What I think about Social Media #J560

Whelp, here’s to my first blog!! As I’m not much of a fluffy writer, it will be interesting to see how my so-called millennial brain transforms information I share on social media platforms into long form writing.

The conversation about traditional media versus social media is an interesting debate to me. I believe the argument on either side begins with understanding what traditional and social media really mean.  What we once considered traditional, TV, print and radio will shift as more technology and various forms of communications are introduced.  I think the term traditional media will be redefined as print newspapers are moving toward digital only publications, live newscasts are being aired online and radio announcements are shared on different social networking sites.  It’s becoming increasingly more and more unclear where the line is for traditional media and social media. Is a live news show still considered traditional if I can watch the newscast online?

All of this still leads to the question, “What is social media?”  The concept of social media is still a new communication strategy for public relations practitioners, journalist and communication specialists. I realize we now face the same questions about the validity of social media as previous practitioners once had for the Internet, website and blogs.

According to the internet dictionary, social media is websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. That doesn’t tell me much on how to use it or which websites to use or what to share, so hopefully this class will answer a few more questions.

Social media is an interesting topic to research and study.  Since social media is rapidly changing the results may not be accurate or expedited enough to change the focus of a campaign, but would provide enough information to create a campaign and design the direction accordingly. Learning the effects of a how social media impacts campaigns and the impression we could have on our target publics would provide a baseline of information. Challenging the thought even more is the concept of using social media as an internal or external source of communication within an organization. As an internal source the creators are more likely to crate content in favor of the organization while external rules favor varied opinions of the organization.

As social media continues to prove to be more beneficial as a tactic or strategy for public relations practitioners, journalist and communication specialist, we are still focused on clearly defining how to ethically gather information and disperse it ethically to target audiences. Have we blurred the lines of trust and ethics from practitioner to consumer?  This concept made me question the ethical issue of when and how to contact a targeted audience via social media. I would be interested in reading more recent articles to see how social media impacts the strategies and tactics of public relations practitioners.

I currently use different social media platforms to share, interact and learn about my friends, interesting topics and societal happenings. My most used platforms are Twitter and Instagram. Although I have others, I believe the way I use social media reflects my personality. So, since Facebook is to maintain a sense of home, I mainly use it to connect and watch events that are happening at home. Most of my friends on Facebook are from Alabama and of course #RollTide fans. I’m more active on Facebook during the fall, which is football season. I prefer to use Twitter as a news source. In comparison to traditional media, I like to first learn what the hot topics are via Twitter, and then I follow retweets, links and comments about the particular issue. Later when I have more time I usually Google the topic for a more in depth review of the story. Instagram is where I can share more of my personality and person life. I believe this platform allows the work-life balance to have creativity. My pictures are my more relaxed views and opinions of things I’m dealing with in my life, career goals, funny memes that mean absolutely nothing and daily hungry emotions. Although LinkedIn is a social media platform, I think of it as a professional networking group. I’m not very active on sharing information on LinkedIn, but I do use it for career connections. As I progress in my career I could see where using LinkedIn could be beneficial. The other options for social media haven’t been on my radar. I feel Pinterest is too much to keep up with, however, if I were a crafty person or event planner I would probably use it more. YouTube is where I go to watch music videos and search funny videos when I’m bored. Previously I used another website to share professionally when networking or when writing samples were requested for career opportunities. It had examples of my work (writing and video), my resume and contact information. So these are the platforms I use and the many ways I use social media!!

My expectations for #J560 are to simply learn how to craft a successful completely digital campaign, to learn how to engage targeted audiences which may not use “traditional” social media platforms and how to increase the digital imprint for an organization. It will be interesting to brand myself which I have procrastinated in creating. I look forward to learning many techniques and strategies for using social media in conjunction with traditional methods to increase the impact of a campaign, event and organization. Currently as a graduate student, I am looking to increase my skill set of writing public relations plans, building and maintaining professional relationships and continuing to increase revenue of consultant projects. I feel this skill set is essential of a public relations specialist. This course seems like a good opportunity to increase my professional networks, learn how to analyze media markets and how to position myself to build relationships between those media outlets and potential clients.