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Delving into social media with Edmonton blogger, Linda Hoang

By Admin User on April 14, 2022

Social media can go back as far as we remember. Lately, it’s becoming such a force that people can make a living off of it. Trends are coming and going, yet they all live on social media platforms. It seems, though, that social media will be a constant entity. But as social media evolves, so can we. However, it can get tricky to keep up with trends, and it may even turn something you used to love, into work. I got a chance to speak with Linda HoangNAIT Alumni and fellow Radio and Television student now graduate. Having graduated in 2011, she has created a name for herself and grown into a respectable blogger. Linda is Edmonton’s blogger, but she’s also a social media strategist, even teaching classes at the University of Alberta! She continues to strive for integrity in the social media world and has turned it into something that is unique to her. If you’re curious about how she operates her Instagram amongst other things, here’s how I picked her brain.

Q: How do you think social media has evolved and how do you stay on top of trends?

A: I’ve been using it for a very long time. It started off as just a hobby for me, and I think for a lot of people, it starts that way, but I’ve always been interested in, you know, “oh, what’s this new app?” or “what’s this new website?” so in that way I think I’ve always tried to adopt these things a lot earlier than people around me. Which I think then contributed to forming a career out of it. I think part of that interest and curiosity is also how I still stay on top of things.

I’m still always clicking around, noticing if buttons moved around in a different place because I use it both professionally and personally because I actually have an interest in social media; I usually find when I’m using it for personal interest is where I discover new features or how to use things or just because I’m watching what other people are sharing because I have a genuine interest in that then I start to get ideas or inspiration on how I use social media.

Q: If I was just starting off in social media, what are some best tips or practices to venture into creating content?

A: I think that you need to pick what you want to create content on, like the topic is. It has to be something you are interested in. I think the misconception is that creating content on social media is easy and that it’s super fun, but if you don’t actually really enjoy it or love it, then it’s going to be hard because it’s a lot of work. 

I think in many ways you risk turning something that you love, into your job and that could make it something that you love, love it less.

Q: Is there a certain way someone should curate content, have you put your interests at the forefront of your posts?

A: Definitely, knowing that I create content for a living now, that very much plays into what I do in a week. I have to make sure that I visited this place or I’ve done this. For me, my topics are what I’m eating and where I’m traveling, and that’s sort of challenging when I’m on vacation. I’m not actually on vacation since I’m finding an opportunity to get content. 

The more you do it; you start to know that this style doesn’t work or this lighting doesn’t work. Restaurants will reach out to me to try them. Some I will do and post about it and others since I’m already doing it, but honestly, and I don’t think I’ve actually shared this with the businesses. The difference sometimes between whether I post about your business or not is if the lighting is good or not.

Q: How do you operate social media, is it structured or free form?

A: I’m pretty lo-fi like old school where I have notes in the notes app, but other people or when I’m doing it for a company, we have very detailed content plans or calendars. For example, it would be like on April 5th, here’s the photo, here’s the caption, so usually you’d try to do a lot of it in advance, so when the day comes, you would’ve already done that work.

In some cases, for some businesses, I’ll have sent them the caption I want to use, usually a week or two in advance, and so all of that is approved and ready to go, and I’m just waiting for whenever the day is to post it. It depends on everyone’s workflow.

Q: What was your journey like starting from a student like me to now? What are the hardest things you had to face?

A: Professionally, I’m a social media strategist, but I’m also a blogger and content creator. I would say the first title gets a lot more respect than the second title. I use and reference both, but it is sometimes frustrating the assumptions that people make. The level of professionalism is so different for every content creator because, in theory everyone can become one or be one.

Since there’s such a range of professionalism and experience, you get a lot of people who give the industry a bad name. People who are unethical, people who just tell businesses they want free stuff; I think that creates this suspicion from a lot of people and companies about everyone else that’s creating content.

The work-life balance is also a challenge. I was scrolling through my phone to find new sounds on reels that I could use for future videos. But to everyone else, including my husband, it looks like I’m mindlessly looking at videos on my phone, and I’m like, no, no! I’m working. 

Linda Hoang on Zoom

Q: Speaking of professionalism, could you detail a little more about the classes you teach at University of Alberta?

A: I’m a University of Alberta Faculty of extension online instructor. It’s online courses for their social media certificate program. It’s about the business marketing side of social media. I also do my own courses; essentially, it’s how to work with influencers and creators and develop strategies.

This year I would like to launch what it means to be an ethical influencer and, hopefully, content creators that are serious about doing it and that they are doing it with integrity and want to know what they should and shouldn’t do to be professional could take that course.

Q: Did you find the Radio and Television program built the stepping stones for you to create content?

A: I always view journalism as my foundation for really strong writing. I always like to say that even what I’m doing as a content creator today is that I’m creating stories. Television really gave me video editing, shooting, and on-camera experience, and all of those things are things I use every day for creating content. So yeah, absolutely, it gave me the foundations and skills that I use to this day.

Linda plans to further her video blogging to a point where she can go beyond her local audience. Ideally, down the road, she will want to host a travel show. She also plans to branch out to more of a national level with her YouTube channel and have a video shooter and editor to focus on being a personality. But from being a founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival to the Instagrammable Wall Guide, it won’t take her long.



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