My social preferences when it comes to consuming and creating

Having just completed my degree in Business Management at The University of Glasgow, I’ve come to realise that textbooks get you through exams – that’s it. It is valuable, practical experience that will see you through life. For that reason, just a few days after collecting my red scroll, I have taken the plunge into the adult world and started as an intern at Aura.

I’d like to share with you my personal experience and social preferences on a day-to-day basis. I’m a self-confessed social media addict. That being said, my library procrastination days are over and so I have made the decision to use social media productively when I can.

Here’s a little insight into how I’m doing this…

Greek islandsI’ve just returned from a month travelling around Spain and the Cyclades Greek Islands. Much to the surprise of everyone that I know, I decided to just take hand luggage. For that reason, there wasn’t space for anything other than essentials, especially heavy guide books. Instagram became my real-time guide book. Within the ‘search’ section under ‘places’ I was able to research nearby locations, bars and restaurants. I tended to base my decision on who had the most recent, appealing posts. I luckily found many local hang-outs this way and plan on making good use of it day-to-day now I’m back home.

From workout routines to Go-pro tutorials, YouTube houses an incredible variety of content. Admittedly however, I often find myself trapped in the black hole that is YouTube. Once you’re hooked, you have a hard job getting yourself back out at times. That being said, YouTube is now built into my daily routine and has a lot to offer in terms of increasing productivity if used properly. Ever since Google + merged with YouTube, I was welcomed with an influx of suggested videos that made me more and more unproductive. I knew I needed to find a way to filter out the junk so I decided to use this link  as my homepage for YouTube and that way I’m exposed to a feed of my subscriptions only (which are all set to show me only videos that the channels themselves upload) and include no related videos. I would recommend this as a starting point for anyone else who struggles to escape from the void of YouTube, it’s a positive move in the right direction.

Reddit‘The Front page of the internet’ is how Reddit describe themselves, and rightly so. Interesting hourly content is posted within this site which caters to almost every niche imaginable. What’s great about Reddit is that it forms communities of like-minded people. As a ‘Redditor’ myself, I have come to respect this site for its ability to share fresh ideas and products with communities without anyone being directly marketed, as such. Why? The Reddit community have a knack for sniffing out self-promoting marketers a mile away therefore most shy away from using it. Those who choose to market on Reddit properly are doing so simply by sharing relevant, quality content which is relatable and unassuming. I use Reddit as one of my day-to-day social media platforms as it feels genuine and has a relatively simple, accessible layout. From a business point of you, I think there’s much scope for companies to utilise Reddit in the future. The site is an eclectic blend of creativity and geekdom, which could make all the difference in increasing brand value and engagement, if executed effectively.

My time at Aura so far…

The opportunity to gain insight into how the PR world applies social media to the overall strategy of a campaign has been eye-opening. Use of the apps themselves do not create overall value. Instead, the desired public response relies more so on the planning, monitoring and timing of social media posts in order to gain engagement. From what I have experienced so far, less is more on many occasions. Quality, interactive content which requires little to no effort on the respondents part becomes a pinnacle element in using social media to its full potential.

geofilters pictureAura looks after The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture. Prior to the launch of the Adventures in Space exhibition, part of the Festival of Architecture 2016, on Wednesday 6 July, we decided to explore social channels which may encourage attendees of the exhibition to share their stories about their experience. Snapchat, the much-loved, in the moment photo and video sharing app, now offers the option to create ‘geofilters’. Businesses and individuals alike can purchase on-demand geofilters for their event. Besides minimal design guidelines, there is very little in terms of barriers to creativity so there’s a real opportunity for people to get artistic and create a filter which best represents both the brand and the feel of the event. This just goes to prove that brands need not be market leaders to be able to engage with the Snapchat community.

Following the success of Scotland’s first PR Festival, The PRofessionals in June 2016, Aura PR is in the process of creating an e-book based on the outcomes of the festival. I have spent my first week contributing to content creation for the section based on defining creativity. It’s been interesting to see the variation in opinions when it comes to explaining how this may affect organisations. For updates on the #PRFest and the e-book release, click here to subscribe to receive email updates.

I have always known I wanted to be involved in an industry that requires communication as the overall key to success, thus PR felt like a natural progression for me. My brain feels like a sponge again. I’m learning about practicalities within a new and exciting industry. I’d swap that for a textbook any day…

Blog post by Lesley Clark