Michael Epps

Social Media: it’s tougher than you think

As students looking to become members of the media, we understand the importance of social media. Even if we have trouble knowing the ins and outs of different platforms, we still understand that we must be as well versed in this facet of media as we can. There’s pressure to be like this, in all honesty. Employers expect this to be one of our strongest skills coming out of college and looking to break into the industry. It is something that is expected of us due to our young age, and the perceived notion that since we grew up with it, we must be experts in it.

The problem is that there is a certain degree of pressure that comes with this. At least, I feel pressure. I feel like I need to have a certain number of followers and all these different criteria for how I post, what I post, and how people like it. It’s unfortunate, but it has been integrated into nearly every aspect of journalism and media, so we should be well versed in it.

None of us are. We might think we are, but we really aren’t. That is what I took away from watching Marie Forleo’s video interview with Gary Vaynerchuk. Forleo runs a video blog/website and hosts people on her channel to do interviews on various topics. She discussed social media marketing in this video, which Vaynerchuk is an expert in.

He wrote a book titled Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, about how people’s approach to using social media the right way is all wrong, and how they should correct it. A huge concept that he talks about in the video is content vs. context. He says that people are so focused on the content, what they are going to say, but they don’t look at the context of the platform. He says you have to respect the context of the room that you are telling the story in.

This makes a ton of sense to me as I try to build my brand on social media as a sports reporter. I have primarily been posting the same content on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram when I need to look at each individual platform like its own unique spot. Content I put on one platform needs to be different than the content I put on another. I have struggled with finding a strong second platform the way that Instagram has clicked, but giving each platform its undivided attention is critical.

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