It’s a social media world after all

I’ll start this blog off by telling you a little secret; I love social media!  But, I’ll be the first one to admit that although I love social media and all that it has to offer, I don’t know too much about writing blogs.  Being a soon-to-be graduate with my degree in communications, I know that I should be well-versed in social media and that includes blogging.  I’ve started a couple blog prior to this one, but I hit the writer’s block wall that I feel every blogger must hit a one point or another.  So, here’s to starting fresh!

Recently, I read the first chapter of the book Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals by Katy Howell.  Like I said before, it’s important as an aspiring PR professional to be well-versed in social media and Howell does an excellent job explaining why that is.  Let’s be real here – “57% of people talk more online than they do in real life” (Howell 4), that doesn’t include the amount of time people spend talking on cell phones.  So what does this mean?  It means that our lives are becoming more and more virtual than ever before and as a future PR professional this significantly impacts my job.

Let’s take a second to thank Web 2.0 for helping us maintain and establish relationships easier and more accessible than ever.  According to Howell, Web 2.0 principles are found throughout the social media landscape.  These principles are ones that “ensure communications are two way, interactive, and above all, shareable” (Howell 7).  I mean think about, that’s what we all look for when we log in to our social media sites, right?  We look to communicate with our friends, family and coworkers; we look to share our interests, beliefs, and personal (sometimes too personal) feelings; and we all look for the same thing in return.  “Social network sites are the vehicle, not the destination” (Howell 5).

My favorite quote from Howell on page 12 that I feel captures the significance of social media in PR.

“Tapping into conversations that are relevant to your stakeholders allows businesses to build relationships, influence communities and ultimately inspire advocacy and trust.”

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5 thoughts on “It’s a social media world after all

  1. I was just curious as to how you believe that people living more virtual lives would impact our jobs…positively or negatively? I also chose your last quote as my main quote because I think it really explains why social media use has become so important for PR people. Without social media, those conversations would not be accessible by businesses and now that they are, it has become a gateway for establishing relationships with people you weren’t able to reach before. And building relationships is what PR is all about.

    • Schmitt1513, I would say both. People living their lives more virtually than ever before has a positive and negative effect on our jobs as PR professionals. I would agree with your last statement that social media has has become a gateway for establishing relationships with people we weren’t able to reach before and say that is one of positive effects it can have on our job. As for a negative, I would have to bring up the fact that social media has allowed for people to spread their thoughts and comments faster to a huge audience and being in a PR position, you want to have some sort of control of what that information is (good or bad) and where it’s going.

  2. Your statement about how our lives are becoming more virtual and how that affects jobs is something that I think is very important. I feel that there is definitely a transition in many different careers because of the advancements in technology that makes so many more things easier and more accessible virtually, especially communicating and creating relationships with consumers. Which leads to the other point you made about using Web 2.0 helps people and businesses establish and maintain relationships easier than before. I believe that without the way social media has caught on there would not be the same accessibility between people and businesses.

  3. You highlight a number of great points here. The level of connectedness within today’s society is truly astounding. Web 2.0 certainly has contributed to this and the advent of numerous social networking sites is also a contributor. When you think about how your personal relationships have evolved using social networking sites, have you ever taken the time to think about how it might be different when using these same ‘vehicles’ in a business sense? Understanding how to properly use the social networking platforms and tools becomes pretty important. Being able to really connect with a community of strangers in a valuable way using two-way communication becomes paramount. How might a business approach participation in a social network of interest different from an individual? Is there more thought that needs to go into the conversations?

    • Ginalutrellphd, when it comes to business I do think that the ways in which we use these vehicles changes. Businesses think that it’s great to say they have these vehicles to connect with their consumers, but it’s important that they use them as tools and use them appropriately. Some businesses want all of their consumers to ‘follow’ them on Twitter, but then give the consumer no reason to follow them – it needs to be a constant ongoing relationship between the consumer and the business. Just recently, I tweeted to Rent The Runway and within five minutes they favorited, retweeted and tweeted me back. That to me showed a lot about what they’re all about – the consumers.

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