I attended a Georgia Communication Association (GCA) session about Social Media and the Marketplace, from 10-10:45 am on Friday, February 19. The presenters were Julia Clay and Kristina Rhodes from Brenau University. The session was a presentation with a panel discussion at the end, asking for the audience to participate in sharing their ideas. The subject of social media and the marketplace was presented via PowerPoint, opening with a YouTube video with random statistical facts about popular social media sites. Twitter, Facebook, and blogging were the mediums that were primarily examined.
The research was intended to identify the benefits of social media and to drive traffic to the websites. They found that organizations were not using social media tools effectively and realized that training was needed to set a realistic benchmark. This resulted in training 55 nonprofit organizations on how to incorporate social media into their marketing plan. Also, due to the fact that social media is becoming an important tool in the marketplace, the need for students to be properly trained to incorporate social media in an integrated marketing communications plan for future jobs has risen.
Clay and Rhodes then continued their PowerPoint with the basics about social media sites. They gave tips on having a user-friendly identification name, an accurate and consistent profile/biography, and a professional picture. They also talked about followers, which are the people who follow you via your social media outlet. The followers should be based on quality not quantity, because you want people who will actually react to your post and maintain a level so that you can respond to your followers as well. Also, another feature of social media sites is being able to post messages or statues. Clay and Rhodes advise posting information that matter, an average of four posts per day; again it is quality, not quantity.
The PowerPoint presentation concluded with lists of good websites and books about how to use social media as well as a list of good people to follow on Twitter that were familiar with the beneficial tools of the site. The presenters then posed the questions to the audience: how do we teach this information to students? How do we teach students to use this information to get them into the marketplace? And then, how do students use this information on social media to advance their company once in the marketplace? The audience was divided into small groups, based on who you sat by and discussed how teachers good incorporate social media training in .the classrooms.
I believe that this session was beneficial for a public relations student because it was about social media. Social media has become an important tool in the PR world because it helps spread awareness and is popularly used today. I think that incorporating more social media will help me in a future job.