By Amanda Cuteri
As the end of my final semester of college approaches, my internship at Epic Web Studios is coming to a close. Looking back, I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to dabble in social media campaigns before making my way into the workforce. I have learned plenty in the past few months, but here are my top ideas I can take away from this experience:
1. LinkedIn is more than posting your resume online.
A couple of weeks ago, Epic co-owner David Hunter was standing in the middle of the social department going on an impromptu rant about the fact that LinkedIn is one of the most crucial and underrated social media platforms today. Dave went on about connections, groups, discussions, networking and how playing up LinkedIn is the easiest way to get ahead in your field.
About 5 minutes in, his lecture started to feel like a real-life “subtweet.”
My LinkedIn account is beyond sub-par (if you want to be nice about it). A few hours ago, if any potential employer were to stumble upon my page, they would find out my name, that I’m a student at Edinboro and that I (maybe) live in the Pittsburgh area. But since Dave’s speech, I’ve been working on it.
Truth is: LinkedIn always scared me.
Working here and managing clients’ LinkedIn accounts helped me to conquer that fear. I now realize that LinkedIn is there to help users discover more about their profession, through other professionals.
Being interactive on LinkedIn not only makes you stand out to potential employers, but it gives you a chance to educate yourself.
Contrary to a soon-to-be-graduate’s belief, LinkedIn is not just one big, cut-throat job pool.
2. You’re only funny when you’re not trying to be
Most of my days at Epic were spent sitting at my desk, coming up with creative content for clients. What I’ve learned is that all of the one-liners and puns that had me cracking myself up didn’t usually go over as well with the clients’ audiences. Every joke that I was positive would have people slapping their knees usually fell flat, with only a handful of Likes or Retweets. It was almost as if they were all saying, “Good try, Amanda.”
It was always the things I didn’t expect that would provoke the best reactions. Once, I came up with about six solid, well-crafted tweets for a client. As I was scheduling them, I threw in a couple of fillers that I didn’t think too much about, just to spread things out. Once all of the tweets sent out, my fillers got way more attention than my 140 characters of brilliance.
At first I got really upset, but then I realized it’s like real life. People can tell that you practiced a one-liner too much when you literally recite it. The same is translated through text on the internet.
You can’t over-think things.
3. People love holidays
Nothing brings people together like a random holiday. Have you ever met anyone that would refuse to celebrate National High-Five Day? National Waffle Day? National Give an Intern a Piece of Chocolate Cake Day? (Act like you didn’t believe that one for a second! But really, if you want to participate, let Emily and me know.)
People love a good reason to celebrate, and if you’re the one reminding them that there’s a reason to, they’re likely to remember you. So yes, random holidays get the people going.
4. If there’s anything people love more than holidays, it’s cats.
Or wiener dogs. Or bacon wrapped… anything.
5. Ask and ye shall receive
Crowd sourcing is one of the key tactics that journalist are taught to hunt for, when looking for stories.
Likewise, good marketing develops from customer feedback.
Thankfully, we’ve grown past the times of man-on-the-street interviews and now social media can help us to strike up a conversation with anyone we want.
Asking a question is the easiest way to evoke any sort of interaction from followers. It’s likely that if people are passionate about something, they’re going to put it out there. Do you want to know what your audience’s favorite ice cream is? Go ahead and ask them. You just redesigned your website and you wonder if your customers like it? I’m sure they’ll tell you.
I’ve also learned that you don’t always have to ask the question to get an answer. With search engines, if people are talking about your company, you’re going to find out about it.
6. People appreciate being heard
Often times, people have made the comment that social media is “not your diary.” And that’s true.
Social media isn’t your diary; it’s your soapbox.
One of the biggest joys I’ve taken away from this internship is seeing how excited users get when one of our clients responds to them. People enjoy knowing that their voices have been heard and that somebody cares enough to join them and create a conversation.
Because really, a status with no interaction can sometimes feel like you’re giving a speech to an empty room.
There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that your efforts - no matter how small - got through to someone else, and knowing that even in the biggest market, your efforts aren’t going unnoticed.
I never understood the hype when our clients interact with their fans until a few days ago. One of my favorite authors growing up tweeted at me, and I literally ended up doing cartwheels down the hallway. It was then I realized how crazy social media is.
Here I was, talking with a big name author, across the country, about untangling necklaces - it’s weird, I know, but would this have happened 20 or even 10 years ago? Probably not.
When it comes to social media, the medium may have changed, but the messages are still the same.
People want to talk, we just need to join the conversation.
Amanda Cuteri is a Social Media Intern at Epic Web Studios - a web development & strategic planning firm in Erie, PA - and a recent Communications graduate.