Making the Most of Twitter Chats

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Twitter chats have become increasingly popular over the last few years. I used to see them occasionally on my feed. Now I see them every night! Their growth makes sense though. Twitter chats create great opportunities to discuss emerging trends, important news and thoughtful questions. Some chats are more light-hearted and fun (#millenialtalk), while others reveal hidden truths (#YesAllWomen). If you’re an active Twitter user, I highly recommend jumping in on a Twitter chat. They’re a way to network with other engaging users. All kinds of Twitter chats exist. The key is finding a relevant one to your interests! Below I list some Twitter chat benefits.

  • Engaging with peers one-on-one
  • Opportunity to be a thought leader
  • Regular time to check in with others
  • Easy way to summarize your thoughts
  • Networking advantage by tweeting with others
  • Increased authority on your area of expertise
  • Fresh content if you don’t have regular time for Twitter
  • Fun way to express your thoughts to a large group

Perpetuating Positivity

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I believe in the circle of happiness. What good you put into the world over time navigates back to you. It’s like a cycle that continually feeds itself. As a happy person, you offer positivity to others. Others will appreciate your positivity and engage with you more readily. In turn, these interactions with others can fuel your happiness. Just like that, the cycle continues.

But what about when it’s hard to be happy? It’s a state of mind that’s much easier said than done. We may be stressed over projects, deadlines or relationships. It can be difficult to overlook our current challenges and find the so-called silver lining. I struggle with it daily, but I continue to work towards positivity. With self reflection, it’s possible to find a little bit of happiness that may help an outlook on life.

-First, spend time on yourself. It may sound selfish, but everyone deserves their downtime. The more rest, the better your attitude. Even if it’s a 20 minute walk, or reading a few chapters of a book, take some time and relax. Downtime is important for a healthy state of mind.

-Find your guilty pleasures. By guilty, I mean ones you don’t regularly indulge in. You feel guilty for doing them when you have other pressing things to do. Maybe you like writing sketch comedy or knitting sweaters. If you like it, then do it!Do what you enjoy and don’t worry about the consequences. Have side projects that help keep your positivity going.

-Re-evaluate your relationships. Are you in an unhealthy friendship? Does person X constantly tear down your ambitions or goals? Maybe it’s time for a change. Friends should be there to support and inspire. Your relationship circle has a huge impact on the way you see the world.

We live in a world of how-to articles and Buzzfeed lists. Numbered lists may not always help, but they can at least share important ideas. Happiness is not an easily obtained goal. However, it helps to work towards being content. In the end, it’s the little things that really matter.

Home Again, Home Again

As of Friday evening, I’m back home in the United States. I spent the last week traveling around Ireland, from Kilkenny to Galway to Dublin. In that time, I was able to see Kilkenny Castle, St. Nicolas’ Collegiate Church, the Salthill Promenade, Eyre Square, the Molly Malone Statue, Jameson Distillery, Guinness Storehouse, and the James Joyce Centre. There’s still so much more to do! If I could have stayed longer, I would have gone to the Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands and Cork. That’ll be for another trip! It’s such a beautiful country to see. A week is hardly enough time to take in all the sights. Still, I am thankful to have been able to go. School starts back again this week, but my heart is still in Ireland.

1962749_2234928828770_1631673198_nAtop the rocks on a sunny morning in Galway.

Klout- Is It Relevant?

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In a new article from Social Media Today, author Daniel Newman asks whether users should care about their Klout score. Klout will soon be acquired for 100 million dollars by Lithium Technologies. However Newman wonders whether the money is worth it. Yes, Klout has been a hot tool for the past year, but will it continue to be in the future? Will the profit ultimately be worth it? Or will it be another short-term social media tool, doomed to be lost in the pages of the web?

For those unfamiliar with Klout, the website/app provides users their individualized scores. The score represents the user’s online presence and influence. The higher your score, the more influential you are. High scores tend to be 50 or above for the average user. Of course, celebrities will be well above that if they are active on Twitter or Facebook.

Users can find their score by linking multiple social media accounts to Klout. The more accounts you link, the better idea Klout has of your presence. Klout also offers giveaways the more influential you are. (Ex. Free magazine subscription if score is high enough)

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(My Klout statistics pictured above).

Newman’s article brings up an interesting point. Are these social media companies worth the money they are bought for? Most websites don’t last long term. Facebook only recently celebrated its 10th birthday, and it’s arguably the biggest name in social media.

