As college students we all know the best way to procrastinate is to spend hours on social media. It’s everyone’s guilty pleasure; from Facebook stalking, to editing pictures so they can be uploaded to Instagram, to checking Twitter every two seconds to see if someone has sent in some news breaking tweet, we all do it. However, social media can be used as more then just a procrastination tool; it can become a crucial part to a career in public relations and a highly valuable instrument for success.
One of the key reasons social media can reach so many people because it is free and easy to use, allowing all ranges of people the ability to join. Social media allows company’s to “flood the market with their message at no cost” (William McCoy, n.d., p.1). Granted a company may choose to hire a social media consultant to handle all the social media accounts, but actually creating accounts through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram requires nothing more then a username and password. In this day and age, these accounts are causing company’s to flourish because “the use of technology is identified as a leading public relations trend” (Hill & White, 2000, pg. 31).
Since there are so many different forms of social media, the connections that can be made are (almost) endless because so many different types of people and careers are now using social media. For instance, “journalists, reporters, bloggers and other influencers (…) are using social media to connect within the industry” (McKinley & Ross, 2013, pg. 1). The presence of journalist, reporters, and bloggers online allows PR professionals to spread their brand through various outlets and reach a wide range of audiences. In 2011, a study showed that “23.1 million [Americans] discover[ed] new brands or products through social media”(Graham, 2011, n.p.).
The good news for all you college students is, your social media skills are going to be valued. So unless it’s the night before a huge test or paper, don’t fret about the time you spend on Facebook or Twitter because one day, this knowledge may be fueling your career. Since this is a post about social media, it only seems appropriate to end with a YouTube video.
Until next time,
Howcast. (Director) (2013). How to use social media in pr[Theater]. Available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCUP60qJ1Tk
Graham, P. (2011, June 14). Social media now influences brand perceptions, purchase decisions of 38 million in u.s.. Retrieved from http://www.knowledgenetworks.com/news/releases/2011/061411_social-media.html
McKinley, K., & Ross, K. (2013). Social media matters: Pr pros have the perfect partner in social media. The Business Journals , Retrieved from http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/growth-strategies/2013/07/social-media-matters-pr-pros-have-the.html?page=all
Twitter Blog [Web Photo]. Retrieved from https://blog.twitter.com
Social media management [Web Graphic]. Retrieved from http://www.mergesocialmedia.com
File Facebook Like Thumb [Web Graphic]. Retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Facebook_like_thumb.png
5 Great Social Media Data Analytics Tools [Web Graphic]. Retrieved from http://www.digishopgirl.com/5-great-social-media-data-analytics-tools/
Hill, L., & White, C. (2000). Public relations practitioners’ perception of the world wide web as a communications tool. (Master’s thesis, University of Tennessee), Available from Google Scholar. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com.www2.lib.ku.edu:2048/science/article/pii/S0363811100000291
McCoy, W. (n.d.). Five reasons to use twitter for public relations. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/five-reasons-use-twitter-public-relations-28932.html