Tag Archives: social media

Notes on social media for the Austin Women’s Conference

1 Nov

I was asked to be a part of a panel on social media titled, “@you: Making Social Media Work for You and Your Business,” for the Austin Women’s Conference, which my employer the Statesman is hosting.

So a few days ago, I started to do some research to solidify some points I wanted to make and compiled my notes into a Google doc. It quickly became a dissertation. OK, not really, but it was a lot more information than I expected to write about.

I decided it would be helpful to just go ahead and post my notes on some of the topics we plan to discuss, particularly since we may not hit all of them in the time we’re allotted. I’m actually really glad I did this since I feel like I’ve had writer’s block for awhile. This takes care of that.

Hope you find it helpful. Feedback is always appreciated.

Women’s issues regarding social media. Stats/studies showing women’s use of social media.

“Among Internet users, social networking sites are most popular with women and young adults under age 30. Young adult women ages 18-29 are the power users of social networking; fully 89% of those who are online use the sites overall and 69% do so on an average day.

As of May 2011, nearly seven in ten online women are users of social networking sites (69%), compared with six in ten online men (60%). Women are also more active in their use of these sites, with almost half of female internet users using social networking sites on a typical day (48%), compared with 38% of male internet users.”

–  Pew Internet & American Life Project, August 2011

The line between personal and professional.

Most of the time, this seems to be a pretty black and white area. Or you would think. Ultimately, it’s dependent on your reason for creating a profile on a social media site. If you include in your bio that you work for or own a particular business, remember that this is also a reflection of not just you, but the place you represent.

  • When it comes to posting, ask yourself if you would say or share those same thoughts aloud at work or to your boss.
  • Think before you post photos and avatars online. It should be relevant, but it can also be fun. However, maybe we don’t need to see how many drinks you’ve had at happy hour.
  • Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Sometimes, putting yourself out there is good and you can get a lot of support.

What should you avoid or not do on social media.

There are no hard and fast rules on what you should and shouldn’t do on social media, well, aside from those that violate a site’s terms of service. But here are some basic guidelines that help:

  • Don’t be a link feed.
  • Don’t be negative.
  • Don’t avoid responding to questions and comments.
  • Don’t overshare on personal information.
  • Don’t burn bridges online. Information spreads quickly on the web, and your reputation stays online forever in some shape or form. This in turn could make real-world meetings awkward or difficult.

How do you have time to do all of this social media stuff? Specific tools, including those for measuring effectiveness/reach.

Just make time for it. It takes time to build a community and it won’t happen overnight. Find people you enjoy learning from online and work at it. If you are passionate about a particular topic, it won’t feel like work.

  • You should have a smartphone with a good data plan.
  • Create a blog. Easy-to-use platforms like WordPress, Blogger, Posterous and even Tumblr allow you to quickly publish editorial content with rich multimedia.
  • Push your content to social while you are waiting in line for coffee, a break between projects, or set a schedule for yourself, if that helps.
  • I go between Tweetdeck on my desktop and the Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram apps on my iPhone.
  • Use bit.ly to track how many clicks stories/posts receive. Lots of social media tracking applications and software out there. Hootsuite, Wildfire, Spredfast, Hubspot are just some examples.

Social media beyond marketing or business. Spirituality, activism, education, personal relationships.

  • I use social media not just as a way to connect with other professionals, but to stay connected with friends and family all over the world/country.
  • As an avid runner, I stay connected with other athletes and share information on training and races. We provide support for one another and have had real-life meetings.

Social media/personal branding to find a job.

The first step to utilizing social media as a personal branding tool is to identify who you are and how you want to present yourself to the world. Once you’ve done that, get a cohesive identity started online. This may mean the following:

  • Getting a website domain of your ‘brand.’ Your brand may be your name or some unique quality that exemplifies what it is you do.
  • Use this ‘brand’ across all the platforms you choose to utilize.
  • Decide how you want to ‘speak’ to the world. Are you a good writer? Consider a blog. Are you better on camera? Use YouTube.
  • Share what you post through Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or any other site you choose to use. Base your decision on which site(s) to use by asking yourself where your audience is. Where are people networking about journalism, running, knitting or whatever it is you want to focus on?
  • Connect with people and companies in the industry you want to be in. If your dream is to work at Company X, connect with the people who work there online. Create an online relationship and look for ways to make an offline meeting.

Social media success stories.

There are plenty of examples of people who have been successful with social media.

Gary Vaynerchuk, who began working at his family’s wine store, began Wine Library TV, where he posted video wine reviews. He attracted a huge following and continues his success with several wine sites and has written two books detailing his success with social media.

