Tons of transformational ideas, tools and Twitter tips highlighted the AAJA Seattle Spring Training Social Media and Self-Branding Bootcamp on March 28. Sona Patel, Lauren Rabaino and Brian Rosenthal of the Seattle Times did a dynamite job dishing out info and inspiration (plus a tour of the newly consolidated Times newsroom).
The talented trio asked us to blog about our five top takeaways. My list:
Interact. Subscribe to blogs. Follow people who are doing what you want to do.Â Comment on their posts. Lauren shared an anecdote from her student days how she posted on a Big-Shot Journalistâ€™s blog and he responded, much to her delighted astonishment. It marks you as someone who contributes to the discourse and helps establish you as a credible source of information.
Use your name or a consistent alias across all platforms. To build the brand, you need a unified naming convention on Twitter, your website, Facebook, LinkedIn.
Tweet where youâ€™re at. Beaming out that youâ€™re at a school board meeting, tech conference (or AAJA event!) builds credibility that youâ€™re covering whatâ€™s important, doing the footwork.
Donâ€™t sweat the SEO. People will find you if you write well about what matters to you, said Lauren. Brilliant strategy.
Always have visuals â€“ makes posts more shareable. To wit: Fueling up for the drive home to Bellingham, I stopped afterward at Molly Moonâ€™s Homemade Ice Cream for a triple hot fudge sundae (salted caramel, Scout mint and vegan coconut chunk!). Noticed they had a map showing their ingredientsâ€™ origin. Noticed their milk and cream come from the Edaleen Dairy in Lynden. Realized this would make a fun post on my Blue Ribbon blog about local food, farming and fairs. Also, realized, with regret, that a photo of the little thumbtack on â€œLyndenâ€ wouldâ€™ve made the post 10 times cooler. Hit home that I need to take my camera everywhere — even the malt shop.