Promoting Your Own Brand: The Importance of Social Media

Michael Rivera | Videographer

Time is money in the news business; therefore, young journalist are learning how to take people’s time using social media. Social media has undoubtedly changed the journalism business; now, it getting newspapers around the world to converge and pioneer their own success via the web.

Alex McDougall, Social Media Coordinator/Photographer for the Oregon Daily Emerald (University of Oregon‘s student newspaper), spoke of the importance of social media outlets in student newspapers. He explained how to properly use these mediums, since not always they are effective.

Alex McDougall, Social Media Coordinator/Photographer for the Oregon Daily Emerald . by Mike Rivera

“You need to figure out how to use Twitter and Facebook to help promote your newspapers and your own brand,” says McDougall.

McDougall spoke at one of the three concurrent seminars held by the ONPA Collegiate Day at LBCC, on May 11. With over 90 students and faculty from all around Oregon in attendance, the event was packed with much information to help and encourage the new journalist into continuing down that path.

McDougall explained an interesting concept that his web designer constructed; taking Instagram photos that were geotagged within three kilometers of the University of Oregon campus and posting them on a separate website for the students to access. It is called “The Garage” on the Daily Emerald’s website.

“This doesn’t break copyright laws since people have to physically make the decision to geotag themselves in a picture,” says McDougall.

He described the use of Twitter in several different ways: news aggregator, sources & stories, networking tools and building your resume in 140 characters.

“Be picky; don’t want to follow a bunch of your friends who tweet irrelevant information. Follow things, such as breaking news, national news, local news, and magazines. This is so you have interesting content, which you can curate,” says McDougall.

Since its creation, Twitter has become a necessity in the journalism world. It comes with the ability to post information with short, concise statement to catch the reader’s attention and to promoting information that will help all the people in your network.

“Ask yourself if you would follow yourself on Twitter and you’ll see if your account is successful. Talk to your readers, community members; this is all tied in with promoting yourself,” says McDougall.

McDougall stressed the need to use links, in order to track the following of your links. is a website created to take links you find and convert them with a tracking system. So every time someone clicks that link, it registers and keeps a record for you. Ultimately, this helps the journalist see what their readers are interested in.

“Know when your audience is on Twitter. It’s all about the immediacy of the information,” says McDougall.

McDougall briefly mention Facebook and blogging as a means to promote “your brand without spamming.” He spent less time talking about Facebook, since it was more based on the individual. He did mention the use of Stumbleupon as a way to increase views of photo stories.

“Use contest on Facebook to bring in more views. Stuff that has blogs that cover information that has happened today also works, as well,” says McDougall.

Most people think that being a journalist means that these social media sites are just be strictly professional. McDougall argues that it will this could get boring to the viewers. Thus, he ended with advice to young journalist to be themselves.

“Let your personality come through on your online resume. Tweet, Facebook, or blog about things you doing in college, not just your work,” says McDougall.

What do you think?