How to: Be a Social Media Expert


by Katelyn Chamberlin

Let’s face it.  Most of us are on Facebook for a good chunk of the day.  We can’t go half a day without updating our status or creeping on our friends or enemies. Facebook can be an effective way to pass the time or reconnect with people we wouldn’t actually talk to in person.

What more could we want from a social media site, right?

Senior Macy Koch has a simple answer. One way Koch uses social media is to look for potential career opportunities.

“I have found so many internships and job openings on Twitter through following the right people,” Koch said. “I have retweeted these and many of my friends have then told me they applied or even got the job because I chose to retweet the information.”

However, looking for jobs isn’t the only thing social networking sites are good for.  Brian Steffen, chair of communication and media studies, advises students to use social media to “advance their brand.”

“All products have brands, but most students don’t realize that they also have brands,” Steffen said. “In most instances, employers don’t know the student personally, so they resort to checking social media sites to get a sense of what a student is like.”

Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Tracy Lucht agrees with Steffen, making a valid point against those students who only use the social networking sites for their everyday life.

“I would discourage students from using social networking sites to say what party they went to that weekend or what they had for breakfast,” Lucht said.  “It’s a public platform at all times.  You have to post things for a broad audience from your mom to your boss to your friends and family.  You have to hold a professional image of yourself.”

You’ve seen everything there is to see on Facebook and you’ve left that Twitter account pretty bare lately.  So how do you make these social media sites work for you now?

“I use social media as my primary news source,” Koch said.  “I follow many news organizations on Twitter.”

Twitter can be used to follow an unlimited number of people, businesses and organizations. The more you follow on Twitter, the more informed you become. Companies are constantly tweeting about events they are holding and products they are selling. This same idea can work for you.

Sell yourself. Show off your talents and knowledge in your field of interest. Future employers won’t want to see what you ate for lunch, but rather what you are doing in your classes. Facebook allows its users to show off content in numerous ways. Social media sites open up so many doors for college students preparing for their job hunt.

Next time you go to upload a picture, forget about those scary images from your late night of partying. Instead choose the picture you took of your latest class project. Not only will your parents and future employers thank you, but you’ll end up thanking yourself one day.