Getting Comfortable with Social Media
By Molly A. Walker with notes by Merry Selk
Relevance is the principal reason that independent communications professionals should get comfortable with social media, according to social media and public relations strategist Laurie Kretchmar of upwithsocial.com. Kretchmar shared that perspective in her presentation to the SF IABC Independent Communicators’ Roundtable meeting on January 20 at the Rockridge Library in Oakland.
Admitting a preference for Twitter (she tweets at @LKhere), Kretchmar observed that social and mobile “aren’t emerging; they’re merging.” “You don’t have to be on everything,” she advised. She noted that a preference for Twitter is common with people who are news junkies (it’s great for breaking news; radio and TV people get their news there), and it can be helpful when attending conferences and finding subgroups of people who share your interests. She likes LinkedIn, “tolerates” Facebook, and also uses Instagram and Snapchat.
Kretchmar focused on several aspects of Twitter and other social media tools.
- The big goal is “to make a ripple.”
- Find your “tribe.” (Hint: See how many of your followers follow someone else; look for someone you know on their list.)
- Follow the Golden Rule in all things social. If you help others, they will help you.
- Search for topics on Twitter using hashtags.
- Some things are easier to do on your phone; some are easier on your computer, e.g., accessing recommendations on LinkedIn, editing posts.
- Don’t worry about metrics at the early stages.
- If the service is free, the product is you! Assume that company is mining your data.
Kretchmar also offered some tips on crowdfunding using social media.
- Get your “tribe” in place before you start a campaign.
- Go for an achievable goal. People want to join a winning campaign.
- It’s a ton of work; you need to arrange “perks” as an inducement for people to give money.
- Include a strong video.
- With some programs like Kickstarter, you have to reach your goal to get funding.
- With Indiegogo in San Francisco, you can keep whatever you receive, even if your campaign does not reach its goal.
She suggested ways to get more involved with Twitter.
- Make and subscribe to lists, which show on your profile page. (Kamna Narain, who tweets at @CoachKamna, has made a list of IABC members on Twitter.)
- If you are tweeting, go for a public Twitter account.
- Social media is social. Build your reputation by interacting and seeking to get others to react.
- Ask friends and colleagues for recommendations and comments on your posts.
- Experiment! Be visual. Have fun!