Social Media Is a Tool

Infographic on how Social Media are being used...

Follow the instructions and use it wisely.

Photo of Sarah Hardey - Blogger

Written by Sarah Hardey

When you hear the words ‘Social Media’ your mind imminently goes to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. You may think these sites are just for fun, to keep in touch with your friends, and a place to share your everyday feelings with the world. I was one of those people: addicted to posting all my thoughts, uploading images, and ‘stalking’ all my friends who were posting just like me. In today’s world we check our social media sites 24/7, but what are you actually checking? The better question is should you be checking?

Now that you are moving into a new environment, college life, you really need to know how to use social media correctly.

Social media is a great way to meet new people on your campus, in your classes, and for joining groups and clubs. For example, UT Dallas has a Twitter account (@UTDallasNews) and a Facebook page. When you look deeper at those sites, they have sub categories with information about UTD clubs, specific offices within UTD and more.

If you haven’t gotten the hint, Social Media is just a tool. It’s time you realize that everything you have ever posted, tweeted, or uploaded will never be deleted off of the web; it will be wandering the Internet forever! Employers now don’t just look at your resume, they also search for you online. They will find your Facebook page, your Twitter account, and your LinkedIn page and they will determine if you are a good fit for their company based on what you have posted, said, and uploaded. So do not upload photos from your first keg-stand or of your friends passed out on the floor with drawings all over their faces! Check your privacy settings regularly (sites like Facebook change their ‘default’ settings often with little public notice) and Google yourself periodically to see what pops up. You want results and they need to be positive. If you search yourself and nothing pops up that is just as bad as having a negative presence. You need to prove to be an important person, that you are ‘real’ and that you do have an online presence. It’s all about networking — make contacts with your friends and family first, you’ll then have a few contacts that know additional people so you can start talking to and building relations with the next group of contacts. Naturally your Networking web will grow more and more and if you start building connections now it will help you in the future, said Madelynn Marliniere, a social media guru, marketer, and fellow UTD student! You can follower her on Twitter @creativetaboo or learn more about her on LinkedIn. If you go to UTD and you don’t know Madelynn, I suggest you add her as a contact, she’s a great person to know!

Here’s how you can use the tools:

  • TWITTER: gives you an opportunity to talk directly to a company, a dream boss, campus events, etc in a comfortable and simple environment. 140 characters per post limits you but it also helps you get the point across and get rid of the ‘fluff.’
  • FACEBOOK: ‘like’ your group, club, school, dream job, people you really want to meet. That’s perfect. Stay connected, updated, add posts, and send messages. This is the first place to start advertising yourself, positively.
  • LINKEDIN: a more professional place that you can talk to employers, brag about yourself, advertise what you have to offer and make a positive impact on anyone that reads your profile.

These are just the basics of what these sites can offer to a college student and eventually be carried over into the workplace. If you take the time to learn each social media platform, you can gain a competitive edge in the classroom and when looking for a job. But remember, how you portray yourself online today will always be visible tomorrow, so be careful and post wisely.


About Sarah_h12

I'm the Social Media Director for EverGreen Carbon as well as an EMAC (Emerging Media and Communication) Student at UT Dallas. Follow me on Twitter: @s_hardey

Posted on March 21, 2012, in Communication, Facebook, Social Media, Twitter and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

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