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How Twitter can affect your employability

The English language is an extremely powerful tool and we are continually reminded of this weapon with social platforms such as Twitter. What can 120 characters do?

In one tweet alone someone can go from being hired to fired. This was certainly the case with Justine Sacco in December (2013) who got sacked over her racist tweet which went viral.

It just goes to show that no matter what you say or do in life, there are always consequences.

Having said that there are of course positives. Ying wouldn’t be complete with yang. Twitter can of course be a way to show your employability; showcasing your up-to-date knowledge or skills within a particular area and linking through to your own website or pages online. It can be a great place to extend your job search as opposed to solely relying on recruiters or job pool sites. You can contact the people you need to get in touch with in real-time rather than through your CV or a representative.

Make your personal Twitter account be about you and your interests or views but of course be vigilant. Bear in mind anyone can read what you write. As a company you can communicate with your target audience, though remember that everyone is human, be personal. Companies should expect a (small) backlash of replies. Though not nearly as bad as British Gas received.

If you are handling a Twitter account then get someone to check over your scheduled tweets. A second pair of eyes is always a good idea and this helps you to keep in line with the brand voice and image.

My advice: think [and check] twice before chirping.

 

Useful Twitter and employability articles

Guardian Careers – Twitter tips: how I used social media to find jobs
Forbes – 4 Ways To Use Twitter To Find A Job
Mashable – 6 Ways to Score a Job Through Twitter

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Categories: Blog, Opinion Tags: , , ,

Twitter hashtags: the ones to remember (or bookmark!)

Twitter-hashtags

As I find myself spending hours on social media, I constantly rely on my saved searches for Twitter. I have produced this short but comprehensive list of my top used hashtags on Twitter, great for adding to Tweetdeck. I hope you also find it useful if you are a writer or are interested in social media. As a general rule of thumb hashtags help give a ‘tweet’ context. For those who are not familiar with hashtags it is simply the # symbol followed by the subject or keyword related to the tweet.

Studies show that hashtags can increase engagement by 50% (1.5x) for brands and each tweet using a hashtag is more visible. This in turn means you will gather more Twitter followers. (Data taken from ‘Twitter for Journalists’ PDF).

The best hashtags on Twitter

This is by no means a definitive list just a few of the best; I will add to it as and when.

General: #news, #love, #photography, #fashion, #health, #fail, #followfriday, #competition, #win, #bloggers, #writing, #mustread, #beauty, #music, #follow, #book, #travel

Business: #jobs, #business, #sales, #economy, #marketing,#socialmedia, #startup, #retail, #smallbusiness, #tech, #SMBs, #restaurant, #csr

Tech: #android, #androidgames,#iphone, #iphonegames, #ipad,#ipadgames, #app

Education: #edtech, #education, #lrnchat, #teachers, #edu, #edtools, #school, #edchat, #ptchat

Environment: #climate, #solar, #globalwarming, #drought, #environment, #green

Social Change: #socialgood, #cause, #volunteer, #4change, #charity, #nonprofit, #philanthropy, #aid, #climate, #sustainability, #earthtweet, #eco, #fairtrade

Sport: #sports, #football, #sportsnews, #rugby, #f1, #active, #fitness, #lifestyle, #tennis, #footy, #…followed by the football team you support

Hashtags.org is a website which allows you to search for hashtags and find the trending ones. It also lists a number of topics and their related hashtags.

Related links

Useful hashtags for writers and authors

How to find the best Twitter Hashtags – this in depth article has everything you need to know from how to find associated hashtags to using a Twitter trend generator map.

How to use Twitter for customer service – a really informative article from Mashable.

Online Marketing │Out with the words, in with the pictures

Infographics

Infographics have been informing us since…well as of late, the rise in these popular graphics has been since the beginning of 2012. Infographics help to communicate messages or information instantly through graphic representation and minimal text/copy. Does it work? Do companies benefit from infographics or is it just more unnecessary information floating in cyberspace?
 

Why use infographics?

Infographics are a fun way to present information and as you know users do not spend a lot of time on one webpage to another. So if your business wants to communicate something quickly and clearly this could be a good way to do so. For example, the wine website Wine Folly uses infographics to help explain wine in a manageable way, please see ‘How to Choose Wine’. The graphics are simple but useful, the text clear and concise.

Infographics are also useful for social media facts and statistics. The data is easy to digest, visually pleasing and not too overbearing; ideal for light hearted (informal) presentations to clients or internally within a company. Long gone are the days of nine pages of reports on social media coverage, tracking links etc. Complex issues are made easier to understand through this method of delivery. This is beneficial to both you and your customer. [This comment in particular is applicable for digital marketing agencies].

Philosophical values and messages are perfect topics for infographic posters. Companies can build their brands around images and information they create! Clever eh?

  • Easy to produce
  • Clearly communicate messages, information, facts or statistics.
  • Visual thoughts – brought alive!
  • Build a company’s brand image – users will consider your company as a resource for user-friendly information.
  • A helpful resource both internally and externally.
  • Infographics can be shared very quickly.
  • Used to display a wide range of topics and discussions. This could be anything from blueberries to porn infographics [don’t worry the latter link isn’t too offensive].

