Below is a special guest post by HootSuite Community Manager, Stephanie Wiriahardja. Stephanie runs the HootCampus Ambassador program for HootSuite which is a new initiative. Below is her post about a day in the life of a community manager for a social media management tool (among other things).
One of the questions I get asked the most as a Community Manager for a popular social media dashboard is "What's your day-to-day like?". I usually chuckle first before even attempting to put into words what exactly I do and what's my day-to-day like. Everyday is different, but there are a number of projects I oversee that involve a heavy usage of social media.
If you peek at my HootSuite dashboard, you'll see that I manage 38 different Twitter accounts, 8 Facebook Pages, 6 LinkedIn Groups, and 2 Google+ Pages. It will be such a nightmare if I had to log in and out to each one. Lucky for me, I get to use my company's product, HootSuite, to reach out to HootSuite users and promote HootSuite. Yep, it's that meta! I have actually used HootSuite for 1.5 years before I joined the team in 2011, so I didn't have to make any radical adjustments to my social media practice.
Some of my all-time favourites features are:
- Streams and tabs
- Geo-location search
Streams and tabs are the bread and butter of HootSuite and I could not imagine having to go to each account to search for something or tweet from it. I manage all 54 accounts at all times, which means I have listening streams that I organize to different tabs to help me monitor everything that is mentioned. Now that I have all my accounts connected in one dashboard, I can easily tweet or post from any of the accounts without the need to take a step back, log out, log back in, and try to remember what I wanted to tweet, or who I wanted to give a shout out to.
I must admit I am not the only one monitoring and managing all 54 accounts. I have my coworkers spread across many departments that also have access to these accounts, simply because the questions that we get from the users vary. For example, most of the mentions that our main Community team's Twitter handle, @HootClub, is about how cute our owl swags are. Once in awhile though, we get technical questions, affiliate-related, or hiring questions. Sure we can answer these, but would not it be better if we can assign someone else that is an expert in the topic to answer the question? Rather than emailing or pinging the person on chat to reply to a specific tweet, HootSuite has a built-in Assignment feature for its Pro and Enterprise users. Last year alone, I help host over 110 HootUps (similar to TweetUps, but with HootSuite as the main topic of conversation) in 43 cities, in 18 countries. Sometimes it's difficult to sift through the dozens of HootSuite mentions, but with the geo-location search, I can filter to only the mentions and conversations happening at a set location. This way, I get to tweet the people who are actually around the area of where the HootUp will be held. I also use it to give me relevant updates and insights. For example, if there's an event happening in town, I can see who's talking about it so I can create an opportunity to connect with them before the event. Serving 6+ million users worldwide is not easy, especially dealing with the different time zones. The scheduling feature on HootSuite is so helpful in making sure I tweet articles when the audience is awake and most active. This feature also helps in making sure there's always content going out, even when I am taking vacation or day off. However, don't mistaken this as your reason for not replying to any mentions. You are not a spam bot, so you have to show your followers that while you have content scheduled, you also engage with them.
So there they are, my top four favourite features of my favourite social media tool (slightly biased, but I swear I am telling the truth, only the truth, and nothing but the truth)! What sort of features do you need the most to be more efficient? Leave a comment below or tweet me at @stephawie. I'd like to hear them!
A dear friend and I in Toronto, Canada
This may be a bit dramatic, but I am convinced I would not survive before the existence of Internet connections and online communication. Granted, this has to do with perspective; of course, I would not realize I was missing such an awesome tool for information and keeping in touch if it had not existed yet. All I know is I am thankful to be alive in this current age because I am not much of a snail-mail girl.
These thoughts came to me recently as I have been in the Dominican Republic for the past two and a half months. I found myself missing my friends and family back home when I realized I have nothing to complain about. With such easy access to social media due to the ever-increasing availability of Wi-Fi, I am frequently in contact with people from home. All I have to do is scroll through Facebook and I am immediately filled-in on people’s lives. Instagram, however, has been my preferred medium because it’s fantastic to just browse through photos without the clutter of lots of text and ads that Facebook can have. (It also makes me feel like a professional photographer with all the fancy filters.)
The benefit of using social media while abroad is a two-way street, however, because friends and family can keep up with me as well. Instead of calling or emailing parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends, all of these important people in my life (plus random acquaintances and the occasional stalker) are updated on my life in one fell swoop as I post photos and status updates.
