a few pictures. Its page is filled with rich content, such as videos. Also, it uses different tabs for different causes of the organization. Features like those make the page interactive and interesting.
I know it seems like every nonprofit has a Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook account, but these platforms have much more of an effect if they are used in a creative and innovative way. Don’t miss out on an inexpensive way to connect and share news with supporters and to gain more supporters for your organization.
Now that every business (large or small) and their dogs have a Twitter, it’s definitely worth taking a look at some Twitter do’s and don’ts so that, well, people want to follow you. Just having a Twitter account doesn’t make your company “social media savvy.” If you are the person behind your company’s tweets, you have to tweet with a purpose. Be interesting, be silly, be serious, be informative. Do whatever reflects your company best. Scared? Don’t be. Here are some tips for next time you are getting your tweet on.
Do be creative
There isn’t just one way to use Twitter. Have fun with it, and do something that others aren’t doing. Looking through Amazon’s feed, it looks pretty basic-some promotional tweets, company announcements, the usual. But they do something different. If you tweet the name of a book at Amazon, they will try to tweet back to you the current price range.
Do respond to followers’ tweets
Social media is awesome because it allows two-way communication to happen between the company and its customers. If your company isn’t going to interact and talk to the audience, then your Twitter account is about as good as those e-blasts that have a “do not reply to this email” clause at the bottom. A good example is Whole Foods. This company responds to any questions, problems, or compliments that followers tweet about.
Do make your tweets worth readng
AKA: don’t be boring or lame. PETA doesn’t use social media to yell at all of us carnivores for eating cheeseburgers or thinking circuses are fun. Instead, they tweet interesting stories, like the story of two pit bulls saved from neglect by the organization. And you’ll see some shocking stats.
Don’t take complaints in a tweet lightly
If someone came into a store, you wouldn’t ignore a complaint, so don’t do it on Twitter either. If you are going to maintain a Twitter you have to be prepared to monitor it and deal with consequences. A transportation company, called FirstGroup wasn’t prepared. Customers complained via Twitter about bad conditions on a bus, among other things. The company didn’t react. But the customers did. They took their complaints to other outlets, like Facebook and YouTube as well, to express their dissatisfaction.
Don’t use bad grammar or spelling
This is an obvious one, but it still needed to be said. You are a company, a brand. Why lose all credibility by forgetting a comma or using the wrong “their?” In a world of smartphones and iTouches, it’s more common to make these typos. Take all but 20 seconds to read over your tweet before publishing it. You’d be surprised of the errors you can make using only 140 characters.
Just like how you get annoyed of overbearing salespeople who won’t leave alone while shopping, people will get annoyed if just one tweeter is clogging up their timeline. Remember: You aren’t the only Twitter accounts that your followers are following. Though they aren’t technically a company, the cast of MTV’s Jersey Shore is a brand that they are trying to maintain an image for. I thought it would be fun to follow them, but I realized they were tweeting constantly that I just had to unfollow them. Don’t be the Jersey Shore (for that reason and for others).
What are some other Twitter do’s and don’t that I forgot? Write them in the comments section!