Guest Blogger: Mark McCaskill

Mark McCaskill

This week’s guest blogger brings insight from an arena that we haven’t dabbled in too much…organizations that serve our communities.  Mark McCaskill works at an agency where my husband is a volunteer.  I know from hearing about what is going on at the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission that these folks work very hard help make the best use of resources.

What social media platforms are you on?  And how do you use social media? 

I am mostly on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  I will answer the questions from both the professional and the personal perspectives.  The two perspectives can reinforce each other.  For example I can personally “like,” “share,” or “forward” something that my work put out on a social media channel in order to help create a critical mass.

Professionally, I am a department Director of the Roanoke Valley Transportation Planning Organization (RVTPO) function of the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission (RVARC).  I know that is a mouthful.  It essentially means that RVARC is the lead staffing agency and fiscal agent for the RVTPO which is governed by a separate Policy Board.  RVARC has other functions and programs and there is an Executive Director of the larger agency whom I report to.  In our case the RVTPO has a Twitter account @roanokempo and a Transportation Blog (http://rvarc.org/category/transportation/).  RVARC has a Facebook Page.  There are LinkedIn Groups that serve the statewide association of Planning District Commissions (RVARC) and statewide association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (RVTPO).  As you can see, Social Media is an Omni-channel world.  There are various nested and intertwined options.

What platforms do you feel are the best to engage your audience or ideal client?  

As a public sector agency, at a basic level the entire citizenry is our audience.  Unlike a private business, we cannot “fire customers” and send them to our “competition.”  Also, we are not seeking a “financial transaction” like a private business, instead we seek feedback, cooperation, information and co-creation of value from citizens and communities.  That said, there are some populations, who may be traditionally underrepresented in the public involvement process and to whom we would like to make a special outreach effort.  Often these populations are busy working multiple jobs or have other barriers to physically showing up at public meeting.  Social Media holds great promise to reaching more groups and communities.  However, as previously noted Social Media is a very rich but fragmented Omni-Channel World.  This makes matching Social Media channel to target community very challenging.  So far, we have not adequately solved this puzzle.  We often pursue a hybrid approach in which we print paper surveys that also have an electronic survey link or have printed links to webpages, twitter accounts or Facebook pages.  Not everyone is on Social Media, despite popular assertions, and paper still plays a role.

Share one or a few things that have surprised you about using social media.

I was surprised by what is often called “content shock.”  Since Social Media is open and accessible by design, there is a lot of noise out there.  It is very difficult to get what some would consider “serious content” noticed.  We can try to be accessible, but in the end, there is no way to deliver the long-range plan in the form of a cat video.  It is difficult to get critical mass and any sort of viral sharing when we are dealing with public policy and long-range planning.  The only exception seems to be when something in controversial.  Controversial subjects go viral on their own.

Thank you!

Thank you Mark for taking time out of your day to share your social media point of view. Each of our guests have so much to offer to the readers on how they use this tool to spread their message.

We love to hear from the readers here.  If you have any comments, suggestions, or if there is a topic you would like for me to explore please add a comment in the box below.

Blessings,

Mary Lu

Mary Lu Saylor

Connect with me:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media Specialist with FindGreatCompanies.com

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Guest Blogger: Chris Abbotts

Chris Abbotts

Chris Abbotts is another of my friends from my TV life.  He had an important role in our newsroom as the conductor of sorts to make the news content on our social media platforms sing.   He and his wife Emily have made a big move recently and he’s taken a new job.  I wanted Chris to share from his wealth of experience in the “TV world” as well as in his new role in the public relations world.

As we continue our guest blogger series, I love that I am able to share wonderful expertise from all different facets of the world using social media.  Meet Chris!

What social media platforms are you on?  And how do you use social media?

Personally, I’ll try anything new, but I consistently use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  For me, those are the big three where I can find most of my friends, family, colleagues and favorite brands.

Facebook is my go-to for actual networking and probably gets the most of my attention.  Zuckerberg and crew seem to have really nailed the whole algorithm thing, so I’m guaranteed to see almost everything I deem important.

