Social Media in Higher Education

By Josh Lawson | @JoshKLawson

 

Social media can be a hard concept to grasp. Most people say you need to be a master in something before you try to teach it to others. That way you can reword difficult concepts to students who don’t understand it. The medium of social media is constantly evolving and expanding. It’s often used in higher education to offer social CRM, but for students. It humanizes professors and can give a sense of ownership on the content we create.

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The fact that social media is changing means that whoever teaches it needs to evolve with it. The platforms will change, but the basics will always stay the same, but that doesn’t mean it still isn’t a time-consuming industry. You constantly have monitor several different account and hashtags, learn everything that changes with each update, and experiment with new features that each platform offers.

Many students, faculty, and sometimes even professionals have no idea how to use any aspect of social media. This means there is a huge disconnect between the brand and the consumers. The most successful accounts on social media platforms are those who show the most personality in their content, have a social CRM strategy, and act like an actual person instead of a computer generating lackluster content.

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Someone who teaches social media needs to have an excellent grasp on every concept surrounding the different platforms, rather than just the numbers and analytic data about them. Yes, that information helps, but not as much as hearing what it’s actually like to work in the industry using those tools and those platforms.

The information learned from someone who has professionally worked in the social media industry is invaluable. Those skills cannot be learned anywhere else. There is something completely different about learning vicariously from someone’s experience than learning from a PowerPoints and TEDtalks without trying to explain those any further.

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The skills learned with social media are based in customer service, public relations, journalism, and ethics. We learn these skills leading up to this course, or at least some of those skills. We don’t need to be learning the data and statistics for these platforms, but rather we need to be learning how to use social media in the real world.

Stay LinkedIn!

By: Nathan Cooper

LinkedIn was founded in 2002 and since then it has only boosted in popularity! It is a social networking site that has the intention of letting individuals build a professional online presence as well as networking with others for professional gain. LinkedIn has become a very common way for people seeking employment to find a job and for employers to hire. There is even a apply now button on some companies job listings page. This allows for a quick and simple way to apply without having to jump through all the hoops one might have to if they did a normal application.

LinkedIn also offers a variety of features such a groups and premium that allow people utilizing the sight to get more out of it. Groups are formed by people who share common interests and are a way to make connections. There are many different ways to use groups, but the most common one is for people in the same profession to network and possibly exchange information. The premium account is most useful for those currently applying for jobs. The premium account gives you access to information such as how much you meet the criteria for a particular position and where you stand among other current applicants. This feature allows for people to be a little more strategic when applying to different positions. Strategies are the name of the game when using any social media platform so this should be no different for LinkeIn. Make sure you know what your objectives and goals are and then you can form viable strategies and tactics for them.

Make sure you utilize this platform to its’ full potential and remember to stay LinkedIn!

Sources:

  1. “A Brief History of LinkedIn.” A Brief History of LinkedIn. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2017.

Nawkr: Your New Social Media Obsession?

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By: Thalia Molina

Can’t get enough of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter? Well, there’s a new social media networking app that you might need in your life and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. I actually came across this app last spring when my cousin moved back to Texas from Colorado. She was having a hard time adjusting to Dallas and pretty much had zero friends in the area. She was desperate to get out and meet people and suggested that there should be a Tinder for friends. Well, turns out there was…

Nawkr known as the “Tinder for everything else” is a social media app that launched earlier this year in January of 2016. This social media platform lets you connect with people that share some of your same interests. The app uses geo-location services to let you set up a radius of 50ft to 500 miles in which you can connect with people by giving them a “nawk,” aka a knock. This sends a notification to the person on the receiving end and gives them the opportunity to open a door to a new friendship, or shut it… Whatever they decide.

How is it different than Tinder or any other dating app you ask? Well, Nawkr has a feature that allows you to search for individuals with your same interests. Business, academic, fun, and miscellaneous are some of the categories of which you can sort your network by. Say goodbye to all the awkwardness that freshman year brought about because Nawkr is making it so much easier to find your people.

It is no secret that although this app has been around for almost a year now it has not received the recognition it deserves. Dallas local Angel Armendariz created Nawkr. Angel has done everything in his power to get people talking about the app since its initial release, including a block party for its launch. So I encourage you guys to trial the app for yourself. You never know, it could be your next biggest social media obsession.

Social Media, the Job Hunt and You

by Tyler Hicks

@QuickThicks

(Featured image courtesy of Work in Sports)

“I don’t know about this one…it makes me look weird.”

The year was 2007. MySpace was dead and buried, Facebook was rising in popularity every day, and I was a high school freshman. Using a camera he received as a gift from Santa the previous year, my brother and I took turns snapping potential profile pictures of each other against the backdrop of my Alex Rodriguez poster. A boy-girl dance was coming up the next weekend, and there was no way I was going into that without a solid Facebook profile and picture.

“It’s fine; you look normal,” my brother, Spenser, insisted.

“No, no, just one more.”

This past week, I had that familiar, dreadful feeling of social media anxiety yet again, but this time the stakes were much higher. The Mayborn was hosting its annual career and internship fair. That fearful “real world” is on the horizon yet again, and like my fellow upcoming graduates, I’m eager to secure employment before wrapping up grad school.

