Social Media Use

During last class, Professor Buttry discussed the use of social media by entrepreneurial journalism ventures. We mentioned how Twitter is used more for professional purposes, while Facebook is more “open” and has a larger audience. We discussed the importance for businesses having a welcoming Facebook pages, in addition to other social media outlets — Twitter for example. We also talked about how media sharing sites, such as Flickr and YouTube, could enhance the use of social media and successfully promote various content. I found an article, “6 Key Ways to Advance on Social Media,” that provides great tips on how social media can be good marketing tool and make your business profitable.

Finally, we mentioned the risk associated with social media use and how it could affect your brand because you don’t have control over the comments posted on your social media pages. A recent article in the Washington Post, “Social media provide valuable way to get customer feedback,” talks about how business owners can’t control what people post about their businesses, but they can pay attention to the feedback and improve performance. The article also states that “as a business owner or an entrepreneur just starting up, social media can provide valuable customer feedback by allowing you to eavesdrop on the virtual conversations and online interactions happening between your customers on social networks.”

Overall, we concluded during class that ventures should seriously consider using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social platforms to promote and expand their businesses, since social media can be the key to success.

Indeed, social media is a great tool to promote your work or business. For example, after our discussion during the class, I decided to promote my recently published article on AOL’s WalletPop. Within hours after I posted the article on my Facebook page, over 30 people clicked on the “like” button available at the end of the article via Facebook, which increased the popularity of my content. I also shared my work via Twitter. Currently, there are 17 tweets related to the article. I was advised by the publishing team at Seed, the website that purchased my article, to promote my work via Facebook, Twitter, or personal blog. Seed also provided more tips on how to promote my content by sending me a link to an article by the Seed Academy Editors, “Work That Social Network.” The article talks about different social media and media sharing sites and how freelancers can use a combination of social networking tools to promote their content. It also lists social media rules and useful writing tips.

Going back to the assignment for our last class, each of us discussed one entrepreneurial journalism venture and what was observed about the venture’s social media use — strengths and weaknesses. Some of the ventures we discussed use their own internal tools, but most of them use social media tools. I picked a new venture, Localocracy, which is a Massachusetts tech start-up that engages news organizations, governments and local groups. It provides people with the opportunity to vote on local issues. The venture was selected as a winner of Poynter’s Entrepreneurial Journalism Prize. In class, we concluded that in order to better promote its content, Localocracy should insert social media links on its home page and increase the overall use of social media. I tweeted about our in-class discussion about the Localocracy website and received immediate response from one of the four co-founders of the new venture, asking where exactly we suggest links to be placed on their website. This is a good example of how businesses should be responding to customer concerns and taking advantage of the feedback.

While traditional advertising is a good way to monetize content, social media also provides great opportunities to maximize profitability of your business or content — and it’s free! Increasingly, businesses are considering other means beyond ads for ways to engage their customers — through social networking. An article by Andy Birol, “Three Ways To Ensure Your Social Media Efforts Create Profitable Growth,” talks about three ways social media can lead to profitable growth: monetize your audience, create and leverage a niche that will pay you to lead them in a community, use social media to tease your traditional product, service or content.

Social media provide innovative ways for consumers to build relationships with marketers and create communication channels for brand marketing. Having solid and relevant content and taking advantage of the various social media tools available to share your content will increase your chances to maximize monetization and be successful.

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