Here’s a great article from Mashable on five businesses that were successful in connecting with consumers through social media.
Idea Paint – “At the end of the day, social media is a powerful sales tool.”

  • They can answer customers questions.
  • Lead customers to landing pages on their site that answer questions, lead to potential sales.
  • Gives the company a chance to “just be social.”

Role of social media in independent/local/women-owned businesses.

Austin is extremely connected and tech-savvy city. We have a sizeable tech sector and lots of young people who know how to use social media and use it actively. Local businesses are no exception. Many are highly engaged with their customers and community.

Austin Dirty Dog
Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop
Austin Java
Toy Joy

Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, Yelp…they are well aware of all these platforms and how they can help or hurt a business. They answer questions, post specials, post fun information, and are interested in what’s happening in the community. Links to social accounts are on their websites as well.

Building community and how to be a more informed consumer.

Building a community online takes time and work.

  • Connect with others who interested in the same topic, hobby or business.
  • Ask questions and communicate back and forth.

SXSW, here we come

18 Jan

Yesterday, I received great news that the SXSW Interactive panel proposal written alongside friend and colleague Anna Tauzin, who is the web and social media editor at J-Lab, was accepted.

The proposal, titled ‘Landing Your Next Job Through Unconventional Personal Branding,’ will be featured as a Core Conversation at SXSW, which is a format that allows us to interact at a more personal level with our audience. We hope you can join us and we will spread information on the precise time and date, as schedules are still being constructed.

To say we are excited is an understatement. We can’t wait to share our thoughts on this topic. Searching for a job is no easy task, regardless of whether you are a recent college graduate, recently laid off or a veteran in your field looking for a new position. The web has provided us with many outlets to network with potential employers, but standing out from the crowd of job seekers takes some extra initiative.

In the meantime, the process of gathering ideas and solidifying the content of our conversation will be the task at hand. Hope to see you there in March.



Questions regarding new media and how it changed the direction of my career

13 Sep

A good friend of mine, Carly Smith, asked me to answer a few questions for a newsletter she has to develop for a independent study course she is taking during her last semester of graduate school. I wanted to share a few of those responses. She had some great questions to ask that made me think about my education and career direction.

What is your current job?  How long have you been there?
I’m a content producer for the Austin American-Statesman. I have been there for about a month now.

Has new media become your main focus, or are you using it to compliment your original career interests?  (For example, public relations + new media, journalism + new media, technology + social media, etc.).
It’s a little bit of both. When I received my undergraduate degree in print journalism, it was at the point everything was beginning to change. I didn’t feel my degree was irrelevant, but I knew I didn’t have a lot of the skills necessary to be a successful journalist. I needed more, which is why I chose to go to graduate school and get a degree in mass communication-new media. While my job is in journalism, it’s focused more on new media and coming up with creative solutions to showcase a story with multimedia and other visual elements.

How has the world of new media altered your original career goals?  Have they completely changed?
It absolutely altered my original career goals. I suppose I always imagined myself getting a job at a newspaper as a reporter post-graduation and doling out stories on regular basis. Funny how that never happened, but I couldn’t be happier with the direction my career went. My first job out of college was as a multimedia producer for a news startup, and while I didn’t stay there long, I remember only writing up one piece. The rest was focused on site development, photography and video. Now at the Statesman, I don’t actually produce much content (contrary to my job title). My role is more about posting content to the web and deciding which stories, video or photos should be displayed more prominently. Granted I get direction from my bosses on this, but it’s pretty exciting to be a part of that editorial process.


So this leads me to ask all of you the same.

How has new media changed your career? Do you think you could have learned more about it in college?

How will the new Myspace profile design affect musicians?

16 Jul

In case you haven’t heard, Myspace is beginning to demo a new profile layout on its site. Mashable posted a story yesterday that showed what the new profile design will look like.


Photo from Mashable.com

Some are comparing the new layout to that of Facebook’s, which I could agree with. I think the most interesting aspect of this new layout is a module that allows users to follow people on multiple social networks in addition to a Myspace profile. This is pretty smart especially for those that don’t want to manage finding a user on different sites.

Myspace has experienced a diminishing community with the rise of Facebook, but it is still a powerful promotion tool for musicians, which is the community Myspace originally focused on at its inception. I’m interested in knowing what musicians think about the new layout because it looks like it will vastly change the typical design. I’ve been doing a little research lately on music marketing and it seems like musicians prefer Myspace because it is easy to upload their music and promote shows versus Facebook, which requires users to add applications in order to get some of the same tools.

Are you a musician? What do you think about it? Is this good or bad?

