The Internet is completely cluttered with social media, so it can be very hard to keep track of the updates and posts that are actually of interest to someone. My two favourite tools to keep me updated are HootSuite and my Facebook feed in general. In my business, I use HootSuite to track all of my social accounts. This allows me to monitor what my accounts are doing, who they are interacting with, who I need to reply to. Since my business is photography, I use mostly Facebook and Twitter. Facebook allows me to post pictures as well and keep them in different albums on my fan page. I have my Facebook account linked to my Twitter so that everytime I post on my fan page, it automatically posts to my Twitter account as well. I find that with the help of HootSuite to monitor my business accounts, I can spend time on my personal Facebook feed and Twitter to find the news that interests me. I look at the ‘trending’ section of Twitter to see what is going on. I appreciate hashtags and use them frequently so that perspective brides searching for #Ottawa #wedding #photography can find me with ease. I also scroll through my Facebook feed to see what stories are cropping up among my friend and business circles. Being directly connected to people I have a shared history with, or have met at mutually interesting events keeps me abreast of news that I would like to hear about. I also receive updates from fan pages I’ve liked. With functions like these, it is obvious to me why Facebook is the giant in social media.
I also have an account with YouTube. This allows me to post slideshows of my works for my clients to share and to entice perspective clients. ( See www.youtube.com/jbphotocanada ) You Tube, or links to sites from Facebook to You Tube videos, are where I tend to find most of the news that interests me. In fact, just today while I was scrolling through my Facebook feed I stumbled upon a TED event video. It was a young man talking about his fantastic idea to clean up the oceans of all the plastic waste that is clogging it up. (see below) This is something I never would have heard of without the Internet and my Facebook feed. You Tube allows for embedding video on to web pages, making content literally come alive. Although some You Tube submissions must be taken with a grain of salt, reposts from established broadcast channels make it so that an audience can catch almost anything they may have missed. By subscribing to a You Tube channel like the TEDxtalks channel, gives me access to the content I want to see. I prefer to watch news through You Tube as I don’t have cable or satellite. You Tube also allows me to watch videos that are educational and can help me with professional development.
Though it sometimes clutters my inbox, I do also like to sign up for newsletters. I, myself, use the free service MailChimp to keep my subscribers informed. To my business, keeping in touch with my clients through newsletters is paramount. Newsletters also keep me well informed of events that are of interest to me. For example, I subscribed to a newsletter that informed me about Creative Live, as service I never would have heard about otherwise. Creative Live allows you to watch experts in the field of marketing, photography, graphic design and more, give workshops over the Internet. Even more fantastic, is that these events are free to watch. Or, if you like to watch them repeatedly, you can purchase the event after you’ve seen it. Creative Live has helped me hone many of my photographic skills and I continue to watch segments today.
Newsletters may seem old fashioned, but they are also a great way to get free information from people hoping you will purchase what they are selling. I think the key to a good newsletter is not to go for the sale, but rather to have a goal of informing your subscribers. I subscribe to a few social media ‘guru’ sites that send out tips on how to maximize my social media. Once I am done with them, I delete them and always unsubscribe to any that I feel are not serving me well. My e-mail is the one thing I check every day, without fail. Having information delivered to me in this way is very convenient.
I prefer Facebook feeds, Twitter trends, You Tube and newsletters primarily because they are something I can scroll during the time I choose. I can search through my Facebook feed for either the top stories of the most recent. As I previously stated, using hashtags I can see the stories that interest me. You Tube is delivered to me on both these fronts and newsletters are sent straight to my inbox. All of these sources keep me well informed and my interests fed.