The third session of my social media marketing course was a bit more useful to me than last week, as it was all about marketing your social media presence in order to grow your audience and achieve whatever your marketing goals are. Essentially this meant how you can build up your followers on Twitter, although we did look briefly at Facebook Pages too and how you set up adverts on Facebook to drive people to you.
Lots of the general Twitter stuff I was already familiar with, as obviously I use it all the time. So things like building relationships, responding to people and following back were all quite natural to me. We looked at a couple of good listings websites though, such as http://tweepml.org which holds lists of people grouped by category (i.e. their interests or fields of expertise). That might be quite useful, and I’ve already found a few people that I want to follow myself after using it. I’m a bit hesitant about it as a tool though, as often the lists are more than 100 people long, and you can bulk follow them via the TweepML website. On a new Twitter account, that quickly gives you a suspicious ratio of 400+ following to practically zero followers. Whenever I get followed by an account that looks like that, particularly one that has only tweeted a dozen times, I normally just block it as a matter of course. So I think you need to be a bit careful not to over-use list websites like these.
Other than that, the only stuff that was useful to me in the session was the 10 minutes we spent looking at LinkedIn. I’ve never really used it before, although I registered on it ages ago, and from what our tutor said that’s pretty typical of many of the accounts on there: people register then never go back to it.
I’ve had a more thorough look at it now, and it certainly does seem to have some potential for professional networking and certainly for job hunting. It is much, much more of a professional environment though, so I certainly won’t be linking my Twitter or this blog to it. I’m not sure either would make me look particularly good to prospective employers, and from what I’ve seen many employers are now looking up job applicants and even head-hunting people via LinkedIn.
It seems to be more well-used within the private sector than the public sector, and at the moment I’ve found hardly any people I can ‘connect’ with on there, but I have at least filled out my profile properly now. One website I looked at also suggested using LinkedIn when job hunting in the reverse way to what you’d normally expect: yes an employer might look you up on there, but equally you can look up the profile of the manager for a post you’re applying for on there too, find out more about them, and you might even find you’ve got common interests that you can casually exploit at interview.
This week’s session was partly spoilt for me by a boy I’ll call Yappy Talkerson. As I mentioned after the first session, the group is composed of people who know nothing about social media or computers, and then a couple of people who won’t shut the hell up trying to show off what they do know. It’s probably fairly obvious which group Yappy Talkerson belongs to.
“Can you filter out individual people on Twitter so you don’t see their tweets in your timeline?” asks Yappy Talkerson.
“No,” says tutor, “you can’t do that, but you can set up lists of your followers and limit what you see that way if you want to.”
“Or you could use a tool like TweetDeck,” replies Yappy smugly.
So, if he’s familiar enough with Twitter to know about TweetDeck and to know how TweetDeck works, then of course he knows that you can’t filter people on the basic Twitter site. So why the FUCK ask the question? Just to hear the sound of his own voice and show off what he knows about TweetDeck, presumably. Cockhead.
In the other camp of people who don’t know anything about Twitter or computers or the world in general, I was amused to watch a sweet lady type “Twitter log in” into her address bar, squint at the Bing search results which appeared on the screen for a few moments, then carefully click on ‘Log in’ at the top of page and try to enter her Twitter username and password into the Bing log in screen. Bless.
So that was my third session. Last one next week, and I’m actually quite pleased as the train journeys to Hastings are really rather long and boring. Will I be applying my new social media marketing knowledge to my work after that? In all likelihood, no. But it’s been interesting nonetheless.