Friends, fans, followers - what's an influencer doing when they have a job and a life offline too? Tara Hunt spills her daily social habits.
Name: Tara Hunt
Bio: Director, Audience Development, Author, Speaker, Interdisciplinarian, Pug Lover, Mom.
Me: Which social media/networking site is your first site of the day - and why?
Tara: Facebook - it's where everyone I care about posts what they are doing night and day. Twitter is great for articles, but I care more about the milestones in people's lives. Oh, and my second visit goes to Pinterest now. I can tell a LOT about what people are up to (renovations, diets, travel, haircuts, etc) by what they are pinning. Pinterest is sort of a preview for what people are going to post on Facebook.
Me: What types of content are you drawn to or what conversations do you engage in?
Tara: I'm drawn to two types of content: 1. emotional/life/milestones/stories and 2. anything to do with behavioural or brain studies. I always engage with people's milestones. It makes me feel closer to someone to know what is going on in their lives behind the scenes. I think the behavioural sciences is connected to this. I'm always curious on what motivates people to act the way they act.
Me: How frequently do you post on social media?
Tara: Multiple times per day.
Me: Could you give up your social networking habit if you had to?
Tara: It's not a habit. It's part of me. So no.
Me: Do you use any tools / platforms to manage your social media accounts? If so, which ones?
Tara: Tweetdeck, sort of. Otherwise, I stick with most of the platform's native applications. I do it all old school. I'm a purist that way.
Me: Who or What are your favorite sources of insight?
Tara: I've fallen in love with Podcasts lately. I listen to dozens of podcasts on psychology and the brain: Shrink Rap Radio, All in the Mind, Psych Talk and more. I listen to lots of 'human-stories' podcasts: Where there's Smoke, Note to Self, Strangers, The Organist, Invisibilia, Here's the Thing, and more. I love history and political podcasts: Dan Carlin's Hardcore History, Canadaland, Radiotopia, Theory of Everything, On the Media, The Gist, Notebook on Cities and Culture...but then I also love reading and get my news from everywhere. I subscribe to dozens of newsletters. Medium can also be a good source.
Me: Who or What are your favorite sources of amusement?
Tara: Buzzfeed for sure! YouTube in general.
Me: When do you use laptop, mobile, or desktop to post to social media?
Tara: When I'm at my laptop (which is lots!), I post to social via my laptop. When I'm on the move, it's mobile.
Me: Which other social networking sites are your go-to sites?
Tara: I spend lots of time hopping around between Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Foodspotting, Foursquare, a little Snapchat (though I still don't love the ephemeral thing as I'm a record keeper), LinkedIN, Slack, Vine, and Tumblr.
Me: What makes social media valuable (or enjoyable) for you?
Tara: Human beings. Stories. Lives. That little rush you get when you put something out there and people interact with it.
Me: Where can we follow you online?
Tara: @missrogue on Twitter + Instagram (and lots of places), Facebook
and I list everything on my website
Me: Anything else you'd like to add......
Tara: (I wrote this in the email, so I thought I'd repeat it):
I have an advantage in that I built social behaviour into my life before I had a career. I started blogging in 2003 or so, but had been participating in online communities since 1993. Whenever something happens in my life that is interesting, my brain always goes to, "I should share this." The brain is a muscle and it's all about training it to think in a certain way. I tell my team at work these days, "Always be capturing, always be sharing." When I overhear team members talking about a cool project, I yell, "You should capture that! You should share that!" When something funny happens in the office, I remind people, "We should capture this! We should share this!"
It's really easy to get sucked into the vortex of busy-ness, but I keep reminding my team that capturing and sharing takes a few minutes here and there and will make a world of difference for audience development. I've been training to think that way for over 20 years, so I know it's not 100% natural. But like any trainer, I just keep helping others exercise that side of their brains.
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