From the Intern's Desk

thoughts, tools, tips, and tricks from the perpetual intern

Archive for the tag “Twitter”

Things I Don’t Do On Social Media (But Probably Should)

As a social media editor, Facebook page manager and tweeter extraordinaire for business accounts, student organizations and my own personal pages, I spend a lot of time browsing social media sites. It’s not just all fun and games for me (I’ve read countless posts on how to cut down your time on these types of sites and trust me, it’s never going to happen), but I’ve managed to get myself into a pretty regular routine of posting. However, my recent research into all the social media managing options out there seems to be telling me one thing: I’m doing it wrong. There are hundreds of applications, tools and tricks that claim to be the next best thing in social media. Twitter

How can I filter through all of those when I still have neglected some of the most basic rules of social media? These functions exist for a reason: to help make social media posting easier and more effective for the user. But for some reason, I just don’t make the time for them. I know why I don’t use some of these tools, but others are more elusively un-useful. Here’s the list of things that I’m just not doing:

1. Scheduling my updates. So many tools exist to make social media something I don’t have to think about all day long. Sometimes I convince myself that updating “when I get around to it” makes the post feel more natural and less canned, therefore getting more readers. However, my scheduled posts don’t have to sound scheduled if I just take some time in the beginning of my day to think with a fresh mind how I as a reader would want to see my post. To give myself some credit, I have started using ifttt for combining some of my Facebook page and Twitter updates, and thus far it has worked fantastically. It takes away some of the control on the Twitter end but I’ve found it to be worth it as far as timesaving goes.

2. Using lists. I have created multiple Twitter lists and even Facebook lists, but I don’t even come close to touching my Twitter lists and only check my Facebook “Close Friends” lists every so often. Why? The lists could cut down on so much of the clutter in my various newsfeeds. I attribute this to laziness on my part but also as a condition of the sites I use. Both Facebook and Twitter default to the main newsfeed, leaving me to scroll through the updates as it loads rather than clicking on a sidebar to find what I’m really looking for. I fear that someday, if I start using the lists, I’m going to miss out on an important update because the person isn’t on my list.

3. Using a social media client. With this I add a note of more often because I do use social media clients, just not every time. I like the TweetDeck for Google Chrome application, but I use it mostly for Twitter and find the original Facebook site to be more visually appealing. Call me old school, but I really like the Twitter website and have found the recent redesign to be intuitive and easy to manage. Social media clients often promote the usage of other tools such as scheduling, lists, hashtag monitoring, etc. because of the columns that are the main part of the design. Getting myself in the habit of checking a social media client (properly formatted with columns of lists, mentions and hashtags I’d like to follow) at least once daily would likely increase my productivity on these sites.

4. Monitoring shortened links. When I share posts or send updates via TweetDeck or ifttt, I usually make an effort to use my bitly account (even though I’ve heard tiny.cc does a better job – thoughts?) but I rarely go back into my account to see the number of times a link was clicked. I do use Facebook insights because they appear right below the post on the Facebook page, reminding me to click on the full insights page to see all the details. I avoid the bitly page often out of fear (this is becoming a common theme here and it’s scaring me) that no one has clicked on my posts.

I was ready to write example number five, but my self-confidence in my social media skills is already eroded enough, and let’s face it, if you’ve read this far down you should win a prize. But enough about me – what are some things you don’t do on social media that you should or (to mix it up) things you used to do that you don’t do anymore because they weren’t useful or worth the time? Instead of the next hottest trend in social media, I’m interested in finding our your habits. Share in the comments!

Networking Techniques

Everyone talks about it. No one defines it. It’s extremely important when looking for a job, but what exactly is networking? I define networking as pursuing relationships and maintaining them on a professional level. Meeting new people, promoting yourself and creating connections are the building blocks to landing a job.

Exchanging information is key when networking

Important Things to Remember about Networking:

Take advantage of the 145 Million registered Twitter users – This statistic gives you a HUGE reason to be on Twitter. Your chances for networking with the right people go way up when you use Twitter effectively. Interact with future employers by using hashtags and retweeting their posts. Have a complete profile so employers can visit your blog and see your bio.

Success story: A Cronkite School student saw a retweet from Cronkite Student Life about USA Today looking for college life writers. She told them she would like to write for them and pitched her idea to them. The editor accepted it. She got published because of Twitter.

Overcome shyness – Being shy will only hold you back. Think of networking like dating. If you don’t put yourself out there, you’ll never meet your match.

Never feel like you have to apologize for asking for help. According to a CIO article, don’t see networking as imposing. See it as building relationships. You can learn a lot from a person just by having a conversation.  And one day, you might be able to return the favor.

Go to events – Besides Twitter, the best way to find professionals all in one place is to go to a conference. ONA is both a conference and online journalism awards. It takes place in Washington, D.C., in October. If online is your field, everybody who’s somebody will be at this event. You’ll be guaranteed to meet people who have contacts in high places.

Organize yourself – Get into a routine when you meet someone new. Write his or her contact information down. Terry Lynn Johnson of PRSA suggests writing on the back of the person’s business card 1 – what you talked about and 2 – how to follow up with that person. Attach his or her business card to an index card and write more details about the person. File it away somewhere important.

Watch this informative video from Howcast about the basics of networking. It may be simple, but it refreshes principle ideas that everyone should know.

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