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Three Things We Learned From Social Media Master Delia Paunescu

Delia blogBy Caroline Cakebread, Junior Newhouse NYC student and MAG major

Delia Paunescu is to social media what Michael Dell is to laptops. Well not quite, but she was one of the first people managing social media for a publication. Case in point, during her talk for the social media class on Tuesday, March 22, she told us that she was reading Mashable before most, when everyone there was just trying to figure out what a hashtag was. Because she was one of the earliest people to actually have social media as part of her job, and has worked with it at places like The New York Post, News Day and VaynerMedia she had some fabulous insights for the class. Here are three things we learned about working in social media:

1.Making a mistake is really, really easy.

Social community managers and teams don’t usually have copy editors or fact checkers to make sure they aren’t sending out bad tweets. “You have to check yourself in the back of your mind every time,” says Delia. Bad grammar or spelling mistakes are one thing, but bigger gaffes are made when the Tweeter doesn’t get how offensive something will be, or how bad it sounds out of context. Delia said some bigger organizations are now creating layers of approval that tweets go through before they are sent out to prevent serious mishaps. This was reassuring to hear for those wanting to get a job in social media after graduation.

2.Getting Twitter verified isn’t that cool.

Delia has achieved all Twitter fanatics dream; a tiny blue check next to her user handle. However, she says that while it does help her in some ways it’s really not that cool, and hasn’t changed what or when she tweets. She described the verification process, which is slightly bizarre. It basically involves media organizations sending lists of employees into the “unknown void” of the Twitter verification people’s general email address, and waiting to see what happens. Delia says that her name was sent in by a few different employers for verification, but that she didn’t get approved until very recently. Twitter doesn’t give any reason why or why not certain people get verified, and they don’t even tell you when they do. A tiny blue check just mysteriously appears next to your name and that is that.

3.Experimenting is necessary.

It takes a while to develop an organization’s voice or tone on social, and Delia says that sometimes you just have to play around to see what works for different audiences on different platforms. “The goal is to rise above the algorithm,” she says. It also can be hard to tell if what you are doing is working. Delia told the class that the majority of people on Twitter never actually interact with content by liking or retweeting, so it can be hard to quantify how well a post is doing.

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