Tag Archives: social media

The New Hotness in Social Media: Twitter Vine

By Amanda Smyth Connorvine-twitter

My favorite pastime is researching and disregarding the new social media tools that pop up seemingly every day. More often than not, I find that they are re-purposed or re-skinned versions of tools I’m already using. I’ve got my social media favorites:

Hootsuite (for keeping all of my Twitter and Facebook accounts in one place.)

Radian6 (because I am a spoiled child who convinced her company to pay for this shiny and very expensive social media tool, although I maintain that this is Best in Class for social listening.)

SocialMention.com (It’s free and offers very quick sentiment analysis and mentions.)

But the latest hotness to come about is Twitter’s Vine app.

The new Vine app links directly to your Twitter account and creates a 6-second video, during which you can edit only so far as pausing the recording process. Check out some of the amazing videos users are posting already.

Why am I telling you about this new tool? Because this new social toy is becoming the new overnight hotness and much like Pinterest, it’s spreading like wildfire. If you are interested in furthering your social media involvement, or in adding a new line item to your resume of freelance skills, get creative and begin expanding your social media horizons with this new app.

Brands are already clamoring for ways in which they can engage users through this video feature. From stop-motion to straight videos, this is a landscape that companies are anxious to be a part of, so believe me when I say that it is in your best interest to, at the very LEAST, familiarize yourself with this awesome app. It’s going to be a great tool to have in your freelance toolkit.


Amanda Smyth Connor is a social media manager for a major publishing company and has managed online communities and content development for many start-up and Fortune 500 companies.  She has been a professional editor for more years than she can remember.


When and How To Find Freelance Jobs

By Amanda Smyth Connor


By now, you’ve come to learn that I have a deeply passionate fondness for social media – bordering on unhealthy obsession – and this week we’ll explore one more reason why I believe  social media is the greatest invention since #slicedbread.

Now that you are on Twitter (you are, aren’t you?) and you’re fully entrenched into following, conversing with, and RTing your favorite freelancers, writers, authors, etc, you should also be following all of the companies you are most interested in working with.

Nearly every major company has a social media presence, and the smartest of the bunch have Twitter feeds/Facebook accounts/LinkedIn pages dedicated to talent acquisition, i.e. job postings. Companies are currently in their first quarter (Q1) during which the majority of hiring takes place for the year, as Q1 occurs directly following budget approvals. What does this all mean? It means that you have the best chance of getting hired for awesome freelance gigs during Q1, and maybe Q2. Chances are also low that you’ll get hired during Q3 and most hiring is NOT done during Q4, since this is the time of year that companies have expended their budgets and need to wait for new budget approval (Q1.) And thus we come full circle.

Pop Quiz!

1. When do you have the highest chance of finding a freelance gig with a company? (A. Q1)

2. Where should you look for company jobs? (A. Aside from freelance job boards, follow the company talent acquisition Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, LinkedIn pages and RSS feeds on the career pages of their websites.)

3. When are you least likely to get a call back about that awesome freelance gig you applied for? (A. Q4)

Amanda Smyth Connor is a social media manager for a major publishing company and has managed online communities and content development for many start-up and Fortune 500 companies.  She has been a professional editor for more years than she can remember.

How Not To Get Fired From Your Social Media Job

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 9.37.09 PMBy Amanda Smyth Connor

It’s incredibly easy to get fired/downsized from a social media position. Very few C-level executives have a working understanding of social media, and even fewer understand how it equates to dollars and cents in their business. So when the going gets tough, the tough cut the jobs they believe are unnecessary.

But you’re NOT unnecessary. You know EXACTLY how necessary you are to the company! You know that your social media efforts have increased the company’s public exposure and brand messaging awareness. You know that you’ve tackled your share of customer service inquiries, you’ve identified potential sales leads and you’re tracking all of your competitors online marketing efforts in order to keep your company one step ahead.

So how can you prove your worth to the C-suite? Here are three handy-dandy tips to live by in order to keep your social media job.

1. Set real and measurable goals for yourself. Don’t leave it up to your manager to set goals for you. You know the growth rate of your community. You understand the level of feedback you can expect and you know what numbers and goals are realistic. Allowing a manager to set unrealistic goals for community growth, clicks or feedback sets you up for failure.

2. Track your analytics. Because no one else will, and the day will come when someone (“The Bobs”) will ask you “What would you say you do here?” All you have to do is pull out your analytics tracking sheets, with all of the wonderful numbers and charts (that you can pull FOR FREE from Hootsuite and Facebook) and you can hand it over and say “Here you go, Bob. I handle your social media. I handle the HECK out of your social media. Look at how those numbers have climbed….”

3. Be Present – Both in your social media community (answering posts, commenting back and keeping all of your social sites alive with activity,) and with your higher-ups. It’s tempting to fly under the radar, particularly if you work alone, remotely or work under a boss who doesn’t quite know what you do so they just let you manage yourself. You have to take it upon yourself to stay on the radar. If they don’t know about your achievements online, they can’t reward your efforts. Be the squeaky wheel who sends analytics updates without being asked. Volunteer to train upper management in social media best practices. Make yourself invaluable to your company.

If you follow these three basic rules, you might just NOT get fired when the chips are down and heads are on the chopping block. You’ll have made yourself an invaluable asset to your company and to your higher-ups.

