Meet Kristi Barlette
Posted by Jenn Korszun
Kristi Gustafson Barlette is a social media strategist and reporter at the Albany Times Union. She is a features writer who writes about issues and topics that those in their 30s can relate to in her weekly column Life 3.0 and her popular On The Edge blog.
She uses social media personally, to draw readers to her blog, as an entity to view photo albums on the Times Union website, and to engage readers. Aside from spending much of her day on the Times Union website, a good portion of her time is devoted to The Stir, The Huffington Post, and All Over Albany.
When asked what steps she took using social media to get her blog to where it is today, Barlette says she used a lot of personal interaction. She would use Facebook and Twitter to engage people and get them to want to read her blog. She would share her likes and dislikes, which allowed people to better identify with her.
“The more interested people are in your thoughts and what you post, the more likely they are to follow your blog when you promote it,” Barlette says.
When blogging though, beware of a few things. Since the blog is the fastest way to share information and often times the quickest way to display mistakes, it is important to be accurate. Don’t make simple mistakes that could be prevented.
“Triple confirm everything,” Barlette says.
Another quirk with social media is that customers now expect companies to communicate thoroughly with it. Barlette can relate with this and says people have compliments, complaints, concerns, or just want to know the holiday hours. Quick responses are the most beneficial she says. One of her friends had received a birthday coupon for Red Robin for a free burger, but had lost the coupon. She called and e-mailed the company for a few days, but no response was made. She then posted about the issue and tagged the company on her Facebook wall. Needless to say, her concern was almost instantly answered. So for companies, social media use is huge and is at times quicker than picking up the phone or writing an e-mail.
Finally, Barlette advises students who are pursuing a career in journalism to be well rounded. A basic knowledge of HTML and bringing various multimedia packages to the table will make a person stand out, she shares. The social media aspects that you don’t think are important actually make you distinct from another person.
“Be savvy!,” she finishes.