Who Am I?
As the semester comes to a close, I near the end of my sophomore year of college. Now that I am exactly halfway through my college career, I can reflect on what I’ve learned the past two years that can carry me through the next two years. In this blog, I will be reflecting on what I’ve learned about social media, my SMPA class, and my plans going forward.
Prior to taking this social media class, I’d only really been an expert on Snapchat, Facebook, and sometimes Instagram. After taking this class, I have learned so much about social media strategies and helpful tools to reach a larger audience. I am only a sophomore, and have so much more to learn, but the challenges assigned in this class allowed me to push myself further than I ever would.
Some of the key social media skills I picked up from this class are:
- How to make a meme and a gif
- Planning a companies social media strategy: Calendar, Social Media Strategy
- Twitter 101
- Maintaining am engaging blog, that includes photos, videos, links, slideshows
- Tracking social media analytics and demographics
- How to make an Infographic
- How to navigate WordPress
Others may see theses skills as common knowledge or something they have already grasped, but hey, you have to start somewhere. It’s crazy how much one semester in a social media class has taught me. I used to not be able to distinguish the difference between a meme or gif or even truly knew what they were. Now I can make my own original ones. I’m better at organizing my work, providing research and links, and formatting it in a way that will keep an audience engaged.
I’ve always loved giving people advice. I’m never good at following my own advice, but when I’m removed from a situation I’m very good at analyzing it. Whenever I take skills tests the two skills I always get in my results is empathy and written communication. I hate to see people going through a hard time. Even if I don’t know them that well, I feel the need to be there for that person and do what I can to help their situation. With this blog, I chose a topic where I could combine these skills and put them to use by giving guidance to others.
We can all agree that our adolescents are a pretty rocky time. We go through our weird and awkward phases. We cry and obsess about dumb drama and gossip that feels like the end of the world, but really we are just young and naïve and trying to figure ourselves out. Every tip or experience I shared on this blog had a valuable lesson. When these events occurred I didn’t always react well, but as I’m older and I look back, I am able to acknowledge that those obstacles gave me so much wisdom. I’m happy I was able to share some of my experiences with such a supportive audience.
Trends to Know
1. Social Media can bring you great job opportunities and give you a higher chance of being discovered for your talent. Many companies need people with the knowledge to keep their social media platforms engaging and to stay connected with their audiences.
2. Social Media provides you with fast and easy access to news. I would learn more about what is going on in the world just by going through my Twitter stream, instead of browsing CBS’s website.
3. Social Media has the capability of forming a community. As a class, through our #smpasocial we were able to learn about each other outside of a classroom environment. I learned more about my classmates through their blogs and Twitters than sitting next to them in class. Through social media we were all able to build a community and provide support to each other, especially when it involved needing assistance on a class assignment.
4. Social Media can give you a space to share the exciting things going on in your life. Through my Twitter and blog I was able to find that audiences are more engaged when you add original or personal content.
5. Tagging people and companies can get their attention, and if you’re lucky they’ll reply to you too! Tagging people and using hashtags is a great way to build a bigger network and reach a larger audience. It can even keep you connected with really cool professionals.
6. Sharing opinions and beliefs about controversial topics sparks a lot of conversation. People are more willing to show support and share what you post when it aligns with their beliefs, however it also means people that don’t agree with you are going to challenge you
Concerning Issues or Motivations About Social Media
One of my main issues I have with social media platforms is knowing my privacy could be in jeopardy. Although most websites where you have to create an account have privacy settings, that does not protect your information. Of course, we’ve always been told that what you post on the internet is forever, but companies and websites actually track what you view.
Based on the content you view or search, websites create an algorithm of your interests, so they can provide you with ads or suggestions that best fit your needs. It’s no coincidence that as you browse Facebook, there is an ad of that LLBean flannel you were looking to get your dad for his birthday. It’s because the website created an algorithm and kept track of that information and your viewed history.
To me, it’s a scary concept to know that what I do on the internet is out of my hands. It’s so large and easily accessible that ANYONE can come across your information and profile. Right now, we’ll make fun of political candidates for old photos of them in their younger days, but what about when we’re at that age? Will people be bringing up embarrassing photos we posted online in middle school? Or will the next scandal be about that angry Tweet you posted when your boyfriend dumped you?
Call me paranoid, but the internet and social media can be too big and scary for me.
On the plus side, social media provides a platform for people to voice their opinions, promote awareness, and change the world. It’s easier for organizations to share events, information, and make a difference when so many people from all around the world are connected in through the internet. Being able to see photos and videos about specific causes, brings more attention and concern to doing something about it.
In the case of the United Airlines scandal, when the video of a man being dragged off a flight was released, it raised a lot of controversy. If someone had not recorded the incident and uploaded it to their Twitter, this incident would have been swept under the carpet. The fact that this video prompted such an uproar, it ensured that consequences were going to be implemented, even if it just meant hurting an airlines reputation.
Another example is the Black Lives Matter movement that raised awareness to police brutality against African Americans. The movement started as a hashtag, #BlackLivesMatters, where people could share their anger and frustration to what was going on in society. Now it has turned into a well-known nonprofit organization that continues to raise awareness, build connections, and fight against racism.
That’s A Wrap
This social media class has showed me in the ins-and-outs of the internet and various platforms. I was able to step out of my comfort zone and try something I wouldn’t have got myself to do on my own. I have learned so much useful information that I will remember and use going forward in life (just like I’ve done with each tip in my blog).
Right now, I am not sure if I will be continuing posts on this blog, but it is something I’ve been putting a lot of thought into.
Thank you to everyone of my classmates for the endless support and comments each week. Without you guys I would have probably deleted this blog by now. Also huge thanks to my professor, Nikki Usher, for opening up my eyes to the world of social media. I had so much fun in this class with you all and thoroughly enjoyed reading your blogs each week.