Shortly after I first applied for the Social Media Internship at DiningOut Chicago Magazine, UChicago Careers in Journalism hosted an afternoon-long series of workshops, one of which was on social media in journalism. It seemed perfect considering the internship I was hoping to get involved both topics, so I attended. I heard about Hootsuite, dashboards, profiles, and other social media jargon I had heard of, but hadn’t investigated. I was intrigued. This medium that hadn’t existed until just a few years ago had become an integral part of promoting a business or even oneself. And that was just my first taste. I was offered the DiningOut internship, and happily accepted. It was unpaid, however, and I needed to save up for the coming school year as well as pay rent and living expenses during my summer in Chicago, far from home. I had a part-time job at the Smart Museum, which I loved, but I wanted to be able to dedicate enough time to DiningOut to really have an impact. Thanks to the Summer Action Grant, I was able to balance everything, and save a little too. My supervisors made me an administrator of the DiningOut Facebook page, gave me the Twitter and Constant Contact passwords, and after one meeting together, I was set loose into the world wide web. I had never professionally used social media before, and I immersed myself in Constant Contact’s “Hints and Tips” pages. But I quickly learned that the best way to figure things out was to keep on trying new ones. I increased our presence on Facebook and Twitter to two posts per day, being sure to “like” and “follow” all of DiningOut Magazine’s clients. (The magazine is mostly advertising.) My goal was to increase the number of active users, those who tweeted back, posted on our page, or liked or commented on one of our posts. Convincing our email list subscribers to actually open our emails proved to be the most difficult task. The subject line is really the only aspect of the email that our subscribers see right away, and it’s difficult to convince them of the quality of the content inside with just a few words. For those who did open the emails, I added more hyperlinks to increase “participation” and more photos, and worked on the graphic design to make the emails more aesthetically pleasing. In all, the subscriber list didn’t increase hardly at all; luckily, I’ll be continuing the internship in the fall, and hopefully increasing subscribers can become my new main project. Total lifetime “likes” – the number of fans of DiningOut Chicago on facebook – increased from 548 to 628 from June 1 to September 13. Monthly active users - the number of people who have interacted with or viewed your Page or its posts – grew from 432 to 10,525. An average of 400 people see a post from DiningOut Chicago on Facebook per day. But besides just the numbers, I’ve learned about communications – from communicating with prospective readers to restaurant clients to my supervisors – and have acquired skills and connections I will continue to employ throughout the rest of this internship as well as in future careers.