Please, do @ me

As a print journalism major, I have dealt with the publication of my university’s student-run newspaper, the Collegian, for a while now. And in all honesty, if you ask me, the readership of print material is dying. Yes, you’ll have your traditional stores that want to display the latest issue of the Collegian on their counter. But, overall, our generation has transitioned. And that transition includes the use of technology.

It’s no secret that technology has taken over. Social media, which includes Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram, among many others, has become the news outlet for most everyone. Phones are small, convenient, and have it all.

So, as a journalist in this day and age, how do we we converge the two platforms? Print verses social media — how can they work together if they are so different?

There’s a saying that’s evolved on Twitter, “Don’t @ me.” In summarization, when someone tweets that, they are meaning that they don’t want anyone to respond to them, reply or judge what they have just tweeted. When you type in “@” on Twitter, it means you are replying to a particular person, which is what they don’t want.

As we transition to this type of medium, where we can reply to anyone and shoutout to any company at any time — whether its positive or negative feedback — shouldn’t there be a way publications can incorporate this method of conversation into their content?

I ask this but I already have the answer for you — the answer is yes.

To collaborate social media and print, it’s easy. It really is. All those social media outlets? Have them. As a company, establish your brand on social media. Post consistently. Be creative. Tweet, post, whatever you do, about your print content. Direct your followers to check out the latest issue of your magazine or newspaper. And, make it two-directional. Put all of your social media handles in your magazine for readers to look up and follow.

And the most important part? Interact with your followers, subscribers and readers.

Whatever you do, don’t tweet “Don’t @ me.” That will only set yourself up for failure.

Rather, use social media to the fullest. Have a conversation with your followers and readers. Build trust. Make it a place they want to turn to, which will eventually lead them to your print content.

So, what can you do to make your social media brand succeed? What should your mission be?

Simply this: “Please, DO @ me.”

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The Collegian, Kansas State’s daily newspaper, includes their social media handles on the bottom left of each cover.

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