A Summer Lesson in Social Media

Even though I am 20 years old, I’ll admit that I have been somewhat behind on new technology. Until my freshman year at AU, I did not have texting (I know. Crazy, eh?). Even though I had upgraded my phone to a Blackberry, I didn’t even have Internet to access email or use BBM. When it comes to social media, I am quite behind as well. While I’ve had a Facebook account for several years, I never used Twitter or LinkedIn before my internship.

As part of my intern responsibilities, I manage and update all of the FPA U social media accounts, which include Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Even though I was already familiar with Facebook, I had to quickly learn how to use Twitter and LinkedIn. While Twitter is easy to use, it was a big challenge for me to write a brief message in 140 characters (As you can tell by my past blog posts, I am still learning to write short posts). Despite this initial challenge, I have been able to learn a lot from Twitter, especially the promotional benefits. In fact, I now understand the hype and why it is such an important marketing tool for companies. I even recently registered for my own account @qsmeaton to understand Twitter from a consumer/user’s perspective.

While I have caught on to Twitter, LinkedIn was completely foreign to me. At first, I thought that LinkedIn was strictly for business professionals. However, I soon discovered my assumption was completely wrong. Shortly after signing up (I had to create an account in order to update FPA U’s LinkedIn group), I found out that quite a few of my classmates and former employers were on LinkedIn.

While I am still trying to discover all of the features that social media has to offer, I’ve learned that its not only great for personal use, but also an excellent resource for networking and job searches. Since I am always researching job search and career tips for our FPA U Twitter account, I’ve realized how it’s becoming critical to create an online presence for yourself. While many choose to keep their Facebook account personal, you can create an online presence by creating a Twitter account, signing up for LinkedIn, and even starting a blog related to your field of study or personal interests. By doing so, when a potential employer Googles you, he or she will be able to access your past work experience which can potentially improve your chances of landing a dream job.

(Photo from Peter Thomas)