Socially Speaking


I am not going to lie. In the beginning of this social media craze I was not one of the first, or even near one of the front-runners of social media. I thought myself to be a good social communicator and online digital communication seemed liked a step back in communication to me. However, I did have a MySpace, and a Facebook when they first came out and have recently joined other social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn. Though I am still not the biggest supporter of the majority of personal communication via technology, my eyes have been opened to the potential outreach that companies, public figures can have using it (as well as the instant communication from long distance, and national scales).

I am currently a Digital Communications Intern and spend almost the entirety of my work day online. Through this I have been able to witness how companies internally and externally communicate with each other and their public. The continual growth and expansion of social networks is evident that social media is a skill and tool that must be mastered and executed.

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Social Media Icons

The outreach capacity of corporations and public figures is limitless and has the ability to truly make a positive impact! Working with several nonprofits and recommending ways to engage users on their social networks has really given me a chance to research and understand a few simple keys to success in social media.

1. Speak to your audience. Social media is a massive network of networks with many niche users. The social media representation of you or your company must represent and speak to those niche users.

2. Being present is everything. Just having an account won’t get you anywhere. You have to create an online presence and maintain that presence continuously.

3. Start Conversation. Social media is all about communication and directly speaking to an individual or company. You must work to start an engaging conversation and then respond and continue that conversation and others to keep users engaged.

These may all seem like obvious tactics and tools for social media, but I have bared witness to many who do not understand its structure. This is not just directly discussing Twitter and Facebook exclusively, but also social media through blogging and videos and other forms of communication.  I am still learning and as such an innovative platform, will most likely continuously be learning and growing new skills. I have truly been able to see the infinite outreach companies can have with social networks, and I hope to progressively learn how to personally and professionally utilize such expansive communication hubs.

Kat Shannon

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7 Responses to Socially Speaking

  1. chelseafung says:

    Interesting that you mentioned that you spend a lot of your time online for your internship because I’m also online for a lot of the time for my internship. I’m constantly on different social media platforms even some that I didn’t think that companies were using. It’s good to hear that you’re learning about the different platforms for professional and personal reasons.

  2. cmckee2 says:

    Great post! Personally I find social media to be a hit or miss. While it’s essential to any organization’s communications strategy (especially Facebook and Twitter), most networks appeal to a narrow niche and aren’t appropriate for every audience. Understanding what social media works best for your client can be the difference between success and failure.

  3. There are tons of people who don’t understand how to use social media effectively and your posts speaks to that. I used to be one of those people, I was on the social media bandwagon at the beginning with a Xanga and then a Livejournal. Most of my posts were complaints and typical teenager angst and I think there is still a lot of bad social media usage out there. My internship is all about harness the power of social media to do good in a cause marketing sense. I think the most important part abo using social media, especially to create an impact is to use a consistent voice and brand across all platforms.

  4. It’s definitely a strange time for social media and business. I feel like because platforms are changing so rapidly, sites can get caught in this weird place between business and personal. Good recommendations for how to make use of the sites, a strong online presence can make such a huge difference in the success of a company.

  5. PDXSX says:

    That’ll do, Kat. That’ll do.

  6. lizazevedo says:

    Kat, I like that you chose to list several tips for creating a successful online presence and using social media effectively. “Speaking to your audience” is a great tip because many people forget to determine who their target audience is and to reach out to them. Knowing your target audience and being well versed in what you want to talk about will allow you to achieve a great following because you will have an excellent, expert online presence.

  7. sarahbrown90 says:

    Kat, I was also in the same boat. I was pretty resistant at first to all social media sites like Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter when they first came out. The only reason I ended up joining Twitter and LinkedIn was because it was talked about constantly in all of our journalism classes. I just barely joined Pintrest and have found it to be a great place when in need of inspiration. Although I was reluctant at first to jump on the bandwagon, I too have found it extremely useful when communicating with the public and staying in touch with what is going on. It’s crazy to me how little or how much an organization uses its social media. It is something that can definitely make or break a company, or even an individual, if not used correctly.

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