Are YOU on the Bandwagon?

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Social Media is on the rise, and boy has it risen above most others. It is very obvious that people are obsessed with this new fad and it is not stopping anytime soon. This past week as I participated in various chats on Twitter (#SMMackChat#u30pro #blogchat ) I realized that a lot of people tweet about social media while using social media. Yes, I have obviously jumped on the social media bandwagon, but have you? This blog post is dedicated to my top three favorite social media sources that I use on a daily basis.

1) Twitter

We all use it. Twitter is great for many reasons, the top reason being networking. I have gained so many student and professional connections via Twitter and it is all because I actively engage in conversations. I will admit that for a while I would sit back because I was too timid to mention someone in a tweet or actually participate in chats like #PRStudChat or #u30pro. Instead I would occasionally send the, “Today is going to be great!” or “Cleaning around the apartment.” until I realized this past semester that you have to be confident on Twitter. So many great things are happening on this social media outlet, so why would you choose not to get involved? Plus, it is free!

Out of all of the social media sites that I engage in, Twitter is in my top three. I love the fact that you can do research via people you are following or by searching for it. You can start a conversation with a stranger and build a relationship solely because you have similar majors or live in the same area. There have been countless times when I have found people who major in public relations and I tweet to them on a daily basis. Something that actually happened today was a connection I made from the prstudchat-class-of-2011 list. I was looking to see if any other students graduating in 2011 had been added to the list and I saw @sandrulee so I decided to say hello. I discovered that she is from Turkey and we discussed some social media that had been banned in the country.

I feel like Twitter really is more than just a site to “update your status”. Twitter allows you to exchange information about various topics with people by mentioning, hashtags, or DM’s. Obviously it is an amazing source to network and connect with as well. When I signed up for it I was not a public relations major yet, but now I use it constantly because it is a great tool for the PR world.

Follow me on Twitter. I would love to chat with you!

2) LinkedIn

LinkedIn is still fairly new to me because I just joined a few months ago, but I love it! I have only connected with 46 people, but they are really great individuals to network with. LinkedIn is a website to upload you resume with the opportunity to add more content so people have a more in-depth understanding of everything listed under each section (Experience, Awards, Education, etc). It is obviously a fantastic way to network with professionals and students in the same field as you. It also allows you to join groups and interact with people. I recently gained a connection by joining the HAPPO group on the site. I definitely think it is worthwhile to join groups on the site, but do not just join them, get involved! Talk to fellow group members. You can help each other if you have questions about something or if you just need advice.

LinkedIn is a social media site that students and professionals should all join. It is professional and like I said before, great for networking and connecting with others. Come join me on LinkedIn! I would love to have you in my network.

3) Facebook

Of course I had to add everyone’s favorite, Facebook. I have had Facebook since it became available to high school students in 2006 and I am still engaged with the site even though there are privacy issues. When I first signed up I rarely got on to do anything. For a while I thought it was more stalker-friendly then anything. Eventually I got over that stage because I discovered it is a great way to stay in touch with friends that move, family members that are not near you, and sharing photos and videos. After I became a PR major I discovered how to really utilize Facebook to fit into being social media savvy.

One of my favorite things about Facebook is the ability businesses have to create fan pages. People can “like” fan pages to stay up-to-date with what is going on with a company, store, or organization that they like. Of course there are fan pages for everything, but many of these are pointless to me. I guess if people like the idea behind the page then they like it (no pun intended! :p). I personally control five Facebook fan pages and I love that I can interact with people who comment on the page by answering question or just saying “thanks for the comment”.

The PR Real World Conference workshop that I attended about social media taught me to keep Facebook fun and professional. Yes, it is great to go out and have fun and see pictures that your friends post from the night before, but be smart about it. Do not post pictures of you drinking and doing illegal things. Employers can and DO look at your Facebook page so keep it tidy. They are more likely to hire someone who has a cleaner profile then someone who has pictures and status updates of themselves going out to party every night.

You can friend me on Facebook as well!

That is my list of favorite social media outlets!

Now I have a few questions for you to think about or answer:

Are YOU on the bandwagon?

What are your favorite social media sites? Do you think Twitter will become “out-dated” in the next few months? How do you feel about LinkedIn? Are the privacy issues with Facebook going to cause you to “quit”?

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11 thoughts on “Are YOU on the Bandwagon?

  1. Rich "Corn" DeMatteo says:

    I don’t know my exact order, but my top three are the same.

    LinkedIn is a huge hiring tool for recruiters, so it’s something that I’ve been using since 2005, and when I graduated college in 2005, our college had just started utilizing Facebook.