I tend to use Twitter during real-time events, and more as a spectator than as a participant.

Instagram is always a contender as one of my personal favorites.  I always compare it to magazines, where there’s some textual content but mostly higher quality, artsy photos.  It’s easy for me to open the app with the intention of wasting a few minutes before a meeting, then look at the clock 20 minutes later to find out I’m late.

Professionally, the focus is on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Facebook is the cornerstone of our social media strategy, and really has been in all of my past experiences.  I always ask myself two things before I click the “post” button.  First, is the content as good as it can be?  And second, does it appeal to a majority of those who like the page?  If the answer to those questions is yes, then it’s probably going to get a good reaction.  Another thing that is always a top priority is engaging with users.  To me, if you’re holding a one-way conversation, you’re not using social media to its full potential.

Everything that goes on Facebook goes on Twitter.  That’s where the similarities end.  I’d say we use it best during ongoing events where one or two-sentences can help tell an unfolding story.  Photos are just as important here as they are on Facebook, if not more so.  Analytics have shown that tweets with photos generally get more attention.  Sometimes, an average of twice as much engagement, or even more.  To me, hashtags are much more important on Twitter than they are on Facebook, and seem to travel further.  I think it lets the user know that your message is part of a bigger conversation, if used correctly.

As for YouTube, it’s a no-brainer.  If you have something that is extremely visual and active, this is where you need to be.  It’s so well integrated with the major platforms these days, it really enhances the value of the message you’re trying to deliver.  And when it comes to video quality, even in an UltraHD age with an emphasis on production quality, I think most users are pretty forgiving.  Plus, it acts as a great archive.

What platforms do you feel are the best to engage your audience or ideal client?

Hands down, it has to be Facebook.  In my experience, and I think most would agree, this is where your content has the potential to reach the most users and have a long life.  Ask almost anyone you know and chances are they’re regular Facebook users.

Once you figure out Facebook’s attitude toward brands and how your specific brand fits into their current model, you can really maximize your audience.  Finding that sweet spot when it comes to how often you post, what times of day are best, and what content works well can be tricky, but if you read the signs and pay close attention to insights you’ll know if you’re on the right track.

For example, I recently switched gears from almost a decade in TV news to healthcare public relations.  In some ways, the strategy for growth was similar; demographics, peak use time and initiation of engagement.  Other areas of focus couldn’t be more different, such as voice, frequency and types of content.  But after some time navigating through the differences and watching each post closely, it started to make sense and the numbers showed that.

Twitter, depending on your area’s sentiment toward it, can be a close or very distant second place.  Places I’ve been that have a bigger political, college and/or metropolitan climate have had more engaged users on Twitter.  Either way, you definitely have to be there because there are some who have shied away from Facebook and only use Twitter as their main social media platform.

Instagram can be a staple for some, but without the ability to have working links, its only benefit seems to be brand awareness.

Share one or a few things that have surprised you about using social media.

Other than the trolls who never cease to amaze me, the biggest surprise has been social media’s acceptance over time, especially in a marketing and informational sense.

Ten or twelve years ago, if someone would have told me that I’d immediately turn to Facebook to find out the specials at my favorite restaurant, what band is playing at the local watering hole, or whether or not dogs are allowed at an upcoming festival, I would have never believed them.

The same thing goes for Twitter when it comes to breaking news.  When I signed up for Twitter, I never would have thought that it would be my first source for information if I heard a lot of sirens or helicopters nearby, or that I’d be scrolling through my phone while watching a major national event unfold.

It’s an exciting career to be involved in.  It definitely isn’t going anywhere, although the landscape is guaranteed to change at an even faster pace going forward.

Check back in another 10 or 12 years and I will likely be even more surprised at the level of which social media is integrated into our daily lives.

About Chris:

I’m the Social Media Coordinator at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis as part of the public relations team.  I got into the social media game at the ground floor while creating web content in TV news.  The places I’ve called home over the years include cities in Michigan, South Carolina and now Indiana.  I’m married to my best friend, and enjoy the outdoors as much as I do sinking into the couch for a long Netflix binge.

