2013 Memories; 2014 Developments

So much has happened since my last post. Most notably in 2013:

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Austin City Limits music festival – my second time to ACL and fifth time to Austin – where I shared barrier with Texas friends Aurora, Alex and Rita to see Muse headline ACL. I saw other bands, too, of course – but not as many as I anticipated, as festival organizers cancelled the last day, thanks to torrential rain that flooded the fairgrounds.

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It’s also where I met Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand for the second time, and saw Franz perform not once, but twice — once at Emo’s East, the other a popup show at Infest, organized last-minute when ACL Day 3 was cancelled. What a spectacular thing to do for the fans!

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Right after I came back from my Austin adventures, I also moved to my current Kaimuki studio. I’m quite satisfied with how I’ve dressed it up!

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[First photo: Bryan Bosworth/PBS Hawaii]

The first month of 2014 isn’t even over yet, and even more has happened! As many of you know by now, I’ve been promoted to Director of Communications at PBS Hawaii. It’s been hit the ground running since then! We connected with some Yelp friends to help us host one of our several “Downton Abbey” screenings. We also held an awesome public screening of “Sherlock” at Consolidated Ward, where more than 400 fellow fans lined up to watch it on the big screen! I love “Sherlock”—how many people can say they helped organize an event around their favorite show? So cool.

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[Photo: Social Media Club Hawaii]

The latest development: I’ve been elected on the Board of Directors of Social Media Club Hawaii! I’ll be helping our membership chair, Tara Coomans, organize fun networking events throughout the year for new and current members. Keep your eyes and ears out for more events coming at you in 2014!

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Q: Do I have to follow someone back on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc?

A co-worker told me about the old high school classmates that follow her on Instagram…and how she chooses not to follow them back. Is this okay? she asked.

If that’s okay with you, I said. To me, there is no right or wrong when it comes to reciprocating follows on social media.

Some will tell you that following back everyone who follows you is the polite thing to do. But I say it’s a completely personal decision.

Here are some starter guidelines to consider:

-Do you know this person in real life? If so, how much do you value this relationship?

-If it’s someone you don’t know in real life, would following them enrich you in some way? Do you have common interests? Judging from their recent tweets, do you see anything they share that you could find useful or “shareable”?

-If it’s a brand account, do you have an interest in its products or services?

-Does the account have a profile picture that’s not the default?

-Have they posted recently? And if they have, does it appear to look like spam? A spammy red flag: repetitive posts that include links and the same call-to-action to try a product or service.

How about you—what are your personal guidelines when it comes to following someone back on social media? Let me know in the comments!

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Q: Why shouldn’t I cross-post between Facebook and Twitter?

Both Facebook and Twitter offer the option to link one to the other, allowing you to cross-post between them. In other words, post a status update or photo on Facebook and it will automatically send a tweet linking to the same content, and vice-versa.

Some may see cross-posting as a time-saver. But here are a few reasons why linking the two isn’t such a hot idea:

1. Twitter will trim your epic Facebook status updates.
Remember, Twitter has a 140-character limit. If you post a Facebook status update that’s any longer than that, your update will be cut off on Twitter, forcing followers to click a link to read the full text. Don’t make your followers do more work than they need to to read what you have to say.

2. Facebook and Twitter tag people differently.
It looks super messy to me when I see Twitter handles on Facebook. Not only that, but Twitter handles also don’t make any sense within the context of Facebook. For example,  when a tweet that includes Twitter handles appears on Facebook, it shows up as “@janedoe,” unlinked to that person’s Twitter profile.

Instead of automatically sending tweets to Facebook, try writing a separate status update on Facebook. That way, you can tag Jane Doe “the Facebook way.” This is done by typing the “@” key (interestingly enough). Then, start typing the person’s name as it appears on Facebook. A drop-down list of names should appear once you begin typing.

3. Tweeted links can looked messed up on Facebook.
When you paste a link into Facebook’s status update box, it will typically generate a thumbnail, headline and blurb of the article that you’re sharing. Facebook doesn’t do that with links that come from cross-posted tweets. The added context helps your Facebook friends understand what they’d be getting into before they click the link. Usually, you can even modify the blurb and headline, and choose your thumbnail, too.

In short, Facebook and Twitter are apples and oranges—different environments. Treat them as separate channels with their own idiosyncrasies. By managing your posts on Facebook and Twitter separately, your feeds on both platforms will look a lot cleaner. Chances are, your audiences on both channels will appreciate you more for it.

Did I miss anything? What do you think about cross-posting?

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Join me for Social Media Club Hawaii’s next event!

smchiSocial Media Club Hawaii will host its next educational event, “Small Budgets, Big Results,” on Wednesday, Aug. 7 at Cafe Julia in Downtown Honolulu. I’m honored to be speaking alongside some of Hawaii’s top social media experts—Rob Bertholf, Laura Kinoshita, and Karen Weikert—about maximizing small budgets through the power of social media.

I’ll be talking about using social media to extend the conversation about a live event, through my experience in live-tweeting and live streaming PBS Hawaii’s weekly discussion show, “Insights on PBS Hawaii.” Others will talk about fostering advocates for your organization, creating a social media policy, and engaging your fans.

For more details or to register for the event, visit the event page on SMCHI’s website here.

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