Today I would like to introduce you to my friend AJ. I first met AJ online in the So Cal Lady Bloggers group, but I met her IRL for the first time when she was on a panel at the Lifestyle Bloggers Conference last year. AJ is a publicist, a PR Manager and a blogger. She is on the Social Media Board for Los Angeles and has been PR manager for numerous campaigns. AJ is so down to earth, funny, witty and I am grateful to call her my friend.
As part of a Walk A Mile in Another Bloggers shoes blog swap (which she organized by the way), AJ is visiting the island today to share tips on Organizing Your Own Social Media.
So I introduce to you, AJ…
When Raquel gave me my writing assignment for this guest post, I felt obligated to make it unique and applicable to her blog’s theme. And at the same time, I wanted to honor the spirit of the blog swap, which is to stretch ourselves as writers and talk about something outside of our normal scope.
And as much as I use social media, I don’t actually write about it that often!
Lesson 1: Congratulations, you have an audience. Now don’t be an idiot.
Years ago, I landed an interview at MySpace. And not present-day “what do I do here?” MySpace. This was at the height of its glory! Facebook was “The Facebook” in development at Harvard, Twitter was “Twttr” and no one was on it, but MySpace had customizable profile pages and sparkly gifs as far as the eye could see.
The interview, I’m sorry to say, was awful. When it was over, I returned home and immediately opened – what else? – MySpace. I wrote a blog post (because you could keep a blog on MySpace) about the stupid questions I’d been asked about using Microsoft Office and how the HR person kept flipping her hair and chewing gum. I stand by each and every single thing I said because it was all true… You know, it seems pretty obvious now, and I’m sure you’re laughing at me, but I was so enjoying the public forum and my newfound audience… it never occurred me the gal who interviewed me would find and read the post. Needless to say, I did not get an offer.
Lesson 2: Twitter isn’t worth a damn if you’re not reading anything on it.
It’s so embarrassing, because I work in PR and social media, but for a long time, when someone would say “did you see what _____ said on Twitter?” I almost always responded “Nope.” Twitter was an overwhelming pain in the butt and I barely visited at all. I was notorious for clicking “follow” but not actually following. Soon I started lying about it. Someone would ask me and I’d reply “YES! That was SO FUNNY!” (Kind of awkward when they actually asked you about an Earthquake in Djibouti.)
Yes, my dirty dark social media secret is that for a while, I HATED Twitter. I had ruined it for myself. But then I found tools that helped me clean up my act and embrace it again.
https://www.justunfollow.com/ – Find out who’s not following you back and make a decision. It can also identify accounts that haven’t tweeted in a long time so you can drop dead weight.
http://twitlistmanager.com/ – Twitter lists SAVED ME and this site is a terrific tool when you’ve been a user for a while and can’t figure out how to organize your feed. Do yourself a favor and make a list called “favorites” and put the VIPs in there. If you make it a private list, the people on it don’t even have to know you sorted them that way.
Lastly – don’t even use actual twitter; use a third party app like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. They let you look at your lists more easily and they have an invaluable function: MUTE. You can go into your settings and mute a hashtag (like when I was sick of seeing nothing but #sxsw tweets, they went bye bye) or even better, when you don’t want to unfollow someone cause they’ll totally know… Mute them. Is it devious? Maybe. Does it spare someone’s feelings? Yes.
Lesson 3: It’s Social Media! So for Pete’s sake, BE SOCIAL!
It’s amazing that this universe was crafted to make us all more connected yet much of the time, it isolates us. So this is my final tip based on personal experience. Use social media. Like actually use it. Don’t just post things and leave them. Don’t just retweet, favorite and like things. Don’t be that person that just posts picture after picture of your kid. Be social. Comment. Ask questions and follow up on responses. Did someone tweet something you liked? Don’t just put a star on it, tell them so. Tell them why. Make new friends and keep the old…
Social media is powerful. It has the power to connect you and reconnect you. It has the power to heal your soul, feed your mind and cure loneliness. It’s the modern day “reach out and touch someone.”
Truthfully, sometimes the simplest advice, even the most obvious advice, is the best advice.
Thank you AJ for sharing your expertise today. You rock!
What do you think? Do you use any of these tools for your social media?
As for me, I am guest posting over at The Valentine RD, so please stop by and say hello!