    I don’t see Twitter becoming “out dated”. If anything, I see it evolving into something I don’t want, or won’t like. I hope it stays exactly the same. I don’t want it to change one little bit.

    I don’t know anything about the privacy issues. I should read up on it…. or have someone smart like you to tell me what’s going on….

    Deal?

  2. Ashley says:

    Thanks for your feedback CornyJ!

    LinkedIn really is a huge hiring tool. I have heard so many great stories of people connecting through LinkedIn and landing awesome jobs.

    I agree with you, I love Twitter how it is now. There are a few tweaks that could be made to make it better (Erase all for DMs) but I do like it as is. I don’t see it becoming out dated unless something bigger and better comes along. However, I do not see that happening for a few years.

    Deal! Facebook has been having HUGE problems with privacy settings lately. If you haven’t checked yours lately you should. You’ll be surprised! I know I was and I had to change a lot of things around. It is so crazy! If I remember correctly they were letting peoples information slip out onto the web, or something like that.

  3. Ashley says:

    I’m sure you are! haha. I have my page super private. I’ve even hired body guards!

  4. sandraeblevi says:

    YES, i AM on the bandwagon as you know 🙂 twitter, facebook, linkedin and even tried second life at one point to see the use of marketing/PR on it by the companies. I believe that to land a job in this hard economy and worries like finding a sponsor for a working visa in the US (in my case being an international student planning to stay) you have to be ahead of the game by trying the new things and keeping an open mind to the developments in the social media/PR world…
    I personally LOVE twitter how it is and the way i utilize it to network with people from my areas of interest, like yourself 🙂 and i can’t quit facebook unless something bigger replaces it and people in my country adapts to it. I’ll go back to the point of being an international student and mention the keep-in-touch issues with my friends here… sometimes Facebook is the only way for me to know what’s going on in their busy lives…

  5. Ashley says:

    Thank you for your comment! Yes you ARE on the bandwagon because that’s how we met 😉 I’ve never heard of Second Life, but now I am inspired to check it out. You’re completely right, if we don’t follow technology, ESPECIALLY in our field, it will be hard to find a job. That’s good to hear you are planning to stay when you graduate! Maybe we can meet in person someday. I bet that would be challenging though. You’ll have to keep me posted on that after graduation.

    “I personally LOVE twitter how it is and the way i utilize it to network with people from my areas of interest, like yourself..” Yay! I agree! That is a HUGE reason why I am constantly on the site when I have time. I LOVE networking anyways and Twitter is an awesome way to do it. Of course Facebook is a great way to stay in touch. 🙂

  6. michaelblight says:

    Are YOU on the bandwagon? Yes. I am very much so on the bandwagon! Although I do not feel as though I jumped on it at the same time as everyone else, I still feel like a groupie sometimes when I am talking about social networking.

    What are your favorite social media sites? Do you think Twitter will become “out-dated” in the next few months? Twitter has become the dominant social networking website in my life. I think there are bound to be some changes to Twitter within the next few months (maybe upwards of a year) that will discourage a lot of new members. For example: I see a change in interface coming that makes it easy for experts of Twitter to utilize, but scares away newcomers.

    How do you feel about LinkedIn?
    I think it’s a great start, but I am still a beginner at utilizing it! Hopefully I’ll get caught up!

    Are the privacy issues with Facebook going to cause you to “quit”?
    Maybe not quit, but more so reconsider my usage of the website. I thoroughly enjoyed it for a while, but now the issues with privacy are become more of a reason to stay away.

    Also, fantastic blog. Great writing and visual aids. With that being said, it is up-to-par with the rest of your phenomenal posts. Keep up the FANTASTIC work! =)

  7. Ashley says:

    You are to kind Mr. Blight! You should not feel like a “social groupie” because trust me, you are doing a great job! I may have to disagree with you on the ‘joining at the same time’ thing. I think that because social media is still expanding you jumped on at a perfect time. You get to test drive all of the sites at once! 🙂

    Agreed. Twitter may make a drastic change like Facebook did over-night and people will stop using it. No worries! You will DEFINITELY get caught up on LinkedIn. If you need any help you can always ask me! 🙂 Facebook is touchy with me.. I don’t post things that give to much information because the fact that there are predators out there scares me.

    Thank you for your wonderful feedback! You are going to be a PR star one day, just so you know. You’re an amazing writer and I cannot wait to read your next post! 🙂

  8. Ashley says:

    Thank you! You should definitely join LinkedIn! I have Google Buzz but I don’t really use it. It is kind of a Twitter mimic.

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