Hello, sweet smelling Old Spice. That marketing campaign smells like gold.

14 Jul

If you’re like me and enjoy lurking Twitter while you take a break from writing, designing or whatever it is you do, you have seen the wonderfully hilarious marketing campaign being promoted by Old Spice through Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. Thanks to Omar Gallaga at the Statesman, who put together a nice blog post on the campaign, which after reading, I spent the next hour wasting time watching the numerous video responses.

Here are some of my favorite Old Spice videos so far:

To Kevin Rose

To Alyssa Milano

My personal favorite: What do you want your lady to smell like?

Restless social media syndrome

7 Jul

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Stretch, yawn, head to the little girl’s (or boy’s) room?

According to one study, a lot of ladies skip all that and go straight to Facebook. Funny enough, I found the story on Facebook this morning (around 5 a.m.) from Mashable as I contemplated falling back asleep or getting up.

Some of the key findings of the study had me chuckling to myself quietly:

  • 57% percent of women say they communicate with people more online than face-to-face
  • 34% say the first thing they do in when they wake up is check Facebook
  • 21% of women age 18-34 check Facebook in the middle of the night

However, these stats had me wondering how much the researchers watched Mean Girls before they started collecting data:

  • 42% think it’s okay to post photos of themselves intoxicated
  • 79% are fine with kissing in photos
  • 58% use Facebook to keep tabs on “frenemies”
  • 50% are fine with being Facebook friends with complete strangers


LiLo, if only we could catch a glimpse of your Facebook photo albums

I guess nowadays with more and more people using smartphones, access to social media has never been quite so easy and immediate. Who says I have to walk over to my compy to read about what my BFF Jane did last night or why that cute boy I’ve been stalking chatting with hasn’t returned my calls. Or see why that bitch my good friend Jen chose to wore that tiny dress to that party. I’ll just roll over and read it on my phone as I watch the sun come up.


How does social media help your business?

8 Apr

This month I was tasked with creating a proposal regarding social media for the company I work for, Park Place Publications.

I provided a rough outline of some things to consider like creating a company blog, consolidating some of the social media accounts so we can focus more on our bigger brands, and using tools like HootSuite to manage our accounts and track analytics. However, my boss wants some hard evidence that social media will (a) drive more people to our sites and (b) increase sales of the products we publish.

Well luckily, social media like Twitter and Facebook have provided me with a wealth of information regarding trends and stats about users and businesses. First, let’s talk about social media users.

The Pew Research Center Internet & American Life Project released a study in October of last year called “Portrait of a Twitter User.” Granted the study is a few months old, but it provides some interesting details. The majority of social media users are women, more than 40 percent have some college education or a degree, and 39 percent have a four or more Internet connected devices. That’s a lot of connectivity.

Now, Twitter is just one social media site, but I think this study provides an overview of what types of users you can find on the web. Park Place publishes education law materials and tools for education administrators. That’s a pretty niche community; however, that’s the beauty of the web and social media. You can find a niche community for everything. It’s precisely the reason I recommended a company blog. We need to tap into that niche community so we can talk about our products because not many businesses cater to this population.

I recommended Gary Vaynerchuk’s book Crush It! to my coworkers as a great resource for finding ways to capitalize on this niche community and understanding how social media tools can benefit the business. Vaynerchuk focuses on the fact that the greatest thing about social media is that it’s free, but it requires a time investment in order to see results. The more content you create and distribute to your followers, the more consumers you can get interested in your products. However, you also have interact with your followers. You have to build a community, then foster and nurture it to show that you care for their business.

So far, research has found this is true. A study released Chadwick, Martin and Bailey found that consumers on social media were more likely to recommend and buy from a business if they are a Facebook fan or follow the business on Twitter (thanks to Bazaarvoice for the excellent blog post on this study). It shows that the company is engaged and interested in their customer’s views on their products.

More importantly, I think for anyone in the media or publishing industry has to understand how to use social media to succeed in the future. Bob Stein, codirector for the Institute for the Future of the Book, said it best in an interview with Wired about the rise of the tablet.

Simply moving printed texts to tablets (as with the Kindle) will be of limited value. To succeed, publishers will have to embrace multimedia and community-building.

He uses the gaming industry as a prime example of people who have built “thriving communities” and understand multimedia experience.

A book is becoming a “place” where people congregate and converse.

Who more than educators need a place to congregate and converse about the issues they face everyday in the classroom? In many ways, we could provide that platform for discussion and idea generation. It would be an added service of value to our community.

What are your thoughts on using social media for your business? Is there something I could add to make for a more convincing case that you have come across? Let me know! Thoughts and comments are always appreciated.