One of the greatest ways social media has impacted my abroad experiences, however, is by giving me an ability to maintain friendships that began abroad. My Facebook friends consist of people I met on various trips, and I am so glad to be able to maintain those friendships today. I can honestly say if it weren’t for social media, I would never be able to communicate with so many people I met abroad. Although they were in my life for a brief period, we can maintain a relationship thanks to the upgrade from snail-mail.
All these advancements in social media communication, however, do come with a few drawbacks: it can be way more impersonal when I am not contacting to loved ones directly, so I make an effort to call or email those exceptionally special people (consider yourselves lucky ;)) Also, constantly being connected to people from home can distract from your abroad experience if you are not careful. Especially if you are only spending a semester abroad, it is important to take advantage of every minute in this new and exciting place. Home will be there when you get back, and I can bet you that not much will have changed in four months. I met too many people as an undergrad who I believe missed out on their experience abroad by being on Skype for hours at a time every day with people from home. Doing this, unfortunately, makes you miss home way too much and keeps you from making great connections with friends abroad.
I encourage those of you planning on going abroad to set a certain time of day or week for social media use, and catch up with friends and family during that time slot only, so you can take full advantage of exploring your surroundings!
How have you seen social media while traveling help or harm you?
Are there any apps or websites that are particularly helpful for communicating while abroad?
-Kimberly, Mandy's Mashups Intern
I thought this was interesting and wanted to see what you thought about this as social media becomes more prevalent.
Here is an article about two travelers who were detained in L.A. due to the comments they posted on Twitter.Travelers Say They Were Denied Entry to U.S. for Twitter Jokes
- via the NY Times The Lede Blog Apparently, the Department of Homeland Security is now monitoring what is being said on social media sites and what you say may now affect your entry into both the U.S. and potentially even other countries.What are you thoughts on this?
Do you think what you say on social media should affect your entry into a foreign country? Do you think the government should monitor what you say on social media? Also, do you think we should do more to educate young people about the effect their social media posts have on their future (career, education, and now travel wise
Here is another great guest blog post by someone who also is using social media in an interesting way. I encourage you to follow his blog since he is posting some great resources and information.
"How did you get into social media?" I guess it was in my first year of university when my roommate showed me this new website called Facebook. Our residences were spread out across campus so it was an easy way for everyone from class to stay connected. YouTube also became popular that year and I remember spending many days creating and uploading videos when I should have been studying for exams. I also got on Twitter rather early too. I remember when it launched at South by Southwest in 2007 and at the time it was mainly the tech crowd who were the early adopters. It wasn’t until 2009 when celebrities joined and I noticed CNN began to promote their Twitter handles did I think, “Wow, this is going to be big.” When I was an international student studying in Australia I learned how universities are seeking to recruit more international students. Some of the methods are expensive and not always in the best interest of the student (such as hiring agents), so I thought that social media was a better way for both students and universities to connect.
"What is one social media tool you cannot live without now?" It would have to be the suite of social media monitoring tools we use. Enterprise applications such as Radian6, Sysomos and Alterian SM2 can cost thousands of dollars a month, putting it out of reach of many university budgets. There is also the time and training it takes to really get the most out of these tools. So we make it simple for the schools that want the essential intelligence they’re missing out on, but don’t necessarily have the time or money to do it themselves.
"What is one thing you wish you knew about social media that would have made getting involved with it easier?" A lot of people hear about Twitter and Facebook and say “Oh I don’t need to use those. That’s for my kids.” But that doesn’t apply anymore. There’s something for everyone on social media. So many different communities to interact with. So many experts and interesting people to follow. Just jump in and have fun.
What do you think is social media’s biggest impact has been on international education? I believe there are three areas where social media is having a significant effect on international education. 1) It allows for universities to market themselves to a vast audience. You can share content across social networks and have it disseminated by students around the world, with minimal effort and marketing dollars. It helps bridge the gap between large and small schools. 2) It makes getting in touch with students easier. It can difficult to reach a student on the phone or through traditional mail when they’re on the other side of the world. But they are likely on Twitter, Facebook or Skype all day. 3) You receive instant feedback about your school. Students might not fill out those end of semester evaluations, but they won’t think twice about posting a quick status update if they have a complaint or compliment. This feedback is useful for the university so they know what they’re doing right and what needs fixing.