Connect with Chris:

You can find out more about him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Big Thank You

Chris is the 11th contributor to this series.  I am so fortunate to have such social media savvy friends that are willing to spend a little time to jot their thoughts down for us.

Do you have some tips on engaging others on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram?  I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a comment in the box below.

Blessings,

Mary Lu

Mary Lu Saylor

Connect with me:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media Specialist with FindGreatCompanies.com

Guest Blogger: Graeme Moore

Graeme Moore

Graeme Moore and I worked together in television news for several years at WSPA-TV.  Graeme moved to the field of real estate in the Midlands of South Carolina where he is enjoying a successful career selling real estate.  He has a great take on the power of social media and share it here on my blog.

What social media platforms are you on?  And how do you use social media?

I am on a number of different platforms including Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc., but the one I use most often is Facebook. It’s my primary source for marketing, networking and gauging consumers’ interests, tastes and distastes. People love real estate, and they love seeing (and interacting) with content unique to their local markets.

What platforms do you feel are the best to engage your audience or ideal client?

Facebook, hands down. I target Facebook because it’s where the people who can buy and sell real estate spend their social media lives. Tweens and college kids on Tumblr and Instagram aren’t among my target demos. And Twitter is so old to me now. Plus, the platform isn’t conducive to broad marketing, IMHO.

Share one or a few things that have surprised you about using social media.

Hands down, I’m floored by its reach. Being right on the cusp of the millennial generation has meant a pretty healthy understanding of social media for me. Where many older sales agents have dismissed social media (and dug heels in quite aggressively against it), millennials don’t know what to do without it. There’s a fine line between being obnoxious on social media and being interesting, helpful and relevant. Social media has changed the entire sales game, and I bet we’ve barely begun to understand its power.

About Graeme:

I’m a recovering broadcast journalist who returned home to join my family’s real estate company two years ago. My days are spent helping folks buy and sell real estate, and I love every minute of it. I’m also part of The House Guys, an investment residential renovation company that turns the oldies into goodies all over again.

Connect with Graeme

Facebook

Instagram

Website

Thanks to Graeme for sharing his expertise with us.  It’s great to be able to share social media experience with others through this blog.   Do you have a comment or suggestion?  Maybe someone that should be featured in this blog?  Leave me a message below.

Mary Lu Saylor

Connect with Mary Lu:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media and Personal Strategist with GrowGreatCompanies.com

Guest Blogger: Mark Morrow

mark-morrow-profile-onone-web-sq-600

I love bringing new ideas to share with you about social media through some very special connections. Mark Morrow is a very talented photographer that I daresay I was stalking a bit…ha ha on Instagram.  I saw some of his pictures which evolved into me engaging him in a bit of conversation. His beautiful photographs of our city and the surrounding mountains are breathtaking.  He reached out to me via Facebook where we were able to continue conversations in a little more depth.

I would encourage you to check out Mark’s work. Use this blog as a tool to share with others who would be interested in photography.

What social media platforms are you on?  And how do you use social media?

At the current time, I’m located on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google + as well as my personal Blog hosted via WordPress.com.

What platforms do you feel are the best to engage your audience or ideal client?

As a photographer and visual media producer, I’m finding a quality interaction on both Facebook and Instagram in terms of ‘Likes’ and comments that provide a lot of useful feedback in regard to the images and information I tend to share. While I used to send these works out over the Twitter feed, I find they generally garner the most traction in the visually-motivated Facebook and Instagram sphere and, in my case generally worth the effort of further social media outreach.

As a writer, podcaster and one who enjoys passing along any creative inspiration and technical information from the photography arena, I’m finding the use of my personal blog and the platform graciously availed to me by Photofocus.com to be the most effective framework for sharing podcast links, reviews and tutorial-based material as the WordPress interface provides an automated method of sharing out the SM platforms of our choosing immediately as a work is published. I find these link-based works are more easily scheduled and more frequently accessed via the Twitter and LinkedIn audience (as opposed to the visual-based) Facebook and Google + follower, as they can be liked, shared and conveniently revisited at a later time due to the lengthier nature of the educational information therein.

