Twitterquette 101: Lesson Three

When you are posting on a Twitter account you manage for someone else, do not tweet to your personal account and respond to yourself. Why not? Well, you are not really engaging and fully taking advantage of the Twitter experience.

One of the many great things about Twitter is the networking it allows you to do. By tweeting to yourself, from yourself, you are not really networking. You already know yourself! Twitter allows you to meet people that live in different cities, states and countries. So narrowing down who you tweet with, and by only tweeting back and forth with yourself, limits your endless opportunities to network. I am not saying that talking to yourself is bad, but when you have the ability to connect with someone that is thousands of miles away, why just tweet to yourself?

So what do you think… is tweeting with yourself pointless when you are running two Twitter accounts? Does it limit your networking opportunities?

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So You Are New to the Blogosphere…

So you are new to the blogosphere, now what?

Everyone is new to blogging at some point or other, but how do you get started? I started my blog a little more than a year ago and I never imagined I would ever get any hits on it. That has changed and it has a lot to do with things I have learned through my own experiences and reading other blogs.

The following are some tips I have for those of you who are new to blogging or want to jumpstart your blog again.

  • Make a plan. The first year I started my blog I did not really have a plan for it. My goal was to get a few posts up a month, but nothing far beyond that. When I decided to buy my domain name and attended Real World PR for the second year in a row, I decided to make a plan and be more serious with my blog. Maybe it took spending money on a domain name, or attending a conference two years in a row where they stress the importance of social media, but I now have a plan for my blog. In your plan, decide what you want to base your blog on and create topics you would like to write about. I suggest this to anyone starting out. It really helps!
  • Research. As PR students we already know the importance of research. When it come to blogging this is no different. See what other PR students and professionals are doing with their blogs and what they are writing. Along with this research you will create a list of blogs you will read daily or weekly.
  • Network in the blog world! Almost everyone is on Twitter, and there are Twitter chats for almost everything. One of the first few chats I was ever in is #blogchat. This Twitter chat has helped me network with other bloggers and get a lot of questions I had about blogging answered. While there are a wide range of bloggers that participate in this chat, you can still find a lot of useful help by participating. If you really want to network with bloggers that are interested in the same topic as you, find a hashtag that fits you. #PRStudChat introduces me to a lot of PR students who are interested in the same field as me and blog about similar topics.
  • Comment on other blogs and share posts. To me, this is very important. Read other blogs and join in on the discussion in the comments. This is a great way to get your name out there and show that you are not just promoting your blog, but other blogs as well.

What are other tips you have for starting bloggers?

Spring Break is Here, Now What?

It is spring break for Western Carolina University students, but I decided to hang around campus for the week. Why in the world would I do this? To apply for summer internships and catch up on work that will be due after the break. This may sound insane, but I wanted to get ahead of the game.

If you do not have spring break plans, fill your break with other things to do that can help out with your future. Here are some suggestions I have:

  • Start applying for summer internships if you have not yet. After spring break is over summer is right around the corner. If you have decided to use spring break to apply to summer internships, stick to it! Yes, go have fun on your break as well, but pick specific days to focus on your resume, cover letter and creating a list of internships you would like to apply to. Then pick a day to actually send in applications.
  • Go do a job shadow! Shadow someone in the industry you would like to work in when you graduate. While some university programs require this, others may not. Take advantage of having down time and contact employers about spending a day shadowing them. If you are able to set up an appointment, make sure you are prepared. Create a list of questions to ask throughout the day about the particular job and take notes throughout the experience. Bring along business cards and copies of your resume. Shadowing offers you a chance to network with professionals.

  • Look for a spring break internship. I had never heard of these until today when I came across an article Heath Nettles shared earlier. You can read the article here. While it may be to late to apply for spring break internships right now, you can always plan to do one next year. This offers a chance to network, just like with job shadowing. It will also give you multiple days to see how a firm or company works and you will gain valuable experience.
  • Stay ahead of school work. With the end of the semester fast approaching it may become easy to put some assignments aside to work on after spring break. Personally, I have a ton of assignments due right after the break, so I am taking this week to stay ahead of my school work as well. It may not be very fun, but you will at least have more free time after break!

If you do not have spring break plans I hope these suggestions help! What are other suggestions you have?

The Search is On: Tips for Internship Hunting Success

Summer internship hunting is here for many college students, myself included. Here are three tips that help me stay focused and get applications in on time.

  1. Excel Spreadsheets. I seriously live by Excel spreadsheets. So when I started looking for internships it was no different. While looking for internships I keep an Excel spreadsheet open so I can get all of the information I need to know about the internship. Things I include are the title of the internship, location, dates for the internship, where to send my resume and cover letter, and a link to the website for the internship. I also include the date I applied for the internship. Trust me, keeping track of internship leads this way definitely helps!
  2. Resume and Cover Letter. Keep your resume updated! This will make it easier when you start to apply for internships. My suggestion is to keep your resume to one page and do something creative to make it stand out. It is also important to tailor your resume to fit the internship you are applying for. An easy way to keep track of all of your experience is by creating a LinkedIn account. It also allows you to elaborate on the experience you have and you can include this link on your resume. You can read more about my resume suggestions here. As far as your cover letter goes, write a different one for every internship you apply for! You need to cater your cover letter to fit the internship you are applying for, just like you do for your resume.
  3. Network! Network, network, network. Attend conferences, like Real World PR, for an opportunity to network with professionals at a career expo. These connections can be valuable and also give you an opportunity to pass out your resume to potential employers. This also allows you to network with fellow students, who can help you out by looking over your resume to offer your advice before you apply for internships.

These are three things I stick to before, during and after my internship hunt. What are tips you have when it comes to internship hunting?

Ever Wonder Why People Follow You?

Have you ever seriously wondered why people follow you? No, I do not mean follow you down the sidewalk, I mean follow you on Twitter. I have. Actually, I wonder this almost every day.

While some people may not think twice about the people that are following them on Twitter, I always wonder why someone I may have never tweeted with before is following me. Yes, everyone has their reason to follow someone, but when I follow someone it is usually because we connect. Below you will find the top reasons I follow someone.

Network. Twitter has definitely helped me out when it comes to networking. Being a large social media website, networking with students and professionals all over the world is possible. The best thing about networking through Twitter is finally meeting the people you tweet with in real life. The best way I have found to network on Twitter is by getting involved with different communities.

Community. Being involved in great communities like #PRStudChat and #PRSSA, along with many other ones, has given me the chance to network with fellow students and professionals. Through these communities I start to follow the people I have met, because I am learning from them. We also have something in common: the community we are involved in.

Engagement. Engage with me! When I follow someone I always try to engage with them as much as possible. If I am following you it is because I want to engage with you, and if you are following me I want you to engage with me! I do not bite, I promise! Plus, if you have not noticed by now I like to talk. 😉

Learn. Like I have already mentioned, I follow people because I know I can learn a lot from them. Through communities and engaging with individuals, my knowledge on various topics has grown tremendously. One topic, of course, is social media! Who would have guessed? I think everyone that engages in communities on Twitter have a lot to offer and overall it is an awesome learning opportunity for everyone.

While I follow almost 1,500 people, and this number grows everyday, I have connected with each person. This is why I am following them. Every Twitter handle that I follow, I follow with purpose.

What are your thoughts? Why do you follow someone? Do they provide information that is relevant to you? Are they interesting?