The Importance of Social Media Metrics

I’ve been knee-deep in job applications lately and spending a lot of time thinking about the likelihood of me being asked to interview at some of my dream publications. And, if I am lucky enough to get a coveted interview, what are they going to ask me about? What should I prepare besides my normal interview routine?

The Journalism Jobs article, “How To: Prepare for a journalism job interview,” and The Prepary’s “How to Prepare for an Interview: Use this easy checklist” have been really helpful with reeling in my questions and concerns about the journalism-industry interview process. Here are a few of my favorite tips:

  • Understand basic interview etiquette and pick out an appropriate interview outfit for this position
  • Do your homework—extensively research he company you’re interviewing with and the industry you’re interested in working for
  • Study the most common interview questions and be prepared with great answers that will set you apart from others
  • Demonstrate your experience by giving well-thought out examples of impressive projects you’ve worked on
  • Come with ideas on how you can contribute to the company or publication through this new position
  • Be prepared to ask a few good questions, but not too many

Through my own experiences with previous interviews and my recent job application process, I feel compelled to add one more tip to the list:

  • Be prepared to describe your social media presence and explain how its helped foster personal brand development and engagement with others in the journalism industry
Photo Credit: Getty
Photo Credit: Getty

Why is this particularly important, you ask? Because you are a brand, and just like a business, you must promote your brand and yourself in every job interview you enter. And, outside of job interviews, the best way to promote your personal brand is through social media!

According to the article, “Metrics, metrics everywhere: How do we measure the impact of journalism?” metrics are powerful tools for insight and decision-making and are really just proxies of our real social media goals.

The article, “5 social media metrics that your business should be tracking,” states social media users have access to unprecedented information about how their content is received and acted upon and its important to track social media metrics for the purpose of identifying which content is most relevant. Some of the best social media metrics to track include:

  • Your reach and audience growth rate
  • Brand posts and total engagement
  • Social conversations
  • Overall activity

The Poynter article, “How journalists can measure engagement,” says while engagement is imperative, it isn’t just Twitter, Facebook or social media; it’s really getting to know your online audience. Perhaps the best tactic for measuring metrics, the article states, is by looking at social shares, on-site comments and page views.

While thinking about studying my own metrics, I first assumed I would just simply look up my Klout score, though I had never used the social media measurement site before. The site’s mission is to basically rank the influence of every person online with a score from 1-100.

Klout is great for putting numbers behind your social media interactions and makes it easy to identify social media influencers and those accounts that are least active online, states the article, “Don’t Like Klout? 12 Other Ways to Track Social Media Influence and Engagement.”

After logging on the website and linking all of my social media accounts, I had to wait a few days for Klout to come up with my score. Not knowing much about the site, I didn’t exactly know what to think about my score of 59—but I recognized its importance.

The Wired article, “What Your Klout Score Really Means,” recounts one journalist’s failure to get an offer for a VP position at a large marketing firm due to his low Klout score. The article also interestingly explains that Klout is beginning to infiltrate our everyday, online transactions as software giant Salesforce.com now allows companies to monitor the scores of customers who Tweet complaints and compliments. Those with higher scores will presumably likely get faster, friendlier attention from customer service representatives, the article says.

Learning my Klout score is just the first step toward gaining a more complete understanding of how to best measure my online activity and reach through metrics. Knowing the basics of how I’m influencing others through my social media accounts, as well as knowing exactly how to best prepare for interviews, will help me land my dream job in this exciting, ever-changing industry.

Oscars 2014: The Best Dressed

86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Lupita Nyong’o in Prada. (Photo Credit: Getty)

86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Angelina Jolie in Elie Saab. (Photo Credit: Getty)

86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior. (Photo Credit: Getty)

86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Kate Hudson in Atelier Versace. (Photo Credit: Getty)

86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Amy Adams in Gucci. (Photo Credit: Getty)

86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Cate Blanchett in Armani Prive. (Photo Credit: Getty)

86th Annual Academy Awards - People Magazine Arrivals

Julia Roberts in Givenchy. (Photo Credit: Getty)

86th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Jennifer Garner in Oscar de la Renta. (Photo Credit: Getty)

My 2014 Oscars Predictions

Today is the day! The Academy Awards are TONIGHT, people! In fact, there’s less than one hour to go before the red carpet and I’m totally gearing up for the best red carpet fashion and crop of award winners we’ve seen in years.

