3 Habits in Social Media to Successfully Educate and Promote Yourself

What would an employer want in an employee? If you were hiring someone, would you want someone who’s constantly learning and networking in their profession or someone who’s tired of educating him or herself and doesn’t have the time to communicate with others? My goal as I search for my next job is to have a company feel secure with me as a new-hire because I’m proactive in my own education and I’m social enough to spread the word about my employer and our services. I try to do it through the following 3-step process.

1. I use my Twitter account as an active resume

Posts on Twitter from Jesse Radonski

I share the news I find interesting in my chosen profession as well as the news in the interests I have personally such as video gaming, music, craft brewing and more. The majority of people and companies I follow are directly related to those industries and I make sure to converse with them every day. Not only does this habit communicate what I’m currently educating myself on, but it shows that I’m active on this social media platform daily and that I have a commitment to using it and educating myself regularly. I believe this approach is much more effective than merely mentioning that you understand social media in your resume or in a job interview.

2. I use an RSS reader for daily consumption of news

RSS Feed Image

Time is a rare commodity nowadays and a reader helps cut down on the fluff to get the news I find most appealing. I find myself gravitating to articles that help me with different tactics in social media campaigns as well as other tips for better performance from services such as Google Analytics or Facebook Insights. Similar to how I use Twitter, most of the news I follow relates to the industries I find interesting.

3. I use LinkedIn to keep tabs on others in related industries

LinkedIn Post Image

Since LinkedIn has a longer shelf life for posts, I usually post 1 – 2 of my favorite articles of the day on the professional networking website. I’m part of quite a few groups, although I must admit that I don’t interact with them as much as I should. LinkedIn is a place that every professional should keep tabs on, even if they aren’t currently searching for a job. It’s a great place to keep your job skills updated, so it doesn’t become a chore when you have to update your resume.

With just an hour a day, you can educate yourself and promote yourself through Twitter and LinkedIn. Plus, it’s a great way to wake up with your morning coffee. How do you educate and promote yourself?

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Staind Said It Best…

...And It's Been A While, Since I've Wrote a Blog!

...And It's Been A While, Since I've Wrote a Blog!

Oh my goodness!  It feels like it has been forever since I’ve gotten to blog about anything at all!  I’ve had many ideas I’ve wanted to write down but I’ve been so bogged down with a Spanish 103 class during the last eight weeks that I’ve had no time to write anything but Spanish homework.  After earning my well-deserved “B” in that class, I finally have time to relax with an ice-cold Long Hammer IPA in hand and write about what’s been going on.

I’ve had a few experiences that have occurred within the past month that I’m going to reiterate in some other blogs but I feel that I must share why I haven’t gotten on here sooner to write.  I understand that in keeping a blog, one is supposed to update it often with content that is actually useful to the person reading it.  Keeping that in mind, although I may write about experiences in my life, I will try to share something that I learned in hope that you can take that for yourself.

First thing’s first: Spanish 103 at Lane Community College can consume your life.  I realize that learning a new language is a bit daunting.  It’s like a puzzle; you start basic and build from there into something that becomes complex with its own set of rules and rule-breakers.  The homework was broken up into many different tasks that all seem to work upon each other, although it’s not strictly that way.  Your main grade was built upon homework called “Tareas” where you have to write in Spanish, draw pictures and then color them based on what you write.  This is typically done in a two-way conversation format and it takes a lot of time to do.  (It usually took around two hours for me to write, draw, and color six pages.)  You also have to listen to a poorly recorded CD that was a major struggle and required alot of patience.  These were called “Charlas” and they were the tasks I most loathed.  We also read a book in Spanish called “Encuentros Culturales” and had to answer true or false questions from our homework about each chapter.  The last task we had was to write six journal entries answering questions about the class format or about how our learning the Spanish language is going.  Overall, so much homework consumed my life that I had absolutely no motivation nor the time to write on the blog.  If there’s one life-lesson I’ve learned from this class it’s this: If you ever take a language, be prepared for a struggle and definitely use as many outside resources as you can. I made good use of a translator and a conjugator.  Just remember to use the tools wisely and don’t depend on them.  The tools must help you learn but not be an answer sheet.

