We all know by now that the social media world is one of the fastest changing industries at the moment. That’s why it’s so important to find some good sources to follow and keep updated with what’s happening. As soon as you know it all, you don’t. To be a great marketer of a brand, you have to kept up to date as much as possible but remember that it could change a second after you read the article. There are so many out there so I’m going to let you in on a couple of my favorites.
Social Media Today
Maybe not my favorite site of all time because of it’s lousy workflow, Social Media Today seems to keep up with most other sources and it has also been known to reveal updates or trends faster than any other site that I’ve came across. If you can find what you need to find on the site than chances are that you’ll receive some good information. It’s so hard to find material because there’s so much of it. Because there’s so many authors who want to write 100 things a day for the site, it can be hard to pick through and find the real interesting and the really convincing articles.
Probably my favorite site because it’s easy to work with. Forbes has built a reputation over the years as being one of the most reputable sites on the internet and there’s a reason for that. Although the site may not be the first to break breaking news or to come up with the newest trends because they go back and check and double check their sources so that they aren’t stuck with putting out misinformed opinions and articles. The site has a clean layout and the main page isn’t clustered with 100’s of articles so it’s easy to find whatever you need.
A site not as well known for it’s media updates but more for it’s product reviews and statements, CNET is a viable and upcoming social media news source. Right now they have a tab for “internet and media” but don’t be surprised if in the near future, social media is its own tab and a real big source for social media news. Because CNET has this all compiled into one, it can be hard at times to find the actual articles that you might need because there will also be articles for internet site reviews, etc.
Another CNET type site that is growing in popularity is Tech Crunch. Tech crunch is different from CNET because it’s sole purpose for the site is to provide news for the ever-growing market of technology. I really like TC because it has easy integration with Facebook and Twitter, etc much like these blogging sites that we use. The site is very clean and easy to navigate but the articles are par at best. Written by people who have experience in the field that they’re writing about though.
One of the PC news giants, PC World has a wealth of knowledge about social media but the knowledge is put into other areas. PC World obviously focuses of the technology and not the media per say but the article about social media that are listed are excellent and very reputable.
Now it’s hard to understand what Twitter was like before this video was posted (almost two years ago), It’s always nice to go back and look at what the opinions were with the Twitter as we know it today. I know that when I originally look at an update, I will immediately make assumptions and decide whether I like it or not but it definitely isn’t an accurate representation of how the product really is because I would be making the assumptions on quick notice and very fast.
One of the biggest things that this guy hates about the “new” Twitter is that you can only reply to one person at a time. I guess on the old version, you could hit reply and then scroll down through your feed and hit reply on someone elses tweet and it would sort of intertwine these responses into one. Now I can see how this might get annoying pretty fast but you really have to take the bad with the good here. Twitter is designed to be a more one on one type atmosphere while Facebook and MySpace are big on group interaction and keeping together on the same page. Also, because of the character limit on tweets, each time you add a name to a tweet, your character limit goes down so all in all, it’s probably better to just stick with replying to one person. With that being said, if you want to reply to more than one person at a time than Twitter probably isn’t the place for you. Part of putting together a good brand or putting together a good page is to be interactive with people so that mean you have to reply to people one on one. Don’t be lazy, just do it.
One thing that the creator of the video was pretty excited about was the fact that he could open up a photo or YouTube video straight from the Twitter page. It kind of seems funny that he was excited about that before but I can see why he would be. It kind of reminds me of how people reacted when Twitter came out with the new photo feature (within the past couple of weeks) where you can actually see a sneak peak of an image without even clicking on the tweet. This can be a good thing or a bad thing though. Obviously it’s a good thing because if you want to look at pictures, you dont even have to click everywhere. It could be a bad thing though because it can subject you to photos in which you wanted to avoid. It’s definitely a good thing for a business though because now if they want to show something off, they dont have to worry about whether the person is actually going to open the tweet or not because now the person will see it and it doesn’t matter if they want to or not.
I’d give this video a B. I could see he missed some features and made some assumptions to fast but I will say that he was pretty spot on about the “new” twitter even after I look at it 2 years later…
You never know enough about social media. Once you think you know it all, something new comes out. A lot of businesses look towards a site like social media today for the latest and greatest from the social media world. Social Media Today is one of the top resources when people or businesses want to learn something new about the social media so I dive in to the site to try to find out what makes this site so good and reliable.
1. A vast array of opinions from reliable sources.
Just by looking at the home page, you will see there are a ton of different authors for the site. This is important because people want to know a variety of opinions from a variety of authors because the more input you can get on something, the better. A simple Google search on one of the authors (Mike Johansson) shows that he is definitely a reliable source as he is a Lecturer at Rochester Institute of Technology. Another search on Tim McMullen is the founder and Executive Creative Director of redpepper who is an ad agency from Nashville. Both of these guys are very reliable in the social media world. However, there are a lot more people who are not so credible like Ness Garcia who is a “MakeAWebsite” writer. The fact of the matter is you should probably research who writes these articles before you take them to heart.