Despite the critics, Lithium Technologies made a smart decision in acquiring the company. Klout risks disappearing into oblivion if not enough users visit. This acquisition puts Klout into the news once again. If they continue to give Klout the press it needs, the purchase will prove profitable. As long as the company is able to effectively market their acquisition, Klout should be around for at least the next few years. As a communications enthusiast, I certainly have appreciated the company. My score helps determine where I am in the digital world, and when I need to improve. Social media fans, what do you think about Klout? Doomed to be forgotten within five years? Or worthy tool in the social media realm?

Five Social Media Tips From The Wall Street Journal

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Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reached over four million followers on Twitter. They shared their top tips on how to effectively use social media for a business. They are below in bold:

1. Images, images, images

2. Post things that will engage a mobile audience

3. Design posts to be shared, not just read

4. A human touch really matters

5. Become a Facebook ‘scientist’

I think these simple steps are spot-on. For No. 1, no one likes to look at just plain text. Everyone expects some kind of multimedia when they visit a social media account. Images are the best way to spruce up your post. When there isn’t a great photo to use, I often use a stock one that I find. Even if the photo’s not one that’s brand new, it still gives the post a necessary visual element.

2. Many people (including myself) use their phones to access their social media accounts. When you tend to be going from place-to-place during the workday, it’s the easiest way to stay in touch. Make sure that your accounts translate well over to mobile in order to retain visitors. In the next few years, we may find that mobile visitors are the new majority.

3. Many of the best posts are shared with others. How did you get to read x or y article? You probably stumbled upon it through a friend. Think of all those Buzzfeed or Upworthy articles on your Facebook feed. If you enjoy the post, you’ll likely show it to others. When designing the post, anticipate it going viral among online users.

4. People expect compassion from businesses. You can’t afford to be impersonal and cold in today’s world. You must balance professionalism and kindness online. Reach out to customers and respond quickly to their concerns. It will help improve their experience with the company if you show your humanity.

5. Learn the algorithms of Facebook! If you stay up-to-date on the formulas used in social media sites, you’ll know how to use them to your advantage. You can use certain keywords or hashtags to help boost your post, all because you understand the algorithms online.

Interested in reading the article from the WSJ? Click here to read more.

Happy Birthday Facebook!

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One of the biggest names in social media, if not the biggest, turns 10 years old today. Happy Birthday, Facebook! Here’s to many more. You were once an idea of founder Mark Zuckerberg’s while he was in a Harvard dorm room. Now you’re a global company that connects people all over the world.

The website was originally just for Harvard students, but it has since grown to be available to anyone 13 years of age or older. I’ve been an active user since August 2006 when I first began high school. At the time, users had to be invited to join by their friends. I remember my friends saying I had to try out this new website that allowed you to post on walls and tag your friends in pictures. I didn’t know what they were talking about. At the time, I had just settled into MySpace and was interested in vamping my page with backgrounds and songs.

Now MySpace has all but disappeared and Facebook has become a social media giant. With over 1 billion users, Facebook is a huge business that affects us on a daily basis. As part of their birthday celebration, Facebook is giving users a chance to look at personalized videos of their profiles. It shows you when you joined, your biggest moments and your popular photos. I encourage you to try it! Simply go to https://www.facebook.com/lookback/ and see what your video looks like! (Hint: A preview of mine’s in the photo!)

I’m here to build something for the long term, anything else is a distraction.- Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO

All Things Communications

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Blogs act as an easy and accessible tool. Blogs exist for all kinds of people, places and things. Interested in a certain food, celebrity or historical event? There’s most likely a blog on it. Most of the time the blogs are free to create too– which makes them an even more valuable asset.

That’s why blogs serve as a great resource for the communications industry. Communications  entails many things. At the core, the communications industry tells stories. We tell stories for companies, institutions and people. In the modern age, communications involves writing, editing, video production, social media, marketing and public relations. You have to be able to sell your story effectively over multiple outlets. The industry now requires strength in multimedia and technology. Job descriptions are overlapping one another in order to increase resources and time. The industry involves branding, managing reputations and organizing identities of companies.

It’s important to be one step ahead of your audience. In communications, you must anticipate their needs and respond to them efficiently. You serve your client first and produce a top-quality product. The world of communications remains vast and unconquered. Communicators continue to learn and collaborate everyday. I hope to share my findings with you as I finish my undergraduate degree and move into the corporate world.