This semester in my digital media class, I learned a lot about social media. I learned about how much social media has grown in the past few years. I learned how businesses can use Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to promote their products and services. I learned how nonprofits can use those same tools to increase support for their causes. I learned about new emerging social tools, such as Foursquare, that might have as much influence as Facebook in a few more months. And much, much more.
New Product Launch: Me!
But one of the most important things I learned was how to use social media to develop my own personal brand. Yes, I, as a person, am a brand. This was very valuable to me since I will be graduating in twelve days, and I will need to sell myself to employers. Not only can prospective employers look into my Twitter and Blog to learn about me, but they can also see how I use these tools. If they see that I am using them effectively, then they know that I can be an asset to their company.
My Twitter Brand
I joined Twitter about two years ago, and I first I didn’t get what the big deal was. Then, a lot of my friends started joining, and we used it to talk back and forth. Then I started following CNN to keep up with the news and some of my favorite celebrities, like Ashton Kutcher. I was more of a passive user, only reading what others were saying.
When my class started, we were assigned to post “professional tweets.” Then, I became an active tweeter. I was posting interesting stories about social media, advertising, celebrities, or anything I thought was worth sharing.
Soon, my follower base increased, I was getting retweeted, and tweeters were mentioning me. That’s when I realized I was using twitter professionally. I was a source that people could go to to get industry news. I can use my Twitter as an example of my work to show that I understand the communications industry.
Blogging Like a Pro
For many jobs that I have looked at and/or applied to, they ask for a writing sample. What better way to show off my writing skills then to send them a link to this blog?
This blog (you should know because you are reading it!) has a theme. I talk about social media and the digital world as a whole. And, go figure, this is the career path that I would like to continue on. Showing that I am aware of what is going on in this industry will be impressive to prospective employers.
Not to mention, when my name is put into a Google search, my blog and Twitter are some of the first things to come up! How’s that for SEO?
Social media is huge. And it’s free. So why wouldn’t nonprofits use this platform to engage with supporters, tell their stories, and attract even more supporters? Social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, help nonprofits gain an audience that is more open to causes as opposed to advertisements. Many major non-profits have recognized these great opportunities that social media can give them.
Here are some examples that have made great use of social media:
- Goodwill: This organization, which provides job training and employment opportunities for the disabled, uneducated, and others challenged with life’s difficulties, uses Twitter in a way that other organizations do not. Goodwill uses lists that make it easy for monitoring its bloggers and other advocates. Some of the lists include one for green news, another for veterans, and one for thrifty bloggers. This also allows followers to scan through the lists and find information that is relevant to their interests.
- Invisible Children: Three young men started this organization after filming the sad situation of children soldiers in war-torn Africa. The footage is uploaded onto YouTube and has receieved thousands and thousands of views. Through the YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter efforts, President Obama has signed assigned with its cause.
- Make-A-Wish Foundation: This organization makes wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses a reality. The foundation recognizes that it doesn’t have to have an ordinary Facebook page with just a like button and a few pictures. Its page is filled with rich content, such as videos. Also, it uses different tabs for different causes of the organization. Features like those make the page interactive and interesting.
I know it seems like every nonprofit has a Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook account, but these platforms have much more of an effect if they are used in a creative and innovative way. Don’t miss out on an inexpensive way to connect and share news with supporters and to gain more supporters for your organization.