Good luck. God speed. Don’t screw it up.

Amanda Smyth Connor is a social media manager for a major publishing company and has managed online communities and content development for many start-up and Fortune 500 companies.  She has been a professional editor for more years than she can remember.

When The Tweets Hit The Fan – A Survival Guide

By Amanda Smyth Connor

Everyone needs a survival kit. I'm not judging you on yours...
Everyone needs a survival kit. I'm not judging you on yours...

Are we in the midst of an insane Hurricane right this instant as I write this blog post? Yes!

Is my mother near-hysterical in her makeshift post-apocalyptic bunker in New Jersey (..inland..not anywhere near the beach, or any water for that matter…) where she is heavily stocked with can goods, wine coolers and Janet Evanovich reading material? You bet your buns!

And here in Boston, am I not glued to social media and 24-hour news sources watching this Frankenstorm develop? ABSOLUTELY!

But I warn you, storm lover, weather fanatics and wine cooler bunker survivors – do not believe every photo and every Tweet that comes through in the waves of media covering this storm. We need to put hysteria and drama aside and remember to keep our hard-nosed wits about us.

1. Do NOT spend 12 uninterrupted hours watching the 24-hour news channels – this includes The Weather Channel. Believe me, there is only so much accurate reporting that can happen over the course of covering one story for many, many hours. At some point, your favorite and most trusted journalists will turn to Twitter for second-by-second updates, which you should know by now are not fact-checked.

2. Which brings me to my next point. Don’t trust everything you read on Twitter/Facebook. How many photos of flooding have you looked at in the last 3 hours? Like, a million. (Did you see the photo of the shark swimming through a backyard in NJ?) How many of those were photoshopped? We have no way of knowing. Please take these news sources with a grain of salt and don’t lose your heads. Remain calm.

3. Be part of the solution. Don’t hit that RT or SHARE button if you suspect that what you have just read seems too crazy to be true. Be a scout for trust-worthy news updates in the midst of a big story. Don’t continue the stream of hype without using sound judgement.

Light hearted blog posts aside, my heart goes out to any who have been seriously affected by the storm. If you are without power, please be safe and be careful.

Amanda Smyth Connor is a social media manager for a major publishing company and has managed online communities and content development for many start-up and Fortune 500 companies.  She has been a professional editor for more years than she can remember.

Advice from Twitter

by Helen Gallagher

Did you know Twitter maintains a helpful blog? Twitter’s blog offers some sane advice on best practices for journalists.


We can all use a reminder of the basics of good writing, especially for the online world. In brief, the tips suggest:

1. Tweet regularly about the beats you cover. Their research states that for people who post “a concentrated number of Tweets in a short time span, follower growth is 50 percent more than average. Live-tweeting or posting updates about a news event related to your beat is one way to grow followers and increase interaction.”

2. You know about hash tags, right? That pound symbol on your keyboard,  (the # ) followed by the subject or keyword of the post you’re commenting on…  Use the hash tag so your post gets noticed by others reading about the topic. “Journalists and news publishers use hashtags to organize conversations, gather feedback, and to identify and engage with Twitter users discussing a particular topic.”

3. When you mention a person or brand, use the @ sign, followed by the username   Twitter reports: “Brands that tweet 20 percent fewer URLs and 100 percent more @mentions grow followers 17 percent more than average.”

Master these three Tw-etiquette tips and then read their full article here.

Helen Gallagher writes and blogs at releaseyourwriting.com

Need global exposure? Reach for Tumblr

by Helen Gallagher


I confess I paid little attention to Tumblr until I needed to find more article resources. It is described as a cross between a blog platform and social media. You can use it like a blog filter to find relevant material for the stories you are researching.

Now I’ve read there are reasons you might consider spending time with Tumblr, and I’ll share them here, from what I learned at Journalism.co.uk.  They analyzed how various news source are using Tumbler, and found some interesting concepts.


  1. The Washington Post, is using it for a project with  twelve students covering the U.S. presidential election.
  2. The New York Times put its historic photo archive on Tumblr at http://livelymorgue.tumblr.com/ and sells prints of the photos there.
  3. In the U.K., the Guardian newspaper is segmenting its content on Tumblr into areas of Food, Art and Fashion.
  4. During the recent South by Southwest conference (SXSW), Journalism.co.uk reports that The Guardian “created a Tumblr blog, which they could update from their iPhone or Android phone, and then they used the Tumblr API to pull those posts from the seven blogs back to the main Guardian website as a way to collect all the reporting and then give it back to Guardian readers in a central space on their site.”

Between sleep and paying assignments, freelancers always need to find hot ideas, news, fresh sources and current research.  Instead of scrubbing the web, Tumblr might be a faster way to find what you need.

If you’d like to see how other journalists are using it, take a look here. If people can find journalists by publication, beat, geography and through keyword searches, it makes me think we should all be aware of it.

Dig a little deeper and learn how Tumblr can help you expand your reach as a freelance journalist too. Muck Rack, a site that tracks what journalists are talking about offers a free database, allowing journalists to build a portfolio and link to their work. If you want more exposure for your work, and a wider research base for story ideas and networking, take a look at these resources.

Tell me, do you know and use Tumblr? Does it benefit you?

Helen Gallagher writes and blogs at releaseyourwriting.com