On another note, I’ve been living without my television for about two weeks.  I own a 40″ Samsung television that I bought from Best Buy about a year-and-a-half ago with some inheritance money.  It was the biggest investment I’ve ever made to date.  Two months after the one-year warranty expired, the picture disappeared while the audio remained on.  The next day, the picture came back on and stayed that way until two weeks ago.  Long story short, I went through about seven phone calls and one fax of my original bill-of-sale to Samsung.  I micro-blogged about it on Twitter and coincidentally got a reply from a nice gentleman working for Samsung who tried to help me with my problem.  After being told from one of the many different Executive Customer Service people that there was nothing they could do for me, I decided to utilize some websites I found that had detailed accounts of others who’ve had the same problems with their Samsung televisions.  I put my P.R. skills to work and let everyone I knew on my social media platforms what happened to me and other owners of Samsung televisions.  I posted links to these websites, stating exactly what happened on Twitter, Facebook, and I was in the process of writing my review of the television I own on Amazon when the nice gentleman from Samsung’s Twitter called me on my cell stating that he resubmitted my claim and it was approved.  A huge burst of relief came gushing out of me and I thanked him on the phone and again on Twitter before letting everyone know on those same social media formats that Samsung is now helping me.  This has taught me one thing:

Be polite and be patient but if you know you’re in the right and someone tries to screw you, be ready to fire back.  Don’t go down without a fight!

I have to call Jim’s Electronics tomorrow to see about getting my television repaired.  I just hope after it’s repaired, it stays that way.

Media Fast (More Like Media, Slow!)

I now understand what it would be like to be on a desert island.  It would be BORING!  For my assignment in Mass Media & Society, I couldn’t consume any media for two days.  I decided to choose a Friday and Saturday to suffer it out because Friday was a complete day off from work and school while Saturday was just a full day of work.  I realized all too soon that this was going to be a long, two days.

DAY 1: THE BOREDOM BEGINS

It’s a warm, sunny morning of my media fast and I already had to avoid watching television because my girlfriend, whom I live with, was watching it.  Once she found out that I was on my fast, she complied with my situation and kept the television shut off.  I don’t really watch much television so it didn’t matter to me.  What did matter was avoiding Internet.  I love surfing the Internet because of all the different information on it.  Social media is one of my favorite things to interact with and since it’s a key tool for a Public Relations major, it’s a part of my student life.  I also had to avoid my RSS feed, recreational web sites, and more.  The only exception was school material, (which I found was similar to a smoker quitting by chewing on a straw.)

It didn’t take long before I was bored as hell.  I just sat in my living room with nothing on.  So, I had a bright idea… I’ll clean the garage!  Yeah, that would totally be an awesome way to take my mind off media.  Four hours later, the garage was reorganized, I found a ton of stuff I forgot I had – and I could walk in it.  So, my lack of media consumption had already started to be a positive experience but dinner was still to come.

I imagine that many of the people across the United States all watch television while they eat dinner.  If they don’t watch television, perhaps there’s some music or background noise that provides mood to the atmosphere.  Now imagine having nothing but silence while you eat.  Just. Silence.  It is so awkward!  My girlfriend and I just sat on the couch while eating dinner, trying to make conversation with the silence deadening most of our thoughts.  After dinner, I decided to read my textbook and ended up going to bed early mostly because of how bored I really was.

DAY 2: A MUCH DIFFERENT WORK DAY

The next morning was pretty much the same as the day before.  I checked my school email because it was the only media I was allowed to take in.  Then, I was off to work!  I’m employed at an independent music, movie, and video game store in downtown Eugene.  Luckily, I didn’t have to package any Amazon items that day or else I would’ve been forced to use a computer and that would’ve been like putting a glass of pure grain alcohol in front of an ex-alcoholic fresh out of rehab.  There were only two things I couldn’t do: Pick music and use the Internet.  I was still exposed to some media because there’s always music playing on the sound-system but I made sure not to request anything so that it’d basically be like seeing a billboard on the street.  By the end of the work, I was so drained that I shuffled home and passed out for the night.

Over the previous two days, I realized how much media I actually use and if I didn’t have it around… I’d probably go crazy.  It makes me wonder if that’s the reason why our Government offered coupons for discount digital converter boxes?  How many people do you think would go crazy if they didn’t have their television?

Livin’ the Good (Digital) Life!

On Wednesday May, 27th I attended the full session of the event “Your Digital Life” supported by the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication and sponsored by Conkling, Fiskum, and McCormick.  I learned much about certain aspects of a life you can lead digitally and ways to protect yourself from potential threats.  In this short blog, I’ll give you some insight to the helpful information the speakers gave.

