Social media that is

Just a quick little post based on a question asked by my University tutor @TimothyHolmes: “What one thing would you tell young magazines journalists about using social media?”

My answer was that it can help you make great connections. I even managed to get a job through the magical power of social media, which if nothing else is a great triumph of the medium. But here are several other things that YOU as a STUDENT of MAGAZINE JOURNALISM should know about social media.

  • It’s not as simple as just joining Twitter: You need toget chatting, don’t be afraid to talk to people, that’s why they’re there. Interaction is the point of it.
  • Don’t believe everything you hear: People spread a lot of stuff virally through social media, like everything in life take it with a pinch of salt. You can’t use a tweet as evidence that something’s true.
  • It’s seriously addictive: For the average person it’s very hard to switch off from social media. You want to check your accounts constantly. So imagine if you’re working in that field.
  • It will give you ideas: And story leads but not every single day. Sometimes it’ll feel like a waste of time.
  • Everyone you know will start to resent you: Spreading your own links and those of magazines/websites you work for will drive all of your friends nuts. Try and keep your accounts separate.
  • Get used to it: Learn everything you possibly can about social media. Read Mashable. You may want to work in magazine journalism but you may well end up in online.
  • Use Linked In: This is how I got my current position. Upload a comprehensive guide to you, what you’re doing now, what you want to do. Add the usual hideous profile pic and supplement with blog feeds, booklists etc. Make yourself public, interact with people who are in your desired field.
  • Don’t share everything: Some things are not for social media. Keep personal details to yourself, don’t log the location of your home or anyone elses. Be honest but don’t be nasty. Social media is a permanent record, these things can and will be discovered when you’re older.

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