This year, I chose Glitter Guide’s “Printable 2014 Oscars Ballot” as my ballot of choice, mostly because it’s a cutely designed one-page of the top six awards that will be given out during tonight’s show. If you’d like to choose a winner for each award, you can find the official Oscars printable ballot of all awards here.

As I was going through the ballot, trying my hardest to pick a winner for each award, I found myself checking off one, two or even three winners. For some awards, it’s just impossible to pick only one!

So, with that disclaimer, here is my 2014 Oscars Ballot! Continue reading below for my thoughts on who I’ve chosen as the winners.

For a few of the awards I was able to choose obvious winners based off of performances and  previous wins at other award shows this season.

Best Supporting Actor will undoubtedly go to Jared Leto for is moving characterization of Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club— plus, he’s already won the Golden Globe, SAG and Critics’ Choice and Independent Spirit Award for this role so he’s definitely the Oscar front-runner.

While all of the Best Supporting Actress nominees are more than worthy, I went with Lupita Nyong’o as the winner. While I’d love to see Jennifer Lawrence walk away with another Oscar to make her wins consecutive, or see June Squibb win her first Oscar at age 84, I think the Academy will recognize Lupita’s performance in 12 Years a Slave. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Lupita has quickly become this year’s breakout star by being a style icon and giving a few adorably charismatic acceptance speeches this award season. She’s basically this year’s Jennifer Lawrence.

Best Directing will likely go to Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity. But, I totally wouldn’t hate Martin Scorsese taking home another Oscar for The Wolf of Wall Street. 

Best Lead Actress is a total toss-up for me. I’m almost positive Cate Blanchett will win tonight, but I wold love to see Amy Adams win for her role in American Hustle. Blanchett’s performance in Blue Jasmine is definitely worthy, but I could easily argue that Adams’ performance is the best of her career. Plus, Amy Adams is the only woman in this category who has never won before! It’s her time.

I have never had a more difficult time choosing the winner’s for the last two awards: Best Lead Actor and Best Picture.

Best Lead Actor is again, a total toss-up. Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey deserve to win and I really cannot decide who’s going to edge out the other. Both won Best Actor Awards at the Golden Globes (in different categories). McConaughey won the SAG and Independent Spirit Award, while DiCaprio walked away with the Critics’ Choice Award. McConaughey may be the winner tonight, but I can’t ignore DiCaprio’s three previous Academy Award nominations and would be absolutely thrilled for Leo to finally get his chance to win this coveted award– and I’m not the only one who’s wondering when Leo will finally win.

And, last  but not least, Best Picture. While I still can’t choose one clear winner, I’ve narrowed the likely choices down to American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club and The Wolf of Wall Street. I’d be happy with any of the three winning, but if Leo doesn’t manage to win the Best Actor trophy he could win his first Oscar as producer of The Wolf of Wall Street, and that would be pretty cool. The recipient of the last award of the night will definitely be a surprise!

Do you agree with my choices? Who do you think will win an Oscar tonight? Comment below.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…

No, it’s not Christmas. It’s awards season! There’s a mere four days left until I spend an entire Sunday engulfed in all things Oscars and I couldn’t be more excited.

The Oscars are by far my favorite award show for many, many reasons. First, the red carpet fashion doesn’t compare to anything else. Other award shows (i.e. The Golden Globes, The Grammy’s) call for off-the-mark, bold fashion choices. But, the Academy Awards represent class, sophistication and glamour and each invitee’s style choices must reflect this timeless tradition. Plus, this awards show brings together only the best of the best in the film industry, what could be better?