PANEL 1: Risks, Privacy, Copyright and Security

Three speakers informed us about these topics that I thought were very helpful.  André Chinn spoke about “Safe Social Media”, bringing some very helpful tips about how to protect your digital self.  André explained that one of the main things a person should do with their online identities is not use the same password everywhere.  He also recommended using a strong password; mix letters, numbers, case, and punctuation.  Phishing is a hot topic in his profession and one that should be taken seriously.  Some ways that phishing is successful is when someone clicks on a link in a place such as their email, then are asked to enter in their protected information like passwords and more.  Overall, André said to do three simple things:

  1. Pay close attention
  2. Be skeptical
  3. Use common sense

Joanna Goode was the second speaker who shed some light on “Teachers as Cyborgs” and about how our digital footprints are expanding enormously the more we people use technology.  Her insight on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) has five points:

  1. Interface Stability
  2. Growth of Technological-Dependency
  3. Growth of Hyperconnectivity
  4. Increased Amount of Information on People’s Lives and Actions
  5. More Creativity

She said that a lot of these can be perceived as threats to our personal growth but that more creativity could very well be a good thing to come from technology in the form of blog writing, art programs, and more.  One last point she touched on was about cyberbullying and other forms of dangerous behavior.

The last speaker on the first panel was Ryan Vacca, speaking about “Applications to Social Networking & Online Media.”  It seemed to me that translating Internet law to people outside the industry has to be a difficult thing to do.  While there was some jargon used, Ryan brought some good points to the audience explaining how the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) helps the public from getting sued over copywritten posts on forums you may, in part, own or oversee.  After the speakers were done, I asked Ryan if the DMCA has anything to do with how people can use music file sharing on forums such as blogspot and he said those people are actually the ones taking advantage of it.

PANEL 2: Opportunities and Practical Applications of Social Media

Four speakers shed some light on many practical and interesting ways on how to use social media to your advantage personally and professionally.  Crystal Lyon and John Weiss both spoke about how the company they work at, Waggener Edstrom, uses social media and some applications they’re creating to help with research and more.  John said that one of the key things an individual should do is create their own personal brand.  He also said that one should match their experiences with others easily and center their brand on engaging discussion.  I believe this should be done to ensure maximum impact and transference from one to another.

The second speaker was a very informative assistant professor of public relations at the U of O, Tiffany Derville Gallicano.  Her panel was about “Tweeting Your Way to an Entry Level Position” and gave some great tips on how to do just that.  Her focus was mainly on Public Relations but also gave tips that could be attributed to any sector that’s connected digitally.  The first tip was to find your career interest and then find individuals in the industries Twitter handle. This can be found through such places like P.R. Open Mic as well as using hash tags for key search words like #prjobs and #pradvice.  She also said to turn your Twitter profile into a professional place with a nice background that stands out among the rest and putting pertinent contact info and links on your page so that someone can thoroughly check you out.

The third speaker was a very animated young lady who writes for the Register-Guard Ticket section, Serena Markstrom.  She brought an old-school approach to a new emergence in digital technology by showing how she used to communicate with people and how the tools we use today can still be directly applied to older ones we once used more.  Serena writes reviews for shows she’s seen and still uses places like Myspace to contact artists and find where shows are going to be.  She also tries to not only develop relationships with people but to maintain them on a personal level.

The last speaker, Hannah Smith, is an Associate at Conkling Fiskum & McCormick and spoke about her process of creating a burgeoning online community for Tillamook Cheese.  Her process included connecting with their community offline to see if they were online to begin with then, once they heard that people were online, they began “listening” to the online conversation about Tillamook Cheese.  After that, they created a Facebook page, Twitter profile, YouTube page, and a dedicated Tillamook Cheese Fan Club Website.  Critics of this type of media usually argue that once you have these types of social media websites, there will be individuals that will go out of their way to bash the company.  Her argument back was about how the conversation will happen regardless if you’re in it or not, so you might as well have your own voice in the conversation to speak some sense about a situation.

When the speakers were asking questions, I stated another place of where to go to find jobs via Twitter with which Tiffany also said that Twibes is another good place to find a job then asked John and Crystal how much their agency is devoted to research and what types of tools they use and/or are developing.  They said a very large part of the company is devoted to research alone and are creating more tools rather than using existing ones devoted to research.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

The final speaker was the Executive Director of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society (CIS), Lauren Gelman.  Her main focus was about why people are posting so much online and to how our privacy is affected.  Lauren went through some of the history of the World Wide Web and how Web 2.0 has been created by the convergence of message board forums with static web pages; blogs are a perfect example.  She then went to talk about how privacy has been affected by social media and how we should have some restraint about what we put online that can be connected to us that could potentially threaten us some way later.  She then started taking questions that took up the rest of the time and, I speculate, the other part of her written speech.  I asked her about how certain companies are asking their employees to sign “No Blogging” contracts and if she thought this was going to increase in the future in a time where companies should be encouraged to become “part of the conversation.”  She didn’t think very many companies would embrace that.

Overall, the presentation was full of helpful advice about living a digital life and how to properly maintain a professional profile safely.