In case you've never checked out my bio before, not only do I write social media posts for Bilerico and my own personal blog, but I also attend graduate school in the evening for my Master's in Public Relations and Corporate Communication at New York University. This week, I headed back to the classroom with my social media accounts in tow. I wanted to take this time to introduce you to the social media platforms I use along with some of my tips and tricks.
What is Social Media Anyway?
Social media is hard to define since it is a new and constantly evolving medium. Although there are multiple definitions, when asked what social media is I usually refer to Wikipedia.org, which states:
Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques
Personally, I consider social media to be any media that is fueled by user-generated content and that allows for a two-way dialogue to occur. Social media scholars are probably cringing at my elementary definition but I prefer simplicity.
Social media platforms extend beyond Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, YouTube and blogs. Social media also encompasses mobile applications like iPad and Android, podcasts like Same Sex Sunday, bookmarking tools like Delicious, presentation sharing like Slide Share, and photo-sharing sites like Flickr; the list goes on. I encourage you to check out Wikipedia.org's definition and examples of platforms to get a better idea of what exactly social media entails.
Social Media Platforms I Use
I've been asked a few times by readers what social media platforms I use besides my blog to stay connected. I mostly use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Each platform serves a specific purpose for my needs.
I have both a personal account and a Fan Page on Facebook. I use my personal account to connect with my friends and family. I really try to keep it personal, but sometimes people find me and want to be friends. I'm a sucker for people who write to tell me they like my blog when they Friend Request me on Facebook.
I try to share content on my personal page that would appeal to my friends, including articles I've read, photos from trips and events, or fundraisers I'm involved with. I update my status almost daily to stay connected with people in my News Feed.
Sometimes, I attempt to be funny by writing statuses like:
Currently monitoring my caffeine consumption. I don't know what's worse: four caffeinated beverages a day or my new found addiction to trail mix and Gatorade
Even with this captivating humor and personal insight into my life, I find that these updates encourage little in way of "Likes" and comments by my peers. My most popular statuses are when I post an equality "milestone" for the LGBT community, like the recent excitement around the "defeat" of Prop 8 or when New York state's gay marriage bill was up for a vote last year.
I also have a Kraus Notes Fan Page for my blog. I use the fan page to provide fans a place to connect with me and to personally keep up with how to effectively manage a Fan Page. I work with a few artists and non-profits on their social media strategies and I find that by maintaining my own, I'm able to stay abreast of evolvements to the Facebook Fan Page platform. In addition, I use the Fan Page as a way for readers of my blog to connect with the LGBT organizations, artists or groups that I write about. Essentially, the Facebook Fan Page is my cost effective way to enhance my KrausNotes.com brand.
Twitter is one of my favorite platforms. As a social media guru, I should be using my account to send out tips and tricks of social media, but instead I use the platform to connect with a number of LGBT organizations and LGBT media outlets. There are so many are out there, both small and large, and Twitter allows me to engage with them. In fact, I originally connected with The Bilerico Project through Twitter. I tweeted to Bil that I had a piece that I wanted to submit to Bilerico as guest blogger and he responded through Twitter with what I needed to do. A few months later, I'm now a contributor for the site.
LinkedIn is the platform that I use to connect with people professionally. I use LinkedIn to connect with LGBT professional organizations and groups. I think it's important that people maintain a professional account for job networking. It also requires little to no maintenance. I just uploaded my resume, filled out my profile, and now I check in occasionally to see who's been viewing my profile. I have emails sent to me when someone sends me a message or has requested to join my LinkedIn community.
On a side note, there's a new professional network available called dot429, which I'll cover in a future post.
Keeping it All Together
There are a number of ways that you can keep yourself organized via social media. Some prefer to keep them all separate and some, like me, prefer to keep it all together. I use the TweetDeck application on both my laptop and mobile phone to keep me organized. Through TweetDeck I'm able to stream in my Twitter and Facebook activity into one place. The application allows me to view both incoming and outgoing Tweets, follow popular Twitter hashtags, and monitor my full Facebook News Feed. In addition, with just a few clicks and some typing, I can send out simultaneous status updates on both my Facebook and Twitter accounts. TweetDeck has provided me with a convenient tool to manage it all.
So tell me, what social media platforms do you use and how do you stay organized?