There are four different categories; Marketing, Networks, Practices, and Social Customer. Under each category is 5-8 drop down options. If you click on an option, there will be a list of blogs that deal with that subject. In my opinion, if you want to find a specific topic for a specific platform, you might run into a lot of trouble unless your lucky because there are a ton of subjects related to social media and to find the subject that you need in 4 drop down menus would be almost impossible.
3. Share, share, share!!!
One thing that I really do like about this site is its way of letting people share a story. If you click on a story, the first thing you will see is the keywords like in almost any other site but unlike all of the other sites, right after the keywords, there are a group of buttons to share the story to Facebook, Linkden, Twitter, Google+, and also in an email. This is a very nice tool seeing that the whole site is about social media.
All in all I probably wouldn’t recommend this site to someone else just for the fact that anyone can really post here at will. It might take a little time to get approved but unnecessary or false information might be leaked into the site and because there are so many authors, it might be hard for the site to keep monitoring the content and removing the useless posts.
My final thought on this site is: Don’t use Social Media Today
Social media has only recently (within the past 5 years) become a big deal in the TV newsroom. No matter what you’re doing, you are always susceptible to seeing a hashtag for an upcoming show or a tweet for a new product. Well recently, the local news stations have been getting involved in the social media game as well. Recently, I interviewed a former sports anchor and since I don’t want to release his real identity, I will call him Richard.
Me: So when did you start working in television?
Richard: I started in 1996 when I was coming right out of college.
Me: Was there any kind of “social media” when you first started?
Richard: Not so much. I mean as far as updating people on the web, we basically just had our website. We could update people but it wasn’t as much of a convenience and it wasn’t as quick as the type of social media that we have today.
Me: What was the process to post something on the site?
Richard: It wasn’t an easy process! Actually, I myself couldn’t do it. Back in that time, we actually had 3 or 4 full time people just to update the website. It’s crazy because now, we have one social media content producer and one website manager. So, in reality, we have 1 person doing more than the 4 people did back then. There was very little pictures as there are today. Most of what we had back in ’93 was text based and very simple.
Me: Working in the new media is way different today than; is there any guidance on what you should or shouldn’t post on your platforms?
Richard: Well I never really post anything obscene or anything like that but the restrictions to an anchor are pretty tight. You would think that a persons twitter page is their own but when you sign your contract, your twitter page is now really the business’s too. My station like to see us post family oriented pictures or videos or post something that relates to our job. I try to stay away from lengthy conversations with a friend on a picture or something. If I need to reply to them more than two or three times than I Personal or direct message them. There’s just to many people out there that could put myself or my friend in the public eye. I get that I am a quote unquote public figure but it sure would be nice to post something and not have to worry about who sees it. Social media has become a one way road with people though. You always see people getting fired or written up for posting something that they shouldn’t have but you never really see someone get promoted for posting something good, I think that’s why you see a lot of the “public figures” not posting as much as they should. They might just want to stay in the clear.
As Richard said, if theres anything you can learn from social media, it’s always important to remember that you need to be smart about what you’re posting. You never know who might get your URL and it’s important to keep that in mind.
A simple plain text Facebook post may be good for your business at certain times but everyone knows how to do that! The fact of the matter is that these posts don’t get as much attention as the other types of posts that are out there. When someone comes to your page and looks at your wall, they will be bored if all you have is the basic post. Let’s spice things up a bit to make your business stand out and to potentially build your “like list”. I guarantee that if you follow these easy steps, your following can be multiplied 2,3,4, or even 5 fold. Don’t let your business get behind in this fast changing and even faster growing field of social media.
1. The regular status update.
The plain Jane of the social media world. Everybody does it so should you do it to? Well, if your friends were all jumping off bridges, would you? OK, so maybe that’s pretty extreme but we do work on the same premises here. Status updates are all over the place and you should avoid it at all costs.
Find the post box
Write your status and click post
2. The linked post.
The linked post is a great way to remind your followers of a website or article. The idea of a linked post is very simple though. You can go to the site in which you want the person to go, cope the URL and then paste the URL into the same are that you would put your text in a regular text update. If you do post a link, try and make sure that a picture shows up with the link so more people will go to it. You can also add in any basic text after or before you post the link and the link will not be affected at all.
3. The picture post.
The picture post is by far the most effective post and can be utilized for many different reasons. One is it grabs a persons attention more than any other post. As your scrolling down your feed, a picture will pop more than any other post. There are two ways to add a picture to the post…
One is to drag the image directly into the status update box. You will need to wait a couple seconds for the picture to fully appear and and then just push the post button.
Another way is to click the “choose file to upload” button and then look through the individual folders in your computer to find the right picture. You might have to wait a few seconds with this process too and as with any other status, just push the post button to post.
Let’s be honest here, who doesn’t have a twitter account? Let’s also be honest about this, who really feels like they’re getting the most out of their twitter account? Have you ever sat back and tried to figure out how Justin Bieber has 45 million followers and counting or how a company like YouTube has 34 million people that they can reach out and connect to at any point? Whether you want to improve your personal account or beef up your company’s following, there are a couple of rules that I suggest you follow.
