Social media has alway come naturally to me. As a millennial, social media was just a way of life for me as a grew up along side of it. Myspace and AOL fell away to new giants like Twitter and Facebook, and I followed along with the wave of people.
Throughout my Mobile Social Journalism course, we have been familiarizing ourselves with not only social media, but the way that journalists are able to take advantage of this new medium and to aggregate and disseminate news.
I had never really used twitter before in my professional life (not that i’ve had much of a professional life) and it was difficult for me to think of Twitter as being anything other than for me to spew my complaints about poor cafeteria food, or that my siblings are super annoying.
Throughout this process however, I began to understand that Twitter allows you to follow a vast number of different people, experts, organizations, that are seemingly constantly shoving out information. What an incredible tool for gathering news. Even traditionally print news organizations like the New York Times and the Washington Post are constantly pushing out tweets with links to more information.
I learned how I can get live information about events happening from across the world or hyper-locally by following hashtags geotags. Was able to follow and establish and interact with different health and wellness communities online in a way that would never be possible in person.
The more I engaged, the more people engaged and followed me.
Branding and Understanding:
I learned how essential it is to establish a brand within your field. With so many voices out there, it can be hard to direct people to your website or content without having some specific quality that will intrigue the audience.
Not mention the fact that the audience isn’t even an audience anymore through social media. They truly are a community. A group of people who are engaging and even responding to the content that you are providing.
Your brand lets the audience members sort you out from all the noise on the internet.
Social media provides a unique opportunity for what traditionally was the audience to become their own news disseminators; perfect allies for journalists who are looking for sources on stories. It reminds us that we need to maintain our skills as journalists to ensure that all the information that floods in to them is properly vetted.
Facebook was the platform at all of these elements really seemed to come together in one place. It provided me a place to establish myself and my brand on a public page while pushing out links and content, allowing people to find their way back to my website.
I was able to establish a community that was as equally interested in my health and wellness brand as I was and even began to receive feedback from my posts and articles. My audience began to engage with me, and we began to instead form a community.
I was able to use analytics platforms to monitor and analyze social media engagement and success. I was even able to figure out which time of the day is the best time for me to post something.
Social media is an exceptional tool, one like we have never seen. With it, we are able to reach wider audiences, access more information and receive more feedback than ever before.
It’s important for journalists to be able to recognize the capabilities of this new technology in order to fully profit from it. It is essential for us to keep up with what people are interested and engaging in, in order to deliver news effectively.