Archive | April 2011

The beginning…and connecting

It seems that every conference I attend that talks about PR and social media the word blog comes up – a lot. Create a blog, write in your own voice, strengthen your personal brand, build a group followers, reach said followers and make stay true to yourself.

Geez, no pressure.

But…who doesn’t enjoy a challenge? So those words of blogging wisdom I have gathered from classes, networking and my own observations will hopefully appear on the screen as I start to blog.

For my first post I thought I would write about something I am both comfortable and passionate about – entering the world of Twitter. Now I am in NO way saying that I am a social media pro and I can tell you the ins-and-outs of Twitter (I have my idols that can do that), but I can give you a pretty good idea how to start. Social media is intimidating!   Creating an account and looking at the huge zero under Followers isn’t exactly a heartwarming feeling. Who wants to be the person with only 3 followers? I took tips and advice that  people gave me when I created my Twitter account a year ago and created the top five (with a PR twist).

1 – Out your real name in there somewhere. For the future PR pros, how will your boss or other people find you if your real name isn’t there? While BuckeyeBabe07 is super cute, it’s not going to pop up if someone searches Jessica Reynolds. If that’s your choice for a user name make sure your name (real name) is also listed. Sounds almost too easy – but an essential.

2 – Don’t lock your profile. As a student who studies social media, a Twitter handle should never be locked for a PR student. What are you hiding? If you are going to post inappropriate things I recommend moving to another site.

3 – Look for followers, don’t expect them to come to you. I searched for some of my favorite social media gurus and started following them…and then started following who they followed. There is no such thing as Twitter stalking, find people and start connecting.

4 – Link your social media sites to twitter. Have a blog and LinkedIn? Put the link on your Twitter, this will help you strengthen your connections.

5 – BIG ONE …Join in the conversation! There is nothing more pointless than a PR Twitter that does nothing but post updates. While these greatly help open a window into your personal brand, it will do nothing for networking. Talk to people! Feel awkward jumping into a conversation? Do it anyway. Just always be polite and be yourself. The pros remember what’s like to be a Twitter-newbie and will more often than not mention you back. Also, ask people to meet for coffee/lunch/dinner/chatting/anything! I cannot tell you the amazing advice you will learn over a cup of coffee from someone you connected with over Twitter.

Take a leap of faith, I did…and now I’m blogging.

Social media is a great tool, just need to move it from an update to a connection. The things you will learn from Twitter is astonishing, you just need to have the courage to connect.  Make it a promise to yourself to Tweet twice a day, and see where it goes. Look for the people you want to follow and then see who they follow. Trust me, it’ll become a passion.

~I would love to hear your tips about Twitter and other ways I can grow…follow me at @JessiReynolds. Thanks for reading

J