This time, I wasn’t worried about looking good in a profile pic — I was worried about everything I’ve said on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and everywhere else online. I never post anything inappropriate, racist, sexist, or offensive on any of my social media profiles, but nevertheless, I know that employers routinely check the profiles of their potential employees, and was fearful that some of my anti-Trump jokes or dog meme sharing would come across as unprofessional.

I mainly worried about what I hadn’t written on my platforms. What was I missing, and what did I foolishly write off as unimportant — like my Twitter bio, perhaps? I know that most employers have an unspoken list of things that their employees can and will not do or say on social media, and some even have formal policy devoted to this issue, but do employers in our field have a list of things that they expect from their employees? Most definitely, and that’s what worries me more than anything.

After all, how can a social media or public relations agency entrust me with client work when my platforms are lacking? That’s why courses like this are important, yet this can’t be the end-all, be-all. Having relevant, creative, and engaging social media platforms is a never-ending marathon, and in order to win that dream job in this industry, I have to rededicate myself to making sure my profiles are as professional and creative as possible at all times.

Next week, I’ll delve into the steps I’ll be taking throughout this marathon.

References

Chamlee, V. (2016, August 22). Chipotle Employees Are Now Free to Complain on Twitter. Retrieved October 09, 2016, from http://www.eater.com/2016/8/22/12584750/chipotle-workers-fired-twitter-social-media-policy

Lowe, H. (2012, September 07). How to write a Twitter bio that’ll make you stand out as a journalist. Retrieved October 09, 2016, from http://www.poynter.org/2012/how-to-write-a-twesume-aka-twitter-bio-thatll-make-you-stand-out-as-a-journalist/187145/

Smith, J. (2013, April 16). How Social Media Can Help (Or Hurt) You In Your Job Search. Retrieved October 09, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/04/16/how-social-media-can-help-or-hurt-your-job-search/#77144a424fdb

Learning From The Pros

 

Networking Courtesy of Ed2Go.com
Networking Courtesy of Ed2Go.com

 

By  Sherry Long

As students we take countless courses to prepare us for our future careers in public relations. Sitting in class we learn a lot about the technical and practical skills to improve our web design, craft content to engage audiences on social media and websites. All these skills are important tools for us to be successful post-graduation.

Now as I and thousands of others get ready to walk across the stage it’s time to land a professional job.

Three public relations professionals, each with more than a decade of professional experience, offered insight into what industry leaders are looking for in new hires during a recent luncheon hosted by the Dallas chapter of the Public Relations Society of America during the chapter’s 2016 annual Pro-Am Professional PR Job Shadowing program.

According to these public relations leaders, new graduates should –

Accept Change – Nothing every stays the same. With technology constantly changing at a rapid rate it is imperative that professionals in our industry stay updated on the best ways to engage members of the intended target audiences.  We show our value to our clients during times of crisis.

Be Innovative –   Students and young industry professionals need to volunteer for additional assignments, even if they must work late into the evening, weekends and holidays. This makes you indispensable. Being willing to assist in solving issues also demonstrates leadership.

Relationship Building Savvy –  It’s not uncommon for relations professionals to build partnerships with media representatives, corporate partners, high-profile spokespeople and donors.  Knowing how to properly interact with these individuals can result in the needs of stakeholders being properly met.

Excellent Communication Prowess –  Communication is key in our industry. Whether it’s a written article or public speaking people in our industry must be able to deliver the appropriate message.  Some  young adults communicate, using emojis and slang. That will work on some advertising campaigns. It is not acceptable for professional communications to members of the media and various stakeholders.

Thank you to panelists – March of Dimes Communications Director Carmen Branch, President/CEO of Public Affairs for Hill + Knowlton Strategies James Fuller and Corporate Communications Consultant Jane Koenecke for taking the time to share their valuable insights and tips of the public relations industry.

World Wide Instameets

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Having access to the Internet makes everything so much easier. Dating, shopping, making friends, making enemies, and researching companies before actually becoming a customer. There’s been argument over safety on meeting people online. “Cat fishing” is where someone pretends to be another person by using their photos and has become extremely common. There’s even a show about it. Instagram has turned the tables when it comes to their world wide instameets though.

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The World Wide Instameets consist of one day through out the year that is set by Instagram and each local area can set up meetings through out the day. Some meet at coffee shops, national parks or even walk around their town taking different types of photos. Most of the creatives who attend are models, photographers or people just looking to hang out and tag along. The difference between these type of meetings and other websites meetings is the authenticity that comes with the website and the people apart of it. Everyone is looking to meet other creatives, build friendships, work on their portfolio and be exactly who they want to be. They want to meet people who are real and genuinely themselves. The photography aspect also ensures that those who you work with are photographed and unable to hide behind a screen.

Instagram has also received some fame through helping people become famous models. For example, a woman selling bread accidentally photobombed a shoot while walking through. The photographer used Instagram to track down the woman for more modeling and ended up being signed by an agency since she was so photogenic. Students have been known to land internships through the website as well by being at instameets (right place right time with the right people) and using the website as part of the portfolio work.

The favorited website has begun to start running ads and seems to have a lot more to come with their networking meets, self-proclaimed by users as a the perfect employee finder and are now adapting to fit business needs.

  • Photos were taken from the Instagram blog and official website.