In terms of an immediate outreach approach, I’m finding the best outlet for visually-inspired (photo-video) efforts to be within Instagram. While it is a pain at times to be limited solely to a mobile perspective in terms of sharing, the tag-oriented interface allows for a more precise targeting of potential clientele and those with whom I’d like to work with down the road. While Facebook and Google + do allow for this approach as well, I’m still personally inclined to avoid any over-tagging in that arena (due to the friend and family-based atmosphere) and defer instead to an Instagram outreach for maximum impact. Either way can be a potential time-sucker, so it’s best to do a little research up-front to locate the proper tags in order for the most effective results.

Though somewhat new to the platform, I’m finding the ‘revolving-resume’ approach of LinkedIn can be quite beneficial in terms of connecting with those who can bring the added benefit of reference to the professional table. It’s always a plus to have someone we’ve worked with stop by and endorse a certain skill from a first-hand perspective, and I enjoy doing the same as well. In fact, I’ve become accustomed to taking a little time every day (or whenever possible) to visit former co-workers pages and endorse the skills I know them to excel in first-hand. When it comes to success, everyone needs a good reference. LinkedIn provides a powerful, legitimate avenue to give a good report for those who well-deserve one at the hands-on level.

Share one or a few things that have surprised you about using social media.

The biggest surprise thus far, for myself in using social media has been the interaction not on a business level, but rather in reconnecting with friends and family whom I have become disconnected with over the years in the bustle of everyday life. Having been pressed by a fellow local business person a few year back, they were most insistent that to succeed in any way I must open a Facebook account. Admittedly frustrated at this notion initially, I had no idea the re-connection to so many great friends and family ties now residing in all parts of the world were waiting just around the corner. I simply could not have been more wrong, and more pleased at the decision to make the leap. This is by far the most unexpected reward – business or no business – that I could have hoped to receive. As a result, my life has been enriched and business efforts have benefited in due turn as well. So far, it’s been a true win-win.

About Mark

Mark Morrow is a practicing Virginia-based photographer specializing in real estate, fine art landscape and architectural projects as well as commercial product and portraiture. Always an avid student of the craft, Mark enjoys sharing insight and inspiration on his personal blog, podcast (Image in Transit) and as a contributing author with Photofocus.com. Click here to read more of Mark’s articles. To view more of Mark’s work, please click here.

Connect with Mark

Gallery – http://www.markmorrowphotography.com/

Social media links:
Facebook / Page
Instagram
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +

I am thrilled to be able to bring you people who are using social media in so many different ways to promote their businesses.  I am a big believer that sharing keeps the creative juices flowing and allows us to move in directions we couldn’t begin to imagine.  Thank you Mark for sharing your knowledge with us.

Mary Lu Saylor

Connect with Mary Lu:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media and Personal Strategist with GrowGreatCompanies.com

Guest Blogger: Rob Wilson

Rob with family

I’m bringing back a familiar face to the blog, Rob Wilson.  He’s become one of my favorite people to get to know this year. See how we met in this previous blog. Rob is part of a duo that heads up Devology in the United Kingdom.  You can read more about him in the about section below.  This man has a delightful British accent and is enthusiastic about software development and customer service.

DON’T MISS THE DEAL HE IS OFFERING FOR HIS PRODUCT SOCIAL SCHEDULER…I highly endorse it! 🙂

What social media platforms are you on? And how do you use social media?

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and just about hanging in there with Google+ and Ello.

What platforms do you feel are the best to engage your audience or ideal client?

