As technology advances and communication becomes more streamlined than ever we as humans have become very well acquainted with the world of social media. When I say world of social media, I literally mean, it is its own world. Where we used to rely heavily on TV commercials, radio, print, and word of mouth we now place such a huge emphasis on communication in the technological world that it is hard to get your message widely recognized without the utilization of the World Wide Web. Whether it is being used in the business world or just to keep in contact with distant friends or relatives, social media has become a key tool in many lives.
Personally, I’m at the age where I rely on social media heavily to keep in contact and keep myself in the loop with my social circle – family, friends who have moved away, friends on campus. I am also at the age where I am beginning to move into the business side of social media and utilize it for all it is capable of – the transitional phase. Being a college student I rely on social media while looking up the Facebook of local restaurants to get ahold of their menu, hours, location, and deals. I also use social media such as twitter to remain updated on my favorite artists, news topics, album releases, upcoming shows, and world news. As of recently I’ve been utilizing social media to let my opinion be heard, chime in on the opinion of others, and secure my online identity. It is also becoming more and more prevalent that professors use social media to interact with students about news regarding subject matter they teach, to aid in understanding of class material, and especially in PR classes – social media is the main source of communication. According to USA Today, this is not rare, “the survey of over 8,000 faculty found that 41% of college professors use social media as a teaching tool, up from around 34% in 2012.” Jonathan Dame (2013) points out in his article about social media in the classroom.
The up’s seem to outweigh the downs when it comes to social media. While the legal side is still working out the kinks – who owns what, what becomes someone’s own property when posted on the web, what are the guidelines when it comes to using someone else’s material, and the like – we all have a lot to gain form this world. Social Media makes it easier than ever to put yourself out there. To start a movement, share an idea, showcase your art, your writing, your brand, yourself. With the click of a button you can communicate with millions of people across the world and be heard and/or seen in a capacity never before achievable. While this also has it’s downs – a friend of mine whom produced a product coined “fasta pasta” (a contraption to cook high quality pasta in the microwave) after coming up with this unique idea of their own, branding it, producing, and advertising on the web, they soon had a handful of imposters attempting to steal the credit and market the idea as their own under their brand name., even using the picture of the man’s wife to place on the front of the ad. While social media allowed them to get the word out and promote their brand image and idea, it also placed the word in the hands of the wrong people. Luckily, this was worked out – as laws have been put in place to prevent these acts. I am still willing to assert that the pro’s outweigh the con’s when it comes to social media in this day and age.
Four years ago social media was just beginning it’s rise. Since then much has changed in the world. Social Media Today points out that now in the social media field “Customization evolved to personalization”. It is completely your domain, you can design your page to reflect exactly what it is you want people to see or know about you, and it is much more calculated than a simple conversation or phone call (arguably a pro or a con.) Social Media Today’s writer, Dana Haesmayer also points in an article that “Engagement, not advertising rules the world”(2011). People are more interested in socializing and engaging than seeing an ad pop up on their social media. Advertisements have gotten smart in presenting engagement opportunities for customers. “Contests and giveaways are a staple of social media platforms, and users are constantly looking for these opportunities”, as Social Media Today points out. The web is no longer a foreign entity; it is your vehicle for sharing thoughts, interests, ideas, and yourself with others.
- More professors using social media to teach (usatoday.com)
- What Socrates can teach you about social media strategy (bizsugar.com)
- Social Media Dos and Don’ts (darrelldahlberg.wordpress.com)
- Go where the people are and engage them. B2B brands and Social Media (lifechngr.com)
Dana Delapi Haesmeyer. (2011) Four Ways Social Media Has Changed In Five Years. Social Media Today. Retrieved from http://socialmediatoday.com/rasmussencollege/383344/four-ways-social-media-has-changed-five-years
Jonathan Dame. (2013) More Professors Using Social Media To Teach. USA Today. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/02/social-media-teaching-tool/3377929/