The one thing I can safely say that I’m an expert on is that there are no experts on social media. That is the sector of the Internet that’s growing rapidly, just as Internet usage in general did in the ’90s. Some people are very knowledgeable, or avid business users, or widely followed. But until they start handing out diplomas at major universities on this, I’m reserving the term.
However, it’s always nice to be recognized for achievements and personal passions. So for the second time, I spoke on social media in the Atlanta area. This time it was to a job-networking group, and last year it was as an Atlanta Journal-Constitution panel member to edify newsroom personnel. So it’s obvious the field has widespread appeal and many potential uses.
It’s special fun when you can talk about your own efforts. As a longtime journalist, my interest is natural. I started poking around in early ’08, and really got into it in 2009, particularly with blogging and video. Twitter and Facebook get a lot of buzz and have millions of users, but a true aficionado will not stop there. Blogging and video show extra effort, creativity and set you apart from those just sticking their toes in the water.
Journalism is largely limited to the mainstream media and has a “one size fits all” approach. However, social media appeals to all. Global companies based in Atlanta such as Newell Rubbermaid, UPS and CNN/Turner Broadcasting have jumped in, devoting full time staffers to the genre. Outreach, customer feedback and increased Web site traffic are among the benefits of a full social media program. Now, many mainstream news organizations are waving the white flag and adding social media directors.
And just what is that? There’s no one size fits all approach to social media. However, my advice to networkers is that there are five essential routes: Blogging, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and video (YouTube, CNN iReport). Not as overwhelming as it might seem, as posts to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can be synchronized.
Blogging and video add depth and emphasis to whatever you are trying to present to the world. For job seekers, it’s a way to market skills and interest to recruiters, hiring managers, etc. My recent posts about Vince Dooley, former UGA football coach/athletic director, and my 2009 video highlights show my interest in sports and mainstream journalism, as well as the ability to write and shoot video on a variety of subjects. I’ve also gotten lots of attention for my Tweetup videos; here’s someone else’s Tweetup video showing me at “work.” (Look for a pink shirt.)
No need for further discussion. If you are interested in knowing more about my most recent presentation, post a comment or Tweet me (@bsteve76). I can give more details and get feedback, and I’d love to speak to any interested group. Socially yours …