Social Media and My Graduate School Life

Technology has changed so much since finishing undergrad in 2007. Although, it doesn’t seem like so long ago, when I arrived to graduate school my communication experiences didn’t resemble anything from 5 years before. From being friends with my professors on Facebook and Twitter to establishing multiple blog sites to publish work and establish a voice, my digital presence greatly increased. Now as graduation approaches and I pursue my post graduate plans I found some great pointers at for maximizing your social media presence. 

1. Know your audiences

  • Know your audience – What segmentation are you talking to and who are you targeting? Identifying the stakeholders in your business environment and understanding what they want to hear from you will ensure that not only your social media presence is successful but also help across your entire marketing communications.
  • Reach more audiences – Social media can help you tap into audiences which previously were at a great distance away; you can monitor activity or become part of the community.

2. Plan your content

Planning your content across a period of time can save a great deal of time and resource. Consider some of the following simple steps:

Create a theme or subject
Instead of writing copy or developing communications for one marketing activity, why not create a theme or subject which can be used across a multitude of media? Traditional communications activities and promotions can also be integrated into the social media presence – it’s simply another way of getting a targeted message to your audience.

Collect a content library

Content is definitely the hardest component of social media presence. It’s a constant, ongoing demand on an organisation’s resource so having ‘timeless’ content or snippets of content to hand can fill in those gaps of information.
Publish 3rd party material
Contact other parties to publish their materials. The web is all about collaboration and sharing – gone are the days of shielding content to/from the outside.

3. Use readily available tools

Use one or more of the freely available social media tools. There are many, many tools and applications that make using social media a great deal easier. Such tools help you to:

  • Ensure your content is coordinated and give your marketing communications an integrated approach
  • Measure effectiveness and monitor your presence (instant notification of your organisation being discussed on social media opens your eyes to a whole new intelligence gathering mechanism)

So social media is a great platform for measuring and monitoring but what exactly are you looking to measure and monitor?

Don’t measure and monitor for the sake of it. Make it meaningful to your business or your campaign objective. For example, do you want to get a certain amount of followers on Twitter? If so, make it in for a particular audience instead of across the board.

4. Don’t use in isolation

Be sure to integrate social media with your other marketing & PR activity. Your social media presence is a bit like your own TV channel or billboard, but instant. It goes out to a mass audience straightaway and often on a personal 1-2-1 level. For those used to a B2B market this can, in some cases, be daunting and difficult to comprehend. Don’t forget to:

  • Plan your social media inline with your marketing and PR activity. When one campaign or activity is planned this should be combined with social media as it lends itself perfectly to integrated communications.
  • Make sure your communications across your other marketing activities and media match your social media or are the same.
  • Use the freely available social media tools. The tools available also aid integration. One tool for diffusing your communications across a multitude of platforms. How cool is that? Yes, but also how dangerous is that? It needs thought, planning and resource. Watching some companies hand over their social media presence without a clear strategy or thought is certainly an eye opener.




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7 responses to “Social Media and My Graduate School Life

  1. Thanks for passing along these tips, Marcie. Do you suggest that students looking for jobs in PR and marketing implement some of these strategies into their personal content to build a portfolio?

  2. cameronellis88

    I think these tips are great! The most important tip, in my opinion, is knowing your audience. The biggest mistake is for a company to use a certain social media site just because their competitor is. Knowing where your audience is located in terms of which social media sites, is a huge plus! A great way to implement these techniques is by asking a small non-profit for permission to run their social media. They always need extra help!

    • Very true, it’s also a great way to become an “expert” in the field. Based on recent interactions with experienced media relations professionals, I think social media skills are the most marketable asset pr/journalism graduates have.

  3. Thanks for the tips Marcie!

  4. Ning Huang

    For these principles, what I want to say something is ” don’t use in isolation”, which means I need to combine social media with other tools and activities. For me, I’m the person lacking enough experiences, in order to skillfully fulfill this principle, I would try my best to improve myself in the future after graduate.

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