The first half of the 161MC module got me thinking a lot about social media and how it aids an individuals profile as a media professional. I’ve since developed a house style for my blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts and even created a Facebook page for my blog. All of these platforms are linked together and can be accessed through my blog. My blog and social media pages are all linked to my Linkedin profile as well.
161MC was geared towards being a media producer or independent filmmaker, so I completed the coursework based on that. However I have been wanting to build my professional profile as a writer so I decided to use what I’d learned in the module to create an online identity for my blog and other social media. Since then I have been making a conscious effort to keep Facebook and Twitter professional rather than social, and to keep a distance between my social use of social media and my professional use. By creating a Facebook page for my blog I am able to maintain the barrier between social and professional, and only post things on
the Facebook page that are relevant and professional.
I think the main difference of having a consistent and professional house style is that people are more likely to read the blog. If you go to a blog that looks professional and has links to other social media, you are more likely to be engaged with it. The house style gives consistency throughout the social media platforms so the Facebook page, Twitter and other platforms all look like they belong to the same person, which is a key way to make people remember you and your work.
Including a Facebook page and Twitter account with my blog, and enabling people to follow both using the widgets on the left hand side of my blog has definitely ‘upped my game’ and I have since gained more followers and had more of an engagement with followers and readers.
Alongside what I learned for 161MC, I have taken my research further and have looked at the ways in which to create a successful and engaging blog and online identity. Regular engagement with followers is often at the top of the lists of tips, and having a Twitter and Facebook page is really helpful with this, because although you may not have time to write a blog post every day, you can post relevant images or statuses to Facebook and Twitter to keep your readers interested and keep them engaged. Posting regularly and keeping your audience engaged means that people don’t forget you. As a media producer, if when you are between projects you ‘disappear’ from your online platforms people will forget about you so it is important to utilise your online identity in order to keep yourself ‘in the loop’ and most importantly keep yourself current.
I have also used other media professionals as research and have taken into account their engagement with social media platforms and the style of their blogs. This has had a big impact on my own online identity because I could take ideas from people who have been successful and try to break down and deconstruct what it is that makes their social media and their online identity so successful. I’ve read a lot of other blogs, and do so regularly, because it’s as important as watching films regularly in terms of research. I’ve developed my mode of address and my written style to suit my audience, and have found that it is important to stay real, and not write every blog post as if it’s a formal letter. It’s important not to disguise your own voice behind fancy words because readers are more engaged with honesty and authenticity.
Having a professional ID is important for a media producer because it is what separates someone who is just a student from a professional. It shows an understanding of the media and of your audience and also builds a professional and reliable identity. For a media producer this is important, particularly if you are freelance, because clients would choose to work with someone who is professional, with a professional online identity, as opposed to someone who comes across as inexperienced. It also provides a number of ways for people to get in contact which is highly important when working in the media and it makes you as an individual as well as your work accessible to a wide audience.