This is harder to answer, I would have said ‘Twitter’, but I don’t get people engaging with me with meaningful results other than the post being ‘liked’ and at best ‘re-tweeted’.  (***FOLLOW***) I see more comments in Facebook and it’s the comments that I’m really after, so I can learn what people want and adjust my product.  On that note, I’d say the WordPress blog offers me the most value, maybe it’s not traditionally a ‘social network’, but it does enable people to follow/subscribe to your feed and so to me it does offer social-like features.  LinkedIn sometimes gives me the results I want, especially if I am asking questions pertaining to someones specialist area; I asked some schools about their use of expensive information-systems used to keep staff and parents up-to-date, the feedback was interesting and full of facts.  As for Instagram and Pinterest, I can sink too much unproductive time in those if I’m not careful, so I tend to schedule posts to them and not look too often!  Google+ I really don’t get, likewise I want Ello to work, but the latter seemed far more complicated than necessary and they don’t offer an ‘API’ – which means as a developer I can’t integrate with it.

Share one or a few things that have surprised you about using social media.

I was surprised how fine-grained the targeting of adverts (American translation: advertising) can be on Facebook and Twitter, for example, find me all the teachers in the ages 20-30 in East Sussex in the UK, now let me send a sponsored advert to just them.  Now why don’t businesses use Facebook instead of direct-mail (leaflet drops etc), surely it’s more effective to spend money on the exact audience, rather than distributing leaflets to thousands of homes where you might get 3% of people reading them and only 1% of those might be interested.  I personally feel that if you include video in your advert, target your demographics carefully, you will arrive in peoples feeds with amazing effectiveness.

The biggest surprise is with Instagram, what the heck… What do you mean I can’t upload a photo from the website?!  I can only upload the photos from mobile devices?  That’s weird.  But weirder still is that they don’t allow application developers (that’s me) to send photos either.  That’s very, very unusual. It’s also a pain in the neck, it currently means that I can’t schedule photos to go to Instagram, without bizarre workarounds (that we are working on in Social Scheduler), for example, you are allowed to send photos from a mobile app that launches the Instagram app to send the photo.  This means our servers need to wake up your phone, send a push notification along the lines of “Social Scheduler wants to send a message to Instagram…”, you open Social Scheduler and then it displays the photo(s) due to be sent, you then (for each one) must release it to the Instagram App.  Crazy, huh?

I’d love to welcome you to Social Scheduler, the good news is that this week we have added a free tariff (American translation this is a freebie folks!) so you can schedule to three accounts up to 30 days in advance.  It’s a great way to judge whether you like the tool.  If you do sign up, I’d love to know what features you’re looking for, you can contact me directly at rob@devology.co.uk

About Rob

I am Rob Wilson, a husband, father and director and co-founder of Devology Ltd, a software development company in Great Britain (in the United Kingdom).  I work with the only other director (also co-founder) Michael Glazebrook almost every evening over Skype.  He’s lucky enough to also be my cousin!

I’m a software engineer, also known as software developer / programmer, but when you’ve been doing it for 30 years and have learned a lot about the right-way to do things, you tend to qualify for the label ‘Engineer’.

For the previous 25+ years I was developing software at a defence company (General Dynamics) for the Harrier Jump Jet, F16 and F18 fighter reconnaissance subsystems, I joined when I was around 15 on a youth-training-scheme (YTS) and then after 18 years I felt that I was getting too comfortable and moved on to another company, to write commercial software at Macro 4, I worked on a tool that monitored how fast a program was running and would highlight issues in other peoples code, it was a great team, but unfortunately I was getting burned-out with 3 hour daily commutes, so I joined NBTrader, to write stock trading software.  It’s whilst I was there that I learned how to write server-side software (the things that run websites) and how to write desktop applications.  After around 3 years, I moved onto the web-development side of things (web applications, not web pages), this was a really interesting challenge and it’s only recently I can say that I’m enjoying it!

I now work for myself, with the principal aim of writing a suite of software products.  Our first one is called Social Scheduler, it enables you to schedule your messages to multiple social networks (such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest, more are coming).  Our focus has been on keeping things simple, our feedback from customers shows that we might be winning!  We have a lot of great features that we intend to add, the difficulty is adding them in the right order, to be more effective at gaining new customers, to help the cash coming into the company. Right now, we are adding our own referral system, so that our best customers can make money referring the product to someone they know, because they love the product and wish to share it, rather than an affiliate system – who are in it for the money and will push the product to anyone.

