How to build your brand with the best social-media tools
In today’s new-media era, each writer has to be equal parts artist and PR maven.
Look at prototypical uberblogger Bill Simmons. While he usually gets credit for writing in a fan-friendly and accessible way, he doesn’t get nearly enough for how he built his own personal brand from a small Boston sports blog into a multimedia empire.
It wasn’t just Simmons’ writing that got him noticed, it was constant shilling and public relations efforts from one of the best in the business. Even today, Simmons acts more like Grantland‘s social media editor than its editor-in-chief, and that’s all right.
Bleacher Report’s very own Matt Miller’s success isn’t a surprise either. Before B/R, the NFL Draft was just a hobby for Matt. His full-time job? Social-media consultant.
The tools we have in 2012 are much better than when Simmons started laying the groundwork of his empire. This blog post by The Next Web lays out everything a writer could ever need to begin taking hold of and managing his brand. No one else is going to do it for you. So let’s dive in and highlight some of the best tools.
- Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn: At this point, these shouldn’t even be question marks. Your social-media presence is who you are, so you should already be using these. Make sure you’re acting responsibly and maturely. You wouldn’t show up to a job interview in a torn-up Slayer T-shirt, and a few misplaced keg-stand pictures and trolling of other writers are the social-media equivalent.
- Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Ubersocial: So, you use Twitter. Great! Now, let’s step your game up. Using a Twitter client opens up a whole new world of Twitter fun and, quite frankly, can make it that much more addicting. If you’re a New England Patriots writer, you can create a column of anything anyone says about the Pats. You can also create lists of quality writers in different columns for easy perusal. Most importantly, you can schedule tweets so your social-media game has maximum impact.
- Klout, PeerIndex: Klout and other similar sites can tell you how influential you really are and who else is influential in your space. If you’re just using it to pat yourself on the back, you’re doing it wrong. Extended use can help you identify good and bad habits you might have on social media. Also, identifying more influential people for your teams and topics is always a good thing. Go forth and network!
- SimilarSites, Google Blog Search, BoardReader: One of the easiest ways to become a valued voice in any area is to have a well-crafted opinion about topics people care about. Knowing what your fellow sports fans are talking about—from the biggest rumors to the tiniest whispers—is crucial. These sites help you find that stuff faster.
- A Writing Platform: While The Next Web suggests WordPress or Tumblr, let me suggest Bleacher Report! In terms of a platform for sports content, B/R has risen far above any competition. Moreover, you’ll also get a lot of the image and analytics help from B/R that you would get from some of the other tools listed by TNW. Add in editorial and syndication help and B/R gets even better. But you already knew that. That’s why you’re here. Still, play around with other platforms if non-sports topics interest you as well.
Having great opinions and communicating those opinions clearly will always be the pathway to the top in this business. Utilizing tools like these efficiently can help you as you become even better experts for your favorite teams and topics.
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Michael Schottey is an NFL Associate Editor for Bleacher Report.