 

This all sounds good but…

Some infographics can look a bit amateur. Remember those (one off) nights when you would do your homework last minute. You walk up to the desk, hand shaking, reluctantly sending that haphazard piece of work to your marker. Well for infographics it can be just the same. Some companies rush into producing content quickly without considering the design element and publishing as soon as possible.

This can also lead to inevitable blunders such as not citing where you found information or date from or not hyperlinking quoted sources. I advise including a reference for everything you quote. Acknowledgement of sources is extremely good practice.

Infographics about your own company are only of interest to…well, you (most likely). Remember the content should be engaging and exciting for the reader and self-promoting narcissism will not get you anywhere! In fact it may lead to bad press for you.

6 Infographic tips

  1. Remember all inforgraphics need… a beginning + a middle + an end
  2. The content should as new and as original as possible.
  3. Use eye-catching graphics, flow charts, images, photographs, cartoons etc.
  4. Whatever you say, may it clear.
  5. Information should always be easy to digest and use, this then encourages sharing on different platforms i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc.
  6. Infographics are popular at this point in time but so is Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr – but is your company using all those websites? No? Well infographics are like social media websites – only use if necessary or beneficial to you or your company.

If you have any comments about infographics or would like to ask me a question then please feel free to leave a message below. Use the hashtag #infographics on Twitter to find some great examples of infographics!

Writing guide l Why you should blog

Blogging can be as much for personal enjoyment and fun than it is for a steady income or personal achievement. As an aspiring journalist (kind of), I see the value in online blogging. Some of the best ideas have originated from blogs and it is definitely a great way to deliver a message to an audience; both well targeted and alert. It can create a high level of engagement and provoke responses from all over the globe. Yet it all came from the comfort of your home, office or space.

 

Different types of blogging

 

Enjoyment – first and foremost blogging can be about expressing yourself online. It is one of the best places to voice your opinion and receive almost instant feedback. You can create small communities online depending on your likes/dislikes or interests. Blogs can also be combined with your other ‘stamps’ online such as Pinterest, Google+, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter. So within the space of someone reading your blog they can connect to the other sites you express your personality and identity on.

Reviewing – if you are fortunate enough you can be paid to review products online. This can be great publicity for your own blog as well as for the company asking for the review. Usually you will be given the opportunity to try a product and then write a balanced review [though the company will obviously be hoping for a positive review]. If you are headhunted, or you a find a particular company you love, you could be reviewing a number of products; from the latest innovative hair and beauty product to a newly released film or novel.

Guest blogging – guest blogging is the perfect opportunity to gain more exposure as a person and for your website. It creates a larger ‘web’ of your presence online. Perfect. It can also be an exciting way to acquire new readers and build relationships with other bloggers. It is also (here comes the SEO part) great for search engines such as Google and Yahoo. You will also be in a new community online which is great for extending your knowledge and interests (also known as personal development).

Online portfolio – whether you are a student finishing college or university, or perhaps an expert marketing assistant an online portfolio can continue to showcase your writing skills and the ability to adapt for web. It can be a second CV in addition to your electronic (or possibly paper) copy. Being online shows you are in touch with technology and you can also demonstrate to a future employer your range of skills, for instance with photography, InDesign, Photoshop, WordPress, Flickr etc. The list really does go on!

Paid bloggingit is a dream job to be paid for blogging yet that is right, it shouldn’t just be a dream. If you create enough chances (usually to do with your great writing skills) this can soon become a reality. Or alternatively there are full-time jobs working as a ‘blogger’ for a company or within their social media and marketing department. In Journey’s words “don’t stop believing!”


Top five tips for blogging

  1. Find four bloggers that you like and follow them on a regular basis. Take note of the articles they are producing and how they acquire an audience.
  2. Sign up to Google Alerts and find trends which you enjoy writing about. For example you could sign up to the latest film releases and write a weekly film review. It is a great way to find content which will receive hits quickly in a short amount of time. Bear in mind these blog posts may not be evergreen content so always think why you are adding the content to your blog, ask yourself, what is the purpose of this post?
  3. Write in your own style. Individuality really is key and this is sometimes forgotten in the World Wide Web.
  4. Promote your blog posts via all your social media channels. However remember to target these websites differently. Keep your audience in mind. No doubt (and it goes without saying) people using LinkedIn are using the site differently to that on Twitter.
  5. Above all else have fun and enjoy writing whatever your style may be or personal preference. I still hand write notes before I go anywhere near a computer, so don’t be afraid to express yourself the way you want to. Blogging can open up a ‘new world’!

 

I am available as a guest blogger for your site, so if you like my writing style or think I can do something for you please contact me. If you are a business or company with new products I am available for reviewing. I have previously reviewed products for the health and beauty industry and written critical pub and restaurant reviews for Sussex Food and Drink Guide 2013.

Please leave a message below if you would like to get in contact or if you have any questions/thoughts regarding this blog post (or any others). I appreciate hearing from you.

Twit-twoo, calling all Twitter novelists!