Michael and I have a back catalogue of 30 products that we could write, however we have a short-list of 3 that are very attractive.  This week I’ve also found a possible 4th product that dovetails nicely with Social Scheduler.

Unfortunately, we aren’t big enough yet to fund both of us working at Devology, sometimes it’s a struggle to fund one developer (myself), so we do software consultancy and development for other companies too.  Right now we are helping a company in Hove (near Brighton), UK to deliver a very powerful lone-working tool, on iPhone and Android, it also has an administration user interface on the web.  What they love about working with us, is that we can rapidly react to their requirements and can develop the full stack (mobile, web, servers, databases).

I sometimes cringe when people ask me what my hobbies and/or passions are.  I must sound like a geek because my answer is that I love coding, my hobbies are therefore coding, to relax I code.  I know… I’m not ‘normal’, but I don’t look like a traditional geeky software developer – I have no beard and I have great looking kids – so I don’t care what other people think 😉  I think it stems from the fact that I can tell the computer what to do and it does it, if it does something wrong then I know it’s my fault; it’s black & white, it’s logical, unlike my beautiful wife.

Right now, I suppose I have a new hobby, podcasting.  I released the first Episode of our ‘Startup and Marketing Podcast’ on iTunes and a few other podcast sites, such as Stitch, so please subscribe if you want to hear about our marketing efforts!

Connect with Rob

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/devologyuk
Twitter – https://twitter.com/DevologyUk
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSnbaaz2SNx41OJRyu_8b7g
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/devologyuk/
Instagram – https://instagram.com/devologyuk/
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/devology-ltd
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+devologyuk/about
Company Website – http://devology.co.uk
Our Social Scheduler web app – http://socialscheduler.co.uk

Mary Lu Saylor

Connect with Mary Lu:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media and Personal Strategist with GrowGreatCompanies.com

The Power of the Social Media Message

I decided to take a break from my having my friends guest blog this week to share with you how social media impacted where I live.

Social Media hits home

Wednesday morning, I watched as a story developed nearby my hometown of Roanoke, Virginia. I got word of what happened where two journalists from WDBJ-TV were killed doing what most in the TV news business would think was a routine morning live shot.  As the word spread through social media I received a text from a friend in Arizona who shared a screenshot from a headline in England…he asked me, “What is going on in Roanoke?????” News, especially tragedies, spread fast.  My father who has been a broadcaster his whole life and is still in the business had calls and emails from family members who wanted to make sure that he wasn’t involved.

Information moves at a rapid pace through social media.  It is a conduit that most consume mass quantities of on a daily basis.  We look at our phones when we get up, check our computers throughout the day, and catch up in the evenings. Journalists have a very important and hard job of keeping up with what is going on in communities all around the world and feeding it to us the consumer.  They need to accurate and the competition is incredible to be first….because there is always someone right there ready to beat you to the punch.

Here in Roanoke I’ve seen an outpouring of compassion from WDBJ’s competitors who have risen to the occasion. Community organizations, businesses, along with law enforcement have joined in through social media. I’ve seen this extend to journalists around the country and world sharing their condolences, posting tribute pictures, sharing stories from WDBJ, and lending their support.  There have already been spontaneous prayer vigils at WDBJ along with community members leaving flowers, balloons, and stuff animals.  So many thinking of not only those who lost their lives but also the folks inside the building who somehow needed to carry on.

My personal belief

I believe with each tool we acquire in our lifetime, we should use it with respect.  The same applies to social media.  This tool should be used by each one of us carefully and respectfully.  Businesses use it to spread their message. As individuals we can use the platforms to uplift and encourage your co-workers, friends, and families….and how about your candidate??  Post pictures of people helping others.  Post a few of those animal videos most of us really like to see. Social media can be a place for the light to shine.

I welcome comments and feedback.  I’d love to hear your stories about how social media has encouraged you or ways you encourage others.

