1. Karen Unland (@KarenUnland)
What she’s known for: She co-founded Taproot Edmonton. She also blogs and podcasts for Seen and Heard Edmonton, and is a pioneer for local journalism.
“Listen more than you talk.”
Social media gives you a license to hear people who care about the things you care about, so use it.
2. Rayanne Boychuk (@RayanneForbes)
What she’s known for: Previously, her “Heart of the City” column in the Edmonton Examiner, which promoted local charitable organizations. Now she is the Founder and Executive Director of The Graves Disease Foundation of Edmonton and a dedicated Community Engagement Coordinator at YESS.
“Use social media for the greater good of the community.”
I was lucky enough to meet countless non-profit workers in our city during my two-year run as a charity columnist at The Edmonton Examiner. I learned what our local organizations needed and didn’t need to succeed in helping Edmonton’s less fortunate and I continue to try to help spread their requests for assistance through my social media accounts. I believe that if you can help, you should! How great that we’re able to do that these days with a simple click of the ‘share’ button!
3. Deanne Ferguson (@BoxSocialYEG)
What she’s known for: She’s the founder and creator of Box Social Event Planning. She’s always tweeting things to do in the city, and is the go-to-girl for all things that keep your kids occupied!
“Talk to everyone.”
So many people start a social media account and wait for people to approach them to start a conversation. It loses the “social” part when you don’t put yourself out there. Jump into conversations, answer questions people ask, start a random conversation with someone else. I have met some of the coolest people through social media just by starting a random conversation with them one day.
4. Marty Chan (@Marty_Chan)
What he’s known for: He has written books, stage plays, radio dramas, television scripts and humor articles. But on Twitter, no one does a good socially relevant quip like Marty!
“Before you elbow your way into a Twitter conversation or post about a trending topic, take five minutes to figure out the context.”
It’ll save you hours of having to apologize for a misguided and ill-informed comment.
5. Linda Hong (@Lindork)
What she’s known for: Food and cats! Specifically, posting all the best Edmonton eats on her blog and promoting Edmonton Cat Festival (She’s the founder!).
“Don’t just shout.”
Always take time to engage and interact with your followers, don’t just make your social media all about you. That applies if you’re posting personally or if you’re posting for a company. Social media is far more fun and interesting when you’re talking with people not just at them! Also, you can never go wrong with a cat photo. Ha!
6. Alexis Kienlen (@alexiskienlen)
What she’s known for: She’s an Edmonton based poet, journalist and fiction dabbler. On Twitter however, she’s shares great journalistic content and engaging articles.
“You don’t need to reply to everything.”
Sometimes listening to others is the best way to go. Don’t say things you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.
7. Kathleen Smith (@KikkiPlanet)
What she’s known for: Heating up the #Ableg feed with her sassy political tweets. Also for Cheetos, photos of heavenly home cooked meals, and using her voice for social justice (in no particular order).
“Don’t lose your humanity.”
In the heat of online interaction it’s far too easy to not only dehumanize the real live person on the other end of the connection, but to lose who we are as a result of feeling safe behind a computer screen that we often use as a shield. Don’t become one with your computer or device. Do your best to interact with others as though you are sitting face to face in a crowded coffee shop. Try to imagine the other person sitting across the table from you and how you would converse with them in person. Or think about meeting the person you’re engaging with someday and how you’d want that meeting to go. See them as a human being with their own stresses and life factors and you’re more likely to not forget who you are, as well. Hold on to your own humanity and you’re more likely to value the same in others. After all, it’s “social” media, not “seek and destroy” media. And if an online conversation gets very heated, remember that a sassy bit of self-deprecation can make just about anyone smile.
8.Devin Komarniski (@DevinKomarniski)
What he’s known for: Devin is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for Bissell Centre, one of Edmonton’s most prominent non-profit agencies. He also co-owns Newley Sound Service with his wife. On Twitter, Devin can always be relied on to share a good motivational quote and local feel-good stories.
“Quality over quantity!”
By quality, I mean content that has a focus, tells a story, is aesthetically pleasing, and ultimately provides value to your audience. Ask yourself: would I comment on this and/or share it with my friends? If not, perhaps you should reconsider posting it. Your goal is to break through the noise, not add to it! Content that has a strong point of view and a standard of quality attracts and retains followers. Of course, if you can achieve quality and quantity, even better. Quality comes first though!
9. Dani Paradis (@DaniParadis)
What she’s known for: She writes for Metro Edmonton as their Urban Affairs Columnist, so if you’re looking to have your finger on the pulse of #YEG, her Twitter feed is a good place to start!
“Ask yourself ‘Why am I pressing send?'”
I always ask myself this question. Social media is good for all sorts of things- information, provocation, and wasting time to name a few. All of those things have a place, but it’s important to be mindful of why you’re engaging.
10. Dave Breakenridge (@BreakenridgeYEG)
What he’s known for: He’s the Managing Editor of Edmonton Journal so his two cents hold more weight than the average #YEG Tweeter. You’ll find up-to-the-minute news on his feed, sprinkled with some golden nuggets about fatherhood.
“Try to know your own brand and your audience.”
Be yourself and be professional, but don’t take yourself too seriously.