A manager from the social media company Tumblr gave students advice about crafting a professional online presence via Skype interview Wednesday as part of Mass Comm Week.
Annie Werner, product marketing and community manager at Tumblr, said she has been working there for three years and has held many different job titles. She said within technology-based fields, every professional needs to be flexible and able to do more than one specific task.
Werner said she originally set out to be a journalist, but once she started looking for a job she realized there were more opportunities within the technology field.
“My online presence played a huge role in my professional development,” Werner said. “I would always try to think about how I was representing myself online, and that definitely played into my success with Tumblr.”
Werner said her professional career began with writing and blogging. After writing for her college newspaper and blogging for Village Voice in New York, Werner eventually found herself applying to work for Tumblr.
Through her experience with Tumblr, she has gained knowledge about how people should represent themselves online and how they should professionally promote their personal brands, she said.
“You want your online presence to reflect who you are as a person and not just who you are to your friends, but you want it to represent the best of the best of you,” Werner said. “Everything on social media is kind of diluted already, so you want to make sure everything you have on your social outlets are the cream of the crop of things you would want to share.”
Werner said in her Twitter bio, she tells her viewers she will be tweeting about art, culture and politics. She said sometimes she has to go back and delete a tweet if it does not reflect her correctly.
Werner then discussed creating a personal brand, a skill stemming from anything that sparks an interest.
“I don’t buy anybody that says they don’t have interests,” Werner said. “Of course you’re interested in something. If you’re interested in pop music, that’s a totally valid industry that exists and that you should explore on a legitimate level. People get PhDs in pop culture.”
Werner said students should want their personal brands to be topical and relevant, but they should still be cautious of what they are posting online. She said posting drunk photos or tweets probably is not a great way to start promoting a student’s personal brand.
According to Werner, several people made a name for themselves by being part of the Tumblr community. Brandon Stanton, Humans of New York photographer, originally shot photos and posted them on Tumblr for many years, Werner said.
Stanton’s site features pictures of people in New York with short, blog-like descriptions underneath the photo. Stanton has been featured in The New York Times and multiple magazines, and recently published a book, Werner said.
“I had to get a Tumblr for Professor (David) Nolan’s class,” said Marisa Broom, an art senior who was in the audience. “I don’t really post on it more than I have to for class, but I do like it. I like that it’s easy to use and is making me better with social media.”
Werner said social media outlets are there to help young professionals.
“I’ve had a Tumblr account for a long time now,” said Zac Gonzales, criminal justice junior. “I’ve never really thought about using it professionally like I have with Twitter. After this (event) I will definitely be changing the way I use Tumblr and how I look at it.”