Social Media 101
See more photos of this class on Flickr!
For Tulani Elisa, social media is both a career and a passion. The digital strategist knows how overwhelmed a novice user can feel, and enjoys helping newbies master Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube. Her advice on getting started: “Take some time and explore.”
Once you’ve acclimated, start thinking about your “brand.” Tulani has a few ground rules when it comes to personal branding:
- Return favors: When another user retweets you on Twitter or likes your post on Facebook, engage with her content in return. Don’t just follow your friends!
- Stay consistent: What is your voice? Develop an online presence that reflects you. Showcase your skills, and post regularly.
- Don’t over-share: Before you post, ask yourself, “Who cares about this?” If the answer is “no one,” leave it out. (Also, stay on top of privacy settings, and don’t share anything you wouldn’t want your boss to see.)
Great content, Tulani says, is “interesting, informative, or helpful.” She advises users to keep their posts short (for limited attention spans), and use pictures and video, which capture attention better than text.
To build your professional brand, seek out influencers in your field and interact with them. Take advantage of existing trends by engaging in ongoing conversations. Audit yourself: Check your analytics on various sites to see how your content is being received by your audience. And never underestimate what you have to offer the Internet. If you have a unique perspective or area of expertise, share it!
Finally, Tulani taught the class how to take a selfie. Now that’s #SocialMedia101.
Ilana Nutkis is a policy nerd and cheese enthusiast who enjoys road trips, tiramisu, and bemoaning the D.C. rental market. She has read every Agatha Christie novel ever written, and once jumped out of a boat in the Pacific Ocean to snorkel with sea turtles despite a traumatic childhood viewing of “Jaws.” For political hashtagging, follow her on Twitter at @IlanaNutkis.