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Are You Listening?

Candace | October 21st, 2011

In addition to creating our multimedia pieces for the WV Uncovered class, graduate students are required to update the Twitter account (@WVuncovered). For the better half of the semester, I grappled with how to make my three tweets per day valuable. Oftentimes, I would look up news relevant to the state or area and post it. I would also ask others for their input. Is this bad? No. Is it ideal? No. There has to be a good balance between producing information and responding to the information already out there. If I want someone to mention me on Twitter, I need to mention them, as well. It’s a two-way street, and the dialogue was only flowing one way for awhile.

This brings me to “listening,” which is just as important as “talking,” as Journalistics’ blog points out. Their “Are You Listening” post states that people, brands specifically, must engage with audiences in order to efficiently be using social media. The post focuses on brands, but the same can be true for the “Uncovered” brand. We are wanting to engage with our audience because we want them to see the work that we produce, and we want to be a valuable part of the West Virginia social networking scene.

As our esteemed leader, Mary Kay McFarland, once told us: Stop making so much work for yourselves and respond to others’ tweets. Responding to them invites them to respond to us, and thus, developing relationships via Twitter. Journalistics lists some ways to encourage the listening aspect of social media. Two tips that stood out to me are “act online like you would offline.” This is a really simply concept, but Twitter needs some flavor! Each of us Uncovered kids have a different personality, and it shows through on our Twitter.

The other tip I liked was “pay it forward.” Thank people for RTing you or following you. It not only acknowledges them, which is nice, but it also returns the favor. The begin the conversation by following, it’s only polite to say thank you, and could potentially lead to another friendly face on the web.

Do you have any other tips about communicating on Twitter? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us!

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