Why do you continue to use social media? We are only at the beginning of social media. It took 20 years for the global internet population to reach 2 billion users. In the next 2 to 3 years, that number is expected to double. This will happen because smartphones and tablet prices are dropping rapidly. So new users from developing countries will be connected to the internet for the first time. What will they say? How will they act? What will we learn from them? Social media is going to be immersed in our everyday lives. It will be integrated in our televisions, cars, appliances, everything! It’s our way of staying connected to everyone and everything happening in the world. It’s an incredible exciting time to live in.
"How does social media influence your international education job?" At Genius Recruiter we provide social media monitoring for universities and colleges. The benefits of having us do this rather than someone in your own department is that 1) it’s cheaper 2) our team goes much deeper than simple tools allow 3) we provide leads for prospective international students that make a good match for your institution Social media adoption among universities has skyrocketed over the last few years to nearly 100%. At the same time, the number of students going abroad for an education is increasing every year. But reaching these prospective students via traditional methods is expensive. Social media provides the opportunity for institutions to connect with these students at minimal cost. It’s also one of the few ways that smaller schools can compete with the top schools that rely on big marketing dollars and their international reputation to attract foreign students. Danny Newman is the founder and CEO of Genius Recruiter. He was an international postgraduate student when he studied Diplomacy and International Relations in Australia. He is passionate about the internet, technology, and world travel. You can contact Danny on Twitter @RecruiterGenius, email email@example.com or visit http://geniusrecruiter.com
Danny, front left, celebrates the end of the semester with his professor and classmates. If you are interested in being a guest blogger please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Everyone,Many times people will ask, "how do I get my blog read?" or "What do I right about?". In this post Alia, an avid blogger, discuss six simple strategies/tips on how to write successful blogs that generate interest and readership. Six Simple Tips of Successful Blog Writing Before you even start a blog, you need to know the purpose of starting one. Many people do it for money, but approaches differ and so do the results. People, who claim to be experts, will tell you a lot on successful blogging - about SEO, keyword stuffing, tools and platforms. But the most important characteristic of all successful (and money-making) blogs is a genuine desire to help people. If you want to help people genuinely, then other techniques will follow.Find out your niche first What are you really good at? Are you a financial whiz kid or are you a technology geek? Do you have an expertise (such as stock market analysis) which will be of real help to people? Decide on your field (or fields) of expertise first. When you are choosing a particular field you are good at, you can provide a lot of value to people.Have a list of topics for a period of time This ensures that you do not waste too much of time thinking about topics. Also, do not forget to make a calendar of publishing the topics. While you are creating a list of topics, keep the requirements of your target audience in mind. For example, you can publish a post on protecting savings in a volatile stock market situation.Use popular keywords Popular keywords, though not the only method, will keep your blog on top of search engine listings. Use Adword Tool from Google to find out the most popular keywords related to your niche. Use keywords which are both directly and indirectly related to your niche. For example, if your blog is related to insurance products, life insurance can be a directly related keyword while life expectancy can be an indirect keyword.Do not do keyword stuffing Use keywords as long as it appears to be a natural part of a sentence - do not force keywords on a sentence. Also, do not overuse keywords. The ideal keyword density (number of keywords divided by the total blog post length) should not exceed 2%. Search engines treat an excessively high keyword density as an act of spamming.Blog regularly Do not be a one-blog wonder. Keep supplying your target audience with fresh and unique information. Follow the calendar you have made (see the second tip) as closely as possible. You do not need to blog daily literally, but blog often.Respond to your readers Readers usually post their comments and questions on your blogs and they look forward to your inputs. Do not miss out on regularly addressing your readers. This not only answers their questions but also gives them the impression that you genuinely want to help them. The above tips may not necessarily ensure that you will make a hugely successful blog, but these principles are proven and time-tested. The idea is to genuinely help people on a specific area and establish yourself as an authority on your chosen niche.
I hope you are able to use these tips in your blog writing.About the Guest BloggerAlia Haley is an avid blogger who loves blogging on tech and luxury portal. She is always on a lookout for the latest gadgets and cellphones in the market and recently added a Sony Ericsson android to her collection.