These notes are extracted from a talk given to the Guild of Health Journalists on 14th September 2011. If you're interested in this subject then you might want to also have a read of the post about 10 things Twitter can do for journalists.
We started with some general points about using social media:
- It's a conversation, not a broadcast
Don't just pump out updates – talk to people, jump into conversations, retweet their messages and see it as a two way flow.
- Look for personal connections and work will find you
If you go in explicitly and solely looking for work, you'll probably be disappointed. See it as a source of new contacts and ideas and the opportunities will occur.
- Use your own name – that's your brand
As a journalist, your byline is your brand, so don't tweet as your dog or your porn star name. The exception to this would be if you have a blog with an established name, in which case you might want to create a specific Twitter account just for that.
- Keep your photo consistent
It's all about establishing you as a human being that other human beings will want to connect to and work with, so use the same photo across all social media and don't change it more than twice a year. Using the Hipstamatic App will produce the most flattering photo you've ever had.
- Klout.com will track your progress
If you like statistics, Klout will track how your social media network and influence is growing – useful if you're worried that you're wasting your time.