Hi! This is the first post in what will be a fairly regular series, “9 Questions.” I’ll be talking to my favorite people on the web about the way they way they use social networking. Hopefully, you’ll get new ideas about the way YOU can interact on these here Internets and discover some cool new folks in the process. I’ll kick it off, but next week you’ll hear from a pair of Southern sisters who are sweet as iced tea, a characteristic that clearly comes through in the tone of their blog. But enough rambling; here’s 9 Questions with me.
1.Who are you, and what do you do?
I’m Tatiana Richards, a journalist/social media community manager in Birmingham, AL.
2.How did you end up doing this?
Once upon a time, I wanted to be a journalist. Then, I got a job as a reporter: few holidays, stressed newsroom, a front row seat to other people’s misery. And the pay! The (in)famously meagre restitution!
So I changed things—my job, my career, my address. I moved from Alabama to Los Angeles and worked as an editorial assistant at a publishing company. It was a great environment, but it wasn’t work that I enjoyed. So when I was laid off in a round of cuts, I was honestly relieved. I spent three blissful months soaking up Southern California sun, travelling and writing fiction.
Just as my severance pay was running out, I stumbled into a great opportunity as an associate editor at a city magazine that happens to be owned by a chamber of commerce. I’ve been able to get experience in editorial and advertising; now, I do a blend of both managing social media for the magazine and the chamber.
3. What social media platforms are you active on (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)?
I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I have two blogs–Tatiana Richards, which focuses mainly on communication and media, and Muzed, which focuses on storytelling and creative processes. It’s just a little fun project for me, so it’s only updated sporadically, but it’s pretty fun for me.
4. Which has/have been the most useful for you?
I’d definitely have to say Twitter. It’s invaluable for building and maintaining relationships, especially with people you may not otherwise meet in your daily comings and goings. Plus, I’m a knowledge junkie, and I’m always discovering new information via a tweet.
5. Can you describe a specific instance where social media was instrumental in helping you achieve a certain goal?
Well, social media is the focus of my job, so any work-related goal I have is accomplished using social networking. For example, my company hosted a mayoral candidate forum to ascertain the candidates’ positions on economic development. Of course, the entire city couldn’t be there, but by live-tweeting the forum, we were able to keep people informed in real time as well as interact with them and see their reactions. It’s one of the best ways to get a feel for what people are thinking.
6. What’s next for you/your brand?
I’m definitely looking to take on PR/branding projects outside of my 9 to 5 work. I have a ton of varied interests, from natural hair to literature to education, and I’d love to take on small projects that require me to focus intently on one thing for a few weeks/months at a time. I’m also learning German, so it’ll be interesting to se what that leads to.
7. What’s your dream project?
Id love to take someting that’s cool but under the radar–like this boutique I shop at frequently–and come up with a PR/marketing strategy that gets it lots of press (and customers!).
8. Tell me about someone whose social media presence you admire–an entrepreneur, a blogger, a brand, etc.–and what makes them great.
I love the way my friend Deontee Gordon uses Twitter. His very organic technique is a blend of cultivating relationships, expounding on culture and politics, and being a cheerleader for the city of Birmingham. Through it all, his personality shines through–definitely a model for those looking to use Twitter to brand themselves and have fun at the same time.
9. Where can we find you on these Internets?
You can find links to everything at about.me/tatianarichards