Katherine Bradford and Lee M. Gills, two social media experts, joined us last Wednesday for our concluding class. The two speakers both spoke on the elements of social media, but with two totally different perspectives.
Bradford spoke on the importance of a positive digital footprint and how to avoid unintentional “toe prints.” On a completely different note, Gills discussed how “response driven” social media has the power to effectively boost profits of businesses.
There is no doubt that social media has profoundly changed the world, but last night it became even more obvious, as a constant stream of tweets united Americans with the breaking news of Osama Bin Laden’s death before it was even formally announced by the media.
During all of this Osama-Twitter hype, I started noticing that my generation understands Twitter’s amazing effect on society, but that they also don’t understand Twitter’s negative impact, and how it can personally damage reputations. I thought back to Bradford’s advice:
Know your audience. Many of the tweets I read last night included profanity and inappropriate sayings regarding Osama’s death. Keep in mind that you never know who will read your tweets if the are re-tweeted. (hint: potential employers)
Separate online identity into personal and professional. Many tweets also included strong political views, some offense and some not. Remember that not everyone shares the same beliefs as you, and whatever you say can potentially offend others.
Blog only about professional and informational subjects. 45% of employers use social media in screening potential candidates. If a potential employer sees your blog talking about “how drunk you’re going to get at the bar celebrating Osama’s death,” consider that opportunity lost.
I can’t believe the semester is already over…we’ve heard from so many motivational communication leaders that have truly inspired the class to be the best that they can be in the PR world.