A Word from Your Peers: Engage
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When you work in public media, creating and maintaining a successful social media presence can be a challenge. Because many social media "best practices" articles are aimed at those working in the for-profit world, we in public media don't always find them helpful. Now enter, "A Word From Your Peers," a new series of social media posts for the system, by the system.

Describe social media in one word.


Describe your role at the station.
My title is Interactive Content Editor/Producer, but I also act as the community manager for all conversations that are happening online (and, in some instances, in person) related to WYCC PBS Chicago. I manage social media, web content, digital videos, content strategy, and online advertising. I also cover events at the station, field production, and membership outreach initiatives throughout Chicago.

Describe your social media strategy in two sentences or less.
You wouldn’t just walk away from someone who introduced him/herself at a party, would you? Same applies to social media – attract, respond and engage.

Outside of Facebook and Twitter, what is your favorite social channel?
I actually really like Google+ for business purposes, although I don’t use it much personally. Google+ Hangouts are really easy to set up and a great way to talk to your community in person (I know, what a wild concept). Plus, using Google+ for your station improves SEO for Google searches.

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What are a few social media tips you think every person in your role should know?
  1. Don’t be a jerk.
  2. Encourage collaboration at your station. Let people from different departments author blog posts and messages sent out to station social media audiences.
  3. Treat each social media platform as its own thing. Some posts (like pledge or launches) are okay for copying and pasting on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc., but keep the repetition to a minimum. It looks spammy and users are likely to unfollow you.
  4. Use text-only posts of Facebook when you can. It seems to go against logic working in television, but Facebook algorithms push text-only content to the top of users’ feeds. If you compare the engagement rates for a photo or video post to a text post, you’ll usually see much larger numbers for the text post.
  5. That being said, mix it up. When a new user visits your Facebook or Twitter feed, they should see a variety of content – videos, photos, text, and content from other sources.
  6. Make sure to share content from other sources. Your viewers, partners, sponsors, underwriters, and show hosts/guests are part of a station’s community, too. Retweet and share content from these individuals or groups as it relates to your station.
  7. Send out hashtag reminders to your co-workers. Just prior to a field or studio shoot, I send hashtag reminder e-mails to staff, crew, guests, hosts, etc. to make sure people are tweeting behind-the-scenes content during production. Then I retweet using @WYCC.
  8. Don’t rely on vanity metrics (e.g., Twitter followers and Facebook likes). The point of social media is engagement and conversation, so make sure you're talking to your community and rely on reach and engagement metrics instead to track progress.
  9. Get on Google+ for SEO purposes. Take advantage of the Google+ Hangout feature.
  10. Have fun.