Matching the Purpose to the Social Media Platform

Emilia Azar ENG-PWR ’15

When you hear the term “social media” what associated word pops into your head? For many of us 20-something year old college students, Facebook is first. Then online applications such as Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and blogsites like Blogger often follow (on that note- check out CUPID’s blogpost The Power of the #Hashtag to learn how to utilize them both via Facebook and Twitter). But did you know that technically you could call Wikipedia and Youtube social media sites as well? Social media is not an individualized term; it is a universal, connecting platform. Wikipedia was created to start discussion and encourage collaboration of information on any topic from ISIS to 50 Shades of Grey. YouTube now has a variety of purposes as well. Individuals can promote their skills through uploading videos of themselves for the world to see. Justin Beiber got his start as a young pre-teen singer through home videos of pop cover songs on YouTube. But again, “social media” is not about the individual; it is about a collective group and greater purpose. Organizations now utilize YouTube to post videos that directly relate to their own goals and values. Are you looking to promote yourself, an organization, or simply a passion through a social media site? Here are some tips and corresponding platforms that could help.

You want to…

Share your creative writing pieces, and read others.

Try: A combination of Blogger, Google Plus, and Facebook.

Blogger is a great website for creating and maintaining a personal blog. You can connect Blogger to a Google Plus account, which will help you reach even more viewers, and additionally view their personal blogs. These viewers may be familiar, but chances are you’ll reach many people who are you not personally acquainted with. Finally, posting a link and pictures of your blog on your own Facebook profile (through statuses or just direct share) expands that network to your friends, family, and acquaintances.



Or maybe you’d like to…

Spread some new knowledge about a subject you learned in class.

Try: Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is an interactive encyclopedia. Users can submit information for public viewing which will then get approved by those people directly working for the  company. A lot of the information that is selected and posted on the website is fairly accurate…but not always. Wikipedia should never be used as a main source, because the pages are constantly updated to new information and corrections are often made. This is the cool part though – you may have learned extensively about a topic in a class and want to share it. If I personally wanted to expand upon Marilyn Monroe’s relationship to JFK – after extensive research done through my Kennedy Assassination through Film course – I might be able to submit that information for verification. So use Wikipedia and try to submit something with this in mind: you are collaborating with others, but this does not guarantee accuracy. Most people understand that Wikipedia is a collaborative sharing space, so don’t feel intimidated to submit new and interesting information!



Then there’s the whole “Networking” for post-grad jobs…

Try: Cleaning up your entire social media online presence. Then create a LinkedIn account.

Go through a mental and paper-to-pen checklist of your online presence: Consider if these are open to the public or private. If they are private, think through how selective you are when accepting viewers. After that you can decide how much time to take “cleaning.” If they are public, it would be highly beneficial for you to do a thorough scan of each platform right away. Try stepping away and considering each of the platforms from the point of view of a potential employer: Would you hire you after seeing your current profile picture and cover photo on Facebook? Take it a step farther and ask for feedback from an authority figure that you trust. Chances are they will notice something you never even thought of. After you have done this focus in on LinkedIn, the most widely used professional networking website in the United States today. Not only can you connect with people who have similar goals, you can join groups and read articles related to your professional interests. Then there is the personal plug (it will always come with social media, the individual is still important) of getting endorsed for your skills. On my own LinkedIn profile, a previous employer has endorsed me for several skills including Editing, Facebook, Community Outreach, and Social Media. This enhances my credibility in the eyes of other LinkedIn users, and further develops my appeal to potential future employers. While you never want to ask for an endorsement, you can definitely nudge it a bit by first endorsing someone else. Think it through: how well do you know them professionally? Have you seen them in action? Chances are, they just may reciprocate by considering the same questions for you.


LinkedIn bio

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One Comment

  1. Posted October 6, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    I really like that you mentioned the endorsement feature on Linkedin. Some of the professionals I have talked to about Linkedin told me that the endorsement feature is a very helpful when searching for people to either hire or work with on a project. It also shows that the person has the ability to convince other professionals to help you out, which is an important quality to possess.