How is Social Media Being Used by Recent College Grads?
Written by: Eileen Lonergan
Social Media, what’s the big deal?
In this day and age, social media is everywhere you look. Facebooking, tweeting and blogging are just a few ways you can share your ideas, photos and thoughts with people you know. On average, people in the United States spend about 6 hours a day on social networking sites, which adds up to about 22% of all the time spent on the Internet. The exponential growth of social networking sites over the past few years can be contributed to the fact that these sites are dangerously addictive. As a recent college graduate and a social media addict, I can attest to this fact! People of all ages have integrated social media into their everyday lives. Adding a friend on Facebook, sending a tweet or sharing a photo on your Flickr is just a part of your daily routine. Accessing your social media sites can be done virtually anywhere and from the palm of your hand with the integration of Mobile applications.
Why use Facebook?
I started using Facebook my senior year of high school in 2007. Facebook wasn’t very established in high schools yet, but a few of my friends were using it so I decided to see what it was all about. Now, Facebook is ranked the #1 social networking site on the Internet and I don’t see it dropping anytime soon. Back then; Facebook was a purely social thing. There were no advertisements or attempts to reach consumers. It was simply a place where people went to communicate with their friends and family. Today, I use my Facebook in an entirely different way. I never used to be concerned about privacy issues or the risk of potential employers viewing the content on my page, but now this has become a pressing issue for college students and recent graduates. Today, people my age must be very cautious about what they post out of fear of not being able to find a job. Another thing that is extremely different is the way we can interact with companies and businesses. Thousands of businesses are using Facebook as a way to connect with their targets. Users can “Like” a business to receive updates and have the opportunity to give feedback directly to the company Facebook page. They can efficiently give feedback by responding, liking or sharing posts that a business generates on their Facebook page. . Social media sites like Facebook are an ideal place for consumers of any age to communicate directly with businesses big or small. While the way young people are using Facebook has slightly changed over the years, college students and recent graduates primarily utilize Facebook as one of their go-to forms of communication to connect with their friends and family.
What is the point of Twitter?
Twitter is one of the new kids on the block in terms of social media, but wow, has this site taken command of the Internet or what! It seems like everyone these days is tweeting something. Since Twitter was launched in 2006, it has generated over 200 million users who produce 350 million tweets a day. That’s a lot of traffic on one relatively new website! I mainly use my twitter to follow the things that interest me such as various news outlets, celebrities I like, publications I read and of course my friends and family who are also tweeting. Twitter is sometimes described as the “SMS of the internet” (SMS means short message services aka a text message) because tweets cannot exceed 140 characters and the majority of published tweets are categorized as pointless babble and conversational. Tweeting can also be utilized as a means to promote business. Tweeting deals, sweepstakes and recent updates is a smart way for a business to gain followers and a presence on Twitter. Twitter is a great way for people to stay connected with people they care about and also to receive news and updates about the things that interest them.
What do I do with LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a professional social networking site with over 85 million users and a presence in more than 200 countries. College students, graduates and working professionals alike utilize this site to help them land a job, learn about their professional industry and make connections with people. I treat my LinkedIn as an online resume of sorts. I have established a variety of connections and descriptions for my previous and current work experience. There are a variety of applications that you can use on your LinkedIn to connect your tweets and your recent blog posts.
All over the world, millions of people are using social media every single day. We have incorporated it into our routines, and feel out of the loop when we are disconnected. Businesses had the right idea by jumping on the social media bandwagon and capitalizing on this medium to reach consumers. With everyone using social media as frequently as they do, businesses are smart to join in. Social media is where it’s at, and it’s here to stay!
Guest blogger, Erin Boydell, is a recent graduate from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Advertising and a specialization in Public Relations. Erin is a Kappa Delta alumna and Harry Potter enthusiast who enjoys reading, running and writing. She currently works as a Web Designer and Internet Marketing Intern for Eileen Lonergan.