What I've Learned From Social Media

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Well, it's 2013 and Twitpic, Facebook and Instagram or it didn't happen.

Today, our generation revolves around social media and if you don't have an online presence, well, you're not a real person. Although I may be preaching to the choir, there are a few things that I've learned from social media over the years and it has become a powerful tool.

Although your wonderful 'selfies' and random thoughts are great, social media also extremely useful for business and networking. Not to mention, your future boss will most definitely look at everything you've posted.

 

Twitter and Instagram are my favorite platforms, and I'm having fun learning Vine, which will catch on soon enough. Facebook, for me at least, has become more of a place to see what my close friends and family are up too, look through albums of pictures and post a status when something really matters. It's also great for posting events and for groups to collaborate. Pinterest is also a fun platform. It's basically our ideal lives in a nutshell. Where our future closets, hopes and dreams are held and our DIY projects exist only on our boards.

As we all know, resumes and cover letters can only go so far. If you manage your online presence well, you have the ability to show more than just your work experience.

Here are a few things I've learned from observing the social media world today:

 

Keep a good balance of personal and professional.

You want people to know the real you. Tweets and Facebook posts about what you're doing, watching, or thinking are fun to read and your personality shines through. But keep them PG-13 and appropriate. When it comes to stories or events that interest you, post them. People will be able to see what matters to you, and they may take an interest too. Start a conversation—that's what Twitter is all about.

 

If you aren't happy with your experience at a business, tell them (politely).

 

 

Most restaurants and businesses have a Twitter or Facebook. If you are truly unsatisfied with your service, let them know. Write on their wall or send them a tweet letting them know that something wasn't right with your experience. If you say it nicely, they'll most likely get back to you. Sometimes they will do something to make it better or at the least, apologize. And that counts for something, right?

On the flip side, if you're happy with your experience, tell them!

 

Who doesn't like a compliment? From a business standpoint, it's uplifting to hear that your company is receiving positive feedback. So, let them know. I tweeted at Bank Of America back in November when they handled my case with great customer service. They tweeted back and wanted to know who helped me so they could reward their employee. How great!

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Hashtags are fun. But lets keep it simple.

Use, don't abuse. Hashtags do have an actual purpose, but they're also fun. If you're using them purposefully, two or three will suffice. If you're just trying to be witty, I would keep it short and sweet. Also, hashtags only serve their main purpose on Twitter and Instagram. UPDATE: Facebook may be incorporating them soon. 

 

Check into Foursquare, there could be discounts.

We're in college and some restaurants offer free appetizers or coupons when you check in. That pretty much sums it up.

If you're looking for a job or want to connect with the business world, use LinkedIn.

Many people don't see the value in LinkedIn, but I think it's an awesome tool. On LinkedIn, you can connect with co-workers, past or present, classmates, and those you would like to do business with in the future. There are many different opinions on how to go about connecting with professionals who you don't know, but the most valuable piece of advice I've heard thus far is that you should connect with someone who works at a company you're interested in, and start talking. If you're looking for a job, tell them, and if they aren't looking at the time, ask them for advice in the industry you're pursuing. Even if it's simple, it could go a long way.

Interested in a company or person? Tweet at them.

If you're hunting for jobs or just applied for a position, shoot them a tweet. Chances are someone will see it. Even if they don't respond, it's another touch point that you have with the company. Of course, a personal profile is a little different. Be professional and say something to make yourself stand out.

You are a brand, advertise wisely.

As I learned in Marketing 3023, we are all our own personal brand. How we portray ourselves online is a direct reflection of who we are. If we see a billboard or ad in a magazine that is not attractive, we probably would not use that product or service. Think about your social media in the same way.

See, social media is fun, but can ultimately help land you a job, free food and maybe new friends. Use it to your advantage!

These tips are all my opinions, but feel free to let me know if you agree, disagree or have any suggestions. I'd love to hear your thoughts!