Blessings,

Mary Lu

Mary Lu Saylor

Connect with me:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media and Personal Success Strategist with GrowGreatCompanies.com

Guest Blogger: Dwayne Morris

D at Fuse-001

This week’s special guest is a dear friend of mine, Dwayne Morris.  This special man has been a part of my life for many years as a trusted friend, counselor, and all around pretty awesome guy.  I remember the day that I told him that I thought God wanted me to do something special with my life but I didn’t know what. Dwayne gently explained that to do that I needed to let God do his job and it will happen.  He was so right. So many things happened for me after that conversation.  That was also when I learned Dwayne was writing a book that he had published (you will read about that at the end of his blog.) I am so excited that he has another one that we’ll be hearing about soon.

Let’s get to the good stuff!   Dwayne explains how he uses various platforms including Periscope to engage his audience.  I know you will enjoy this!

What social media platforms are you on? And how do you use social media?

I operate on 3.5 social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The “.5” is Hootsuite which is what I use to schedule post for the future. It has helped me maintain a consistent presence on Social Media. When I make a new post, I will go ahead and schedule it out for the next 12 to 18 months with Hootsuite. Not everyone sees my posts at the same time, so I will schedule them at 3 month intervals. This helps me be “top of mind” for those who keep up with me and my family. I’m exploring Periscope (@DwayneMorris). I’ve posted a couple of interviews and random observations about life and scripture.

What platforms do you feel are the best to engage your audience or ideal client?

In reality, I get the most engagement on Facebook. However, the people I most want to interact with are on Twitter. What makes it hard is the unwritten rule that you should not respond to everyone on Twitter. To this point, Michael Hyatt says you wouldn’t go to a party and comment on every conversation you heard. The key question is, “Am I adding value to others?” If I can add value and expect nothing in return, then I begin earning the right to engage. Another determinant is character-count.

When I simply cannot get my content inside 140 characters, I have to go to Facebook. On occasion, I have made a mini-post on my blog and posted a link to both platforms.

Share one or a few things that have surprised you about using social media.

My greatest surprise is how easy it is to engage with very significant people. I recall the first time I had an exchange with Michael Hyatt. I was like, “This is CRAZY! I’m having a ‘conversation’ with Michael Hyatt!” That’s when you choose your words carefully. Another surprise is how quickly you can become a Global influencer. There was a lady in Kenya who was readying my book on Kindle. Whenever she would highlight something in the book, she would post it to Twitter. When she started doing this, I started picking up a lot of new followers in Africa!

That’s CRAZY!!!

About Dwayne

 Morris Family

I am a blessed husband to Angela Morris and father to my three kids:

Taylor (19), Logan (17) and Avery (12). I love helping others experience the life God created them to live. I currently serve on the staff of First Baptist North Spartanburg in Spartanburg, SC. I am an Creative Coach, blogger and author. I published my first book, “The OUTRAGEOUS Life: Letting God Take You from Ordinary to Outrageous” in March, 2014.

I am currently working on the next book, “Chasing Donkeys: When Common Events Turn Into Uncommon Opportunities”. My overall desire is to help people leverage their lives for maximum results.

Connect with Dwayne:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DwayneMorris

Twitter: @dwaynemorris

Instagram: @dwaynemorris

Periscope: @dwaynemorris

Blog: http://www.MorrisMatters.com

Thank You!

Dwayne, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to blog for us.  You are a treasure to everyone that has the privilege of meeting you. 

Dwayne and I would love to hear from you. Leave a question or comment below.

Mary Lu Saylor

Connect with me:  

Email: marylusaylor@outlook.com

Blog : https://socialmediamarylu.wordpress.com/

Facebookwww.facebook.com/mary.l.saylor

Twitter: @marylusaylor

Instagram: @marylusaylor

Mary Lu Saylor is an Emmy-award winning journalist who spent 30 years in the television news business. Her experience includes work as a videographer, newscast video editor, and ultimately as the newsroom Assignment Manager at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, SC. Mary Lu is currently pursuing her passion of social media, which began during her years at WSPA-TV. She is a Social Media and Personal Strategist with GrowGreatCompanies.com