Halley Knigge (Griffin)

Write. Share. Communicate.

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You are not a guru

Hey, you. Yeah, you. With the 304 Twitter followers, and the word “strategist” in your bio.

I’m sorry to be the one to break this to you. I’m sure you were really great when you helped your aunt adjust her privacy settings on Facebook. But writing it in your Twitter bio doesn’t make it true.

You are not a guru.

Not a guru.

Not a guru.

Or a ninja. Or a whiz kid. Or a maven. Are you a Hindu spiritual leader? Did Master Splinter teach you martial arts? I didn’t think so.

It’s really great that you have both personal and professional social media experience. It’s pretty cool that you are 24 years old. I’m sure you’re all over Instagram trends, and are REALLY FAST at Tweeting from your smart phone. Maybe you’ve even had administrator privileges on a Facebook page or two.

But it’s time for you to pipe down. Facebook’s been around for nearly 10 years now. This is no longer a game reserved for the young. In a world where Dr. Ruth is killing it on Twitter, you can no longer slap “guru,” “expert” or “master,” and hope that will be enough to land you a job in a field that people are still trying to understand.

You want a job? Put your money where your mouth is. (And for the love of social, edit your Twitter bio!)

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3 tips for sharing better images on Facebook

Images are king on Facebook. Not only do photos take up more real estate in your timeline, but Facebook’s own EdgeRank algorithm favors images above all else, and is more likely to show them to more people than a status update, video, or link. (Not to mention, images are currently the only type of content that remains editable after it is posted.) Knowing this, how does a brand put its best foot forward? Here are three quick tips to help you share better images on Facebook.

1. Crop it

Square images play best on your timeline and on mobile devices, and are ideal for sharing on multiple platforms. A normal image post will show up as 403 by 403 pixels, so make sure your images are high enough quality that they enlarge well. Nothing says “I don’t know what I’m doing” like a teeny tiny picture in a big, black shadowbox. If you post a rectangular image, make sure to take advantage of the “reposition photo” option to show the best 403 by 403 pixels of your image.

tiny football

2. Brand it

One of the reasons images are so great is because they are sharable. (Who hasn’t seen at least three user-generated Some-e-cards posts today?) If 20 of your fans share an image, you want every single pair of eyes to know exactly where that image came from. Creating a simple template for sharing images on Facebook is a great way to build brand recognition by reinforcing a consistent look. The Cleveland Clinic does a great job at this.

cleveland clinic example cleveland2

3. Link it

Don’t forget the link back to whatever you’re promoting! Remember, social marketing is not just about having a great Facebook page, or a chatty Twitter feed. Great social marketing is just one piece of a broader marketing strategy, and any platform (be it Facebook, Pinterest, Vine, or whatever comes next) is just a medium for your broader marketing message. A truly great Facebook post will include engaging, visual content, and a link to more information. Each of the Cleveland Clinic’s branded images links back to a related blog post, article, or page on its website. And hey – don’t forget to use a link shortener. No one wants to look at a photo with a 50-character link in the description. Bit.ly is a fabulous option that also provides simple analytics.

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Why I do what I do

When I was in third grade, I loved math. I’d race through logic puzzles and math worksheets because it was a matter of pride to beat the boys. That kind of blatant, in-your-face, “I’m smart and it’s okay” attitude is not so common these days. In fact, it’s pretty rare – especially in girls.

What I had that other third-grade girls didn’t, was a place where I could be smart without the pressure to fit in. Where it was cool to raise your hand in class, or win every round of Brainquest (remember those?).

I had Seabury, a non-profit independent school for gifted children in Tacoma, Wash. I graduated from Seabury School in eighth grade, and went on to public high school, the University of Washington and a stint as a journalist in Moscow, Idaho. But last fall I decided to throw my life plans to the wind and move back to Tacoma to work at my old elementary school.

Why? Because I love this place. I am passionate about what we do here – providing a safe place for academically gifted students to learn and explore without having to fear being misunderstood, under whelmed or left out. I’m in charge of new and traditional media relations, and I love what I do. As a journalist, I always said I could only become a flak if it was for an organization or a cause that I was truly passionate about. Well this is it.

I run our school’s Twitter and Facebook pages, along with a personal Twitter I use for networking in Tacoma and the South Sound. I am our resident blog guru and help teachers design, tweak and update classroom blogs. I have several personal blogs as well, but everything I do comes back to wanting to spread the word far and wide so we can find every kid who needs us.

It’s not so cheap to run a school – teachers are paid for through tuition, but tuition also pays for a huge amount of financial aid. Need and aid are increasing every year, and lately it’s hard to find an extra dime to spend. That’s why social media has been so valuable for us. Suddenly there’s a way to network with other gifted educators and advocates for free every Friday (through #gtchat), sharing resources and tricks of the trade. There’s definitely not money in our budget for another conference this year, but I can’t stop thinking about all the new tools and tricks that’ll be ripe for the learning.

Send me Tungle, you’re my only hope. And really, who else can promise you an envelope of adorable thank-you letters from a school of adorable gifted children?

(This post was written in the hopes of securing a Gnomedex pass via Tungle.me)