Developing a Trusted Voice on Social Media: five things you can do right now

By Sarah Keenihan digital boot camp

It feels like everyone is on social media now. My sister, my dad and even my twelve year old cousin sends out “selfies” and tweets onto the world wide web every single day. In Australia alone there are now more than 2.5 million tweeters, 4 million people using Instagram and nearly 14 million Facebook users (see here for more stats).

To use twitter and other social media platforms to rise above the vast online crowd and present a strong professional presence you need planning, practise, a little bit of canny and a few hot tips.

On Friday May 29 2015, I’ll be sharing my experiences of social media and professional development through a session on Social Brand Building, part of the Digital Boot Camp – a joint production between SA Writers Centre and The Walkley Foundation.

To get everyone in the mood, I’ve compiled a few early pointers. Here are five things you can do right now to help you develop a trusted voice on social media.

  1. Make your twitter bio meaningful

When you’re using twitter as a professional tool, your bio is the perfect opportunity to explain who you are, what you do and why people should follow you, succinctly. Here’s mine: Freelance science writer | GradDipSciComm PhD BMedSci | I’ve got science in my life (see @sciencesarah).

  1. Choose a suitable avatar

Your photo is important. Make it headshot, let people see your face and try and appear friendly. People want to know you!

  1. Be a person not a robot

Yes, platforms like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck allow you to schedule tweets and collect statistics. But don’t become a slave to the numbers. Successful tweeting often means interacting in real time through real conversations.

  1. Different platforms demand different content

A few extra clicks will allow me to post the same image and words across my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts. And yet I rarely choose to do so. Each of my accounts has a different audience and so for it to be successful I should craft different content for each platform.

  1. Don’t abuse the DM

Mutual followers/followees on twitter can DM (direct message) each other. It’s a privilege abused by many professional Twitter users – in my opinion, it’s overstepping the mark when you follow a fellow writer, only to have them turn around and DM you an invitation to ‘please buy their book’.


Hope to see you on May 29-30 at the SA Writers Centre for Social Media Boot Camp! See here for more information, and to book.

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