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Life after Lawrence: Social Media’s Role in the Professional World

As students of a highly involved community, we constantly rely on social media to connect with our peers and to keep ourselves knowledgeable about upcoming campus events and opportunities. In other instances, we use social media as an escape from reading a dense textbook or writing an analytical paper or lab report.  Social media clearly plays a significant role in our current lives on campus, but what role will it play in our lives after Lawrence?

Lawrence recently hosted a workshop called Social Media for Social Good in which three panelists, Lawrence’s New Media and Website Coordinator, the President of the Weidert Group, and the Director of Marketing and Brand at the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes, discussed their approaches to and strategies for social media. Their insight suggests that social media is a growing method of marketing in the professional world.  

Familiar platforms of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Pinterest serve as key methods of marketing for small businesses, large corporations, and non-profit organizations. Many businesses and organizations utilize these platforms to connect with their prospective employees, buyers, contributors, and volunteers in more meaningful, engaging ways than simply advertising on the web, radio, or television.

In order to understand the effectiveness of social media for marketing in the professional world, we must understand the ways in which companies and organizations use social media. Here are three main resources that companies strategically use to approach marketing through social media:
 
Website
Websites are the primary way that corporations and organizations connect with and reach out to their “audience” by clearly illustrating their purpose and mission. A company or organization’s website serves a place for people to indicate their interest in getting involved, whether it be as a prospective employee, contributor, or volunteer. Websites should always employ meaningful content that interests the reader and compels them to return.

Blog

Blogging is one of the most vital social media platforms.Many companies’ or organization’s websites have blogs. Blogs are a vital way to inform webpage visitors about their news, events, and posts on social media platforms like Facebook. Blog posts enable the organization or company to post links to news articles relevant to the company or organization or to their Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr page. The blog guides people toward social media as well as keeping them knowledgeable about the company or organization’s involvement in the community and the world.

Other platforms:

More than 400 social media platforms exist today, some of the most familiar being Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. These social media platforms, whether it be the Facebook page or Pinterest board, drive the reader back to the website, the place where they will ascertain the most information about the company or organization. When posting on Facebook, Twitter, or any other platform, successful companies and organizations engage the reader with a question so as to form a discussion about something relevant to the company or organization. The purpose of these types of social media platforms is to get people to talk about the organization or company and make them feel connected to it.
 
Social media provides an innovative, meaningful way to connect with and understand companies, organizations, and of course, people. It strongly impacts us now, and it will continue to play a large role in our lives as we transition for Lawrence to the professional world, so it is important we consider its practical uses.
 
Interested in learning more?
Check out:
www.hootsuite.com: A website businesses use to manage their various social media platforms.
www.weidert.com: Weidert Group’s webpage, a good example of the use of social media in the professional world.
www.slideshare.com: An interesting, new social media platform that many businesses are using.
 
Photo Sources:
Google Images

Want to get involved?
Contact the volunteer center!
 

Kelsi Bruun-Bryant is a sophomore at Lawrence University pursuing an undergraduate degree in English and Spanish. She works in the Lawrence University Office of Multicultural Affairs as the Web Coordinator, is an active member of the Alpha Zeta chapter of the Delta Gamma Fraternity, and volunteers at a variety of non-profit organizations in the greater community on a regular basis. Kelsi will be studying abroad in Santiago, Chile this coming fall where she hopes to perfect her skills in the Spanish language. After graduation from Lawrence University, she hopes to get involved in the field of marketing, continue writing, and pursue a graduate degree in an English-related topic. 
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