Social media. What is that? Watch this. In 2 minutes and 28 seconds, you’ll get it.
Four months ago, I couldn’t tell you anything about it. I wasn’t ever technologically inept but social media and web 2.0 were foreign terms. Essentially, it is about how the Internet has become a growing force in the PR industry and that, at this point in our quasi-careers, we need to jump on the bandwagon. As a class of 40 individuals, I could sense the confusion, the hesitation and the rebellion.
Four months later, social media isn’t such a new thing. In fact, it’s an old thing! I thought Twitter was a fad but turns out I use it everyday. Email, youtube and facebook were all building dust in dirty old corners of the virtual world and now, the entire class is taking part in the viral. We are viral… well, okay maybe not quite yet.
Recognizing that new PR students are going to be creeping into this program with equally wide eyes, I feel compelled to provide them with a few tips, or maybe warnings.
- Don’t rebel. Recognizing that social media is not a fad, but in fact, an opportunity for us to be able to thrive in the work place, find jobs and create greater professional (and personal) networks. Get on board.
- Contribute. Signing up for whatever accounts isn’t going to help you or anyone else. Being a contributor (if not a leader) is the way to really get something out of all this web 2.0.
- Take your time. Don’t rush into it. Half the confusion that arises is because you have no clue what you’ve just signed up for or what it is used for. Take the time the learn about it and most importantly, learn how it benefits you. It is all about you afterall.
- Invest in yourself. Don’t force yourself to follow PR professionals or read PR blogs if that doesn’t interest you. Start with what does. Like fashion? Follow some fashion blogs. Like cats? Follow @ICHCheezburger on Twitter.
Essentially, don’t stress. Social media is a simple concept but can seem overwhelming because there are SO many applications that connect you with an even larger number of people. Isn’t that an opportunity? If you could get your foot in the door with the world, why not? Get on board. Better yet, get ahead. You never know, you could become the next social media guru.