October 21, 2012 6 comments

Do you love digital media? Do you love social media websites? Do you love the beauty of writing and being completely submersed in your creative world? Then you have to enter this fantastic festival that I stumbled across: Twitter Fiction Festival. If you want to be part of the Twitter Fiction Festival then submit your ideas online now. The competition closes on the 15th November 2012, so get your twitterific ideas submitted as soon as possible.

The Twitter Fiction Festival runs for five days from 28th November 2012. The festival will be running online and has been born out of the Twitter hashtag #twitterfiction. This is a fantastic opportunity for writers to push the boundaries of publishing and storytelling. A great way for writers to test their writing skills in the online universe and platform, Twitter. Five days of stories and tales from all corners of the world.

Have you ever had to reduce the word count, or delete a few words here and there? Do you like the idea of a story limited by characters? Some writers may feel restricted by the small box on Twitter. However some authors have already made their mark using Twitter; Jennifer Egan is a perfect example. Egan used Twitter to post her short story, “Black Box”. She posted a tweet a minute for one hour each day, over an eleven day period. 8,500 words separated by the limitations of Twitter. Was this a good way to tell a story? Well, her story was carefully crafted and polished but received mixed opinions.

In my opinion, Twitter opens up new and exciting possibilities to a story while the 160 character tweet limit ensures structure and format. Discipline for the writer. It also offers the possibility for photographs to be added alongside the text, bringing a more visual and realistic element to the storytelling. The audience is also unrestricted and this is great news for authors of all genres. The real-time broadcasting will also make the festival vibrant, fun and engaging. We can all absorb the same story, at the same time. Who said the internet can’t bring us together?

Could it even be targeted at younger readers? Gather the children, the slippers and huddle around the warm fire, oh and your laptop!

@PrincessFi Once upon a time in Twitter land…

@HandsomePrince Tell us a new story o’ PrincessFi #snoringboring

Fashion website review: Jane Shilton

Jane Shilton offer a wide range of shoes (for both sexes) and handbags. Whether you are after a pair of comfortable sandals for your holiday or a handbag for an evening out or snazzy high heels, JS will most definitely have something to suit you.

Their website makes online shopping really easy and enjoyable, with clear categories and a simple design. They offer a gift card option which makes for a perfect present especially when time is limited. As a reliable company they are always engaging with their customers, with their website’s news feed and their social media, Twitter account (@JANESHILTON). On Twitter, they offer regular tweets to update consumers on company progress, run exciting product competitions and offer new product information (updates or changes).

Jane Shilton is based in London but does not limit its trade to the UK. They have presence worldwide from Europe through to China, Hong Kong and Singapore. This is good news for everyone (worldwide). They provide high quality, long-lasting shoes and handbags, and are highly recommended as a trustworthy company.

To stay one step ahead, see their latest shoe arrivals.

Twitter hashtags: useful for authors and writers

A fantastic article on author media has discussed the most promising ways aspiring writers and authors can use hashtags on Twitter. Here is a summary of the most important information from the article to help assist your writing career on an online social platform.

How can Twitter help me as an author or writer?

Twitter is a great platform for engaging with other writers, industry experts and fans of novels.

Why are hashtags used? (#IneedhelponTwitter)

  • To identify a brand (#Samsung)
  • To index a range of emotions (#Bored)
  • To recommend a product (#BestRead)
  • To find experts (#Publisher)
  • To connect with like-minded individuals (#Animallover)

These are the article’s suggestions of hashtags to use in order to: connect with authors, connect by book genre, get industry insight, promote writing and connect with readers.

Connect With Other Authors –

  • #AmWriting
  • #AmEditing
  • #WordCount
  • #WriterWednesday (or #WW)
  • #WritersLife
  • #YALitChat
  • #LitChat (every M/W/F)
  • #MemoirChat (every other Wednesday at 8 pm ET)
  • #BookMarket (Thursday’s at 4 pm ET)
  • #WritingParty
  • #IndieAuthors
  • #WriteChat

Connect By Book Genre –

  • #RomanceWriter
  • #SciFiChat
  • #KidLitChat
  • #RWA (Romance Writers of America)
  • #ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers)
  • #MGLit (Middle Grade Lit)
  • #SCBWI (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators)
  •  #MemoirChat

Get Industry Information –

  • #WritingTip
  • #WriteTip
  • #GetPublished
  • #PromoTip
  • #SelfPublishing
  • #Publishing
  • #AskAgent
  • #AskAuthor
  • #AskEditor
  • #EBooks
  • #IndiePub (or #IndiePublishing)
  • #BookMarketing

Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

  • #WritingPrompt
  • #StoryStarter
  • #WordAThon
  • #Creativity
  • #WIP (work in progress)
  • #1K1H (write one thousand words in one hour)

Connect With Readers

  • #FridayReads
  • #BookGiveaway
  • #MustRead
  • #LitChat
  • #StoryFriday
  • #MustRead

These hashtags can dramatically increase your conversations on Twitter, extend your (desired) audience, put you ‘in touch’ with important industry experts and all in all be an effective, accessible way to gain more literary knowledge.

Get ‘tweeting’!

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