The benefit of Twitter, Facebook engagement

As if it wasn’t already obvious, being active and engaging on Twitter and Facebook (notice I’m not saying “social networking sites” because let’s be honest, those are the only two that matter as of now) is essential when it comes to community involvement and source development.

As a professional journalist, I’ve seen the powers of social media use first hand while on assignment. Here’s an example: While covering a community-wide annual festival known as Port Towns Day, near Washington, D.C. and the Anacostia River, I was stopped by a man I had never met before. Or so I thought.

He looks at me and says, “Are you Daniel Gross?” I replied, “Well yes I am,”and shook his hand with a confused look on my face. He told me that he recognized my face from my Twitter avatar online and went on to say that he’s been following me on Twitter since I first started covering my beat for The Gazette.

He has turned out to be a great community source and it goes to prove the positive impact of using Twitter and Facebook both professionally and socially. Because of the outreach via Twitter, I had already, in a way, met this person. Therefore, getting over the initial relationship establishment was taken care of before actually meeting him face-to-face. I like to think of Twitter as a tool for getting ahead of the game. It’s one small effort to engage with the community around you in order to take your coverage or source development to the next level.

Here’s the article I wrote about the 15th annual Port Towns Day.

How has being active on Twitter and Facebook helped you in some way?

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