1. The shorter the handle, the better.
To get someone to follow you, they will need to either know your full name or your twitter handle and the handle is by far the easiest way to find someone because it’s unique to the one person. When picking a handle, try to make something that’s short and sweet. According to Media Bistro “While your Twitter username can be a maximum of 15 characters, ideally it should be as short as possible”. For example, mine is
@Trill_Hogan and all of my followers can recognize that handle is me when it pops up. Good luck trying to get someone to remember your @B3auty64820458 handle… On that note, if you already have an embarrassingly long handle, don’t fret, you can change it at any time but be careful, if you change you’re twitter handle everyday, you lose the possibility of people following you. A good example of a company’s twitter handle would be @Oreo and if you can’t figure out where that will lead you than I suggest you reevaluate your life.
2. To tweet or not to tweet? This is the real question.
Keep in mind that your twitter account is a direct way to look into someones business or someones personal life so don’t screw up people perception of you. On a personal level, I see a lot of college kids going on twitter to show how much of a good time they’re having at a party or showing how much they can drink. I’ve looked at these tweets and thought what the hell are you doing? I know for a fact that a couple of my jobs throughout college have looked at my twitter account to make sure I wont make their company look bad. According to businessesgrow.com “If your job is to be your official company Twitterer, you may have marching orders to follow a role or social media policy that has you tweeting behind a logo. Here’s what you should do in that case: follow the company policy. Don’t lose your job over Twitter. You can still work to change attitudes over time”. As a company, it’s pretty simple, don’t post something that might make people look at you in a negative way. Twitter can be the best way to advertise if you do it right, in fact according to the New York Post, “A brand like Oreo, which went viral with a tweet during last Super Bowl’s blackout, showed the power of the service, becoming a marketing sensation for free on a night when companies paid millions of dollars to advertise”. Posting a picture of a work party probably won’t get you any new followers and neither will a picture of one of your employees dogs. Leave it off your account. Another question you might run into is how often should you post. In my opinion, this is where a company based account and a personal account differ the most. In a personal account, the frequency of tweets is a lot more forgiving so you can tweet basically as much as you want and you shouldn’t lose any followers and you might actually gain a few. As a company, you really have to watch how many times you tweet to the public because people are a lot more restrictive with how much they want to see your company’s feed on their homepage.
3. OMG my bff Jill. #NoNo #DontUse #LookAtThisHashtag
Hashtags are great but not when you use 50 of them in one tweet. The over use of hashtags can turn away a potential follower faster than you can post a tweet. There’s a reason why the biggest accounts only use one or two or very rarely use 3. It’s also important to know what to hashtag and why. A hashtag is an easy way for you to associate yourself with a word or short set of words. Dont hashtag something that you don’t want to be associated with, it could come back to bite you in the ass. Even though Howtohashtag.com says 2 hashtags at the max, they still support this theory “don’t overuse – use a maximum of two hashtags in your tweets or facebook posts. if you use too many your followers will think you are spamming them”.
Not all of us are going to make it to 43 million followers but this post should get you at least 43 new followers if you try. Good luck and keep tweetin’!
Social media has interested me since I joined in about 2004. I got to see all of my friends at school and everything but then I could come home and see what they were all doing when they weren’t at school too. It wasn’t until my senior year in high school when I really felt the importance of my social media site. I started to see everyone picking their colleges and talking about moving away and I thought I was going to lose touch with them all together. Fortunately I was wrong. Social media has become a valuable tool that we weren’t even thinking about when we signed up. Back in the 80’s or 90’s, when a class graduated from high school, they would either have to try to gather everyone’s phone number but those would always get changed. It was always useless to try and get someones address because when they moved away, it would be hard to keep track of everyone. E-Mail was just starting at this point and many people didn’t even know how to use it. The problem with each and every one of the methods was that you had to contact everyone individually. With everyone being on social media, it’s very easy to stay in contact. You can log on and instantaneously see what everyone is doing or you can go and message one person at a time. If somebody moves, their social media is still there so you aren’t burdened with trying to update everyone’s contact information. Another part of social media that interests me is the idea that you can share photos or videos with all of your friends or just share them with certain people. I am part of a group on Facebook that is solely comprised of immediate family members where we can share photos and video of something just to update everyone else in the family.
How do I see myself using social media professionally in the years to come?
I’ve already tried to make my social media sites as professional as possible so far. I made a personal website this past year and realized that if employers go there and see all of my nice work, their going to want to know more about me so I was forced to put up my YouTube, Twitter and Facebook links. Being a Telecommunications major and hoping to get into TV one day, I’ve noticed that almost every job application for a job in my field doesn’t accept paper applications and some of the newer applications actually have space for your social media links and/or your personal website. I think in the future I’ll have to expand and put more and more video’s on YouTube or Vimeo and strive to keep everything updated. Who knows where social media will go next though. I guess I’ll just have to try to keep up and stay updated or I could get outdated with my job as well.