Are YOU getting the most out of social media?
It’s pretty obvious that social media sites are things of the present and are most likely here to stay. CBS Philadelphia recently reported Facebook hit a new milestone of 1.28 billion active monthly users worldwide.
Social media is rapidly changing the world of journalism. And by that, not only do I mean it’s changing the world of journalism, but it’s be integrated with the world of journalism. That means every journalist, reporter, writer, MMJ, producer, anchor, weather guy/girl…even YOU…should be engaged in social media.
Even if there are social media sites you don’t use, you should still create one. It never hurts to have a Google+ account or an Instagram…JUST in case it might help you get a job. But it also puts your name out there. Along with branding, it’s your way of saying, “Yes, I’m here!”
If you want to get out there, you NEED to be on social media. Everyone is using social media, you should be, as well. It’s common practice.
Connecting with your audience is the primary reason you should be constantly involved with social media. Interacting with your audience is essential. In fact a high number of “followers” on Twitter or “Likes” on Facebook will aide you in landing a job at a news station or other media career. If you have high numbers, those hiring will see that you can attract people, possibly to their network. Remember to stay active with them…no one “likes” to feel left out.
Postings need to be more informal and conversational, provide commentary or analysis on the news and invite people to participate. Ask them to answer a question or provide suggestions for stories. Perhaps you could find out what sort of angle you should take. I like to gear my writing so it “sticks up for the little guy.” It helps give others a voice of informs those who might be affected by an issue.
Here are a few other reasons you should think about social networking…if you aren’t already:
- Social networks are great for generating conversations among people about stories…news outlets may find the volume of reader comments on a story posted on Facebook can exceed comments posted on the news organization’s actual website.
- Reporters can join the networks, converse with people and showcase their stories. It’s yet another way for reporters to develop personal brands for their work. We can all use some self-promotion, right?
- News sites can use apps like Storify to pull together postings to Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites on a particular topic in the news, especially a breaking news story.
- Journalists also can use social networks like Facebook to find sources for stories. See for example Facebook’s Graph Search that can be used to locate people who work at particular companies or organizations, live in specific towns or cities or have particular interests. You also can create Interest Lists in Facebook to create a custom feed of postings by people around specific topics.
- Don’t forget chatting on Twitter is booming with the ever-popular hashtag (#). These handy little tools will help you connect with your audience about anything.
In closing, you should always remember that once you click “post,” it’s out forever and ever. You aren’t the only reporter our there, it’ll have an outcome on all of us.
Reuters says it best.
“Before you tweet or post, consider how what you’re doing will reflect on your professionalism and our collective reputation.”