85th Annual Academy Awards - Red Carpet
Jennifer Lawrence walks the red carpet at the 85th Annual Academy Awards. (Photo Credit: Getty)

The coverage of the Oscars compares to nothing else. On Sunday, I will plop down on the couch with all of my devices (and chargers, as they’ll surely die from extreme over-use) starting at 12:30pm central time and tune right into E! (where else?!) to watch my favorite correspondents spend countless pre-red carpet hours discussing the night’s expected fashion trends, the most-anticipated after-parties and the likely winners. Yes, the coverage is extensive and most people would think I’m crazy to invest a whole day watching this stuff. But it only happens once a year and I don’t care what you say, it’s totally worth every minute.

The best, of course, is watching each celeb arrive on the red carpet. I will likely be freaking out and frantically live-tweeting the emergence of my favorite stars and making rash judgments on what they’re wearing. And, I live for red carpet interviews with Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic. Besides the classic (and required) question, “Who are you wearing?” I love hearing about how they chose their gown, got ready for the event, what they’re most excited or nervous about, who they’d love to meet, etc. Jennifer Lawrence is my absolute favorite to watch on the red-carpet as she’s always so painfully honest and candid during interviews (see “armpit vagina,” and “I’m starving!”). E! also gets crazy amounts of red carpet coverage bonus points for their GlamCam and ManiCam.

Ellen DeGeneres is hosting this year (her second time!), so the show is sure to be endlessly entertaining and hilarious. The last time she hosted was in 2007 (check out her opening monologue), so she’s long overdue. In fact, I’d vote for Ellen to host every Academy Awards until the end of time if it’ll save us from another year of Seth MacFarlane hosting. The line-up of presenters and performers also looks amazing, (hellooo Idina Menzel singing “Let it Go” and Pharrell singing “Happy”) so I’ll definitely be glued to the TV the entire show.

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort in 'The Wolf of Wall Street.' (Photo Credit: R/R)
Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street.’ (Photo Credit: R/R)

This year’s Academy Awards additionally has the best crop of Best Picture nominees I’ve seen in a long time. I’ve tried my best to watch all nine of the nominated films (still need to watch the last three by Sunday!), and have thoroughly enjoyed watching each one. These stories are diverse, interesting and enthralling and I honestly can’t decide which has been my favorite. I loved The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle, Gravity and Dallas Buyer’s Club. Notable mentions definitely go to Captain Phillips and Her. Stay tuned for a later post about my specific predictions for the winners of each award!

With such a short time left leading up to the show, I’ve loved reading all the Tweets and articles about all things Academy Awards, especially the speculation of who will walk away with an Oscar based on previous wins this awards season. But, my pick for best award season article of late, published on the HuffPost Celebrity Blog, is “21 Oscar ‘Firsts’ And Other Trivia You May Be Surprised to Learn.” Here are my eight, favorite little-known Academy Awards facts and tidbits…

  • The first Academy Awards, which was the only ceremony to not be broadcast on radio or television, took place in May, 1929 took place at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and lasted only 15 minutes.
  • The phrase “And the winner is…” was replaced with “And the Oscar goes to…” in 1989 to imply that every nominee is a winner, regardless of actually earning the coveted award.
  • In 1931, Norma Shearer announced herself as the winner of the Best Actress award. This was the last time a nominated actor presented an award for his or her own category.
  • The first actor to turn down his Best Actor award was George C. Scott in 1970.
  • Toto (aka Terry) from “The Wizard of Oz” received a Best Supporting Actor nod, but lost.
  • The first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture was 1991’s “Beauty and the Beast.”
  • The first and only tie in the Best Actress category went to Barbara Streisand and Katherine Hepburn for their 1968 films.
  • Director Steven Spielberg collected his first Oscar in 1996 by purchasing the award for $550,000 at an auction. He went on to win his own in 1999.

So, you’ve been totally forewarned that I will be live-tweeting and generally freaking-out the entirety of Sunday, so don’t blame me for taking over your social media. Here’s hoping you’ll still like me after awards season is over!