Why Social Media is a Good Addition to Graduate Studies:

Though my Masters will be in Marketing, I am currently pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Social Media. When I tell people this they look at me puzzled, as in “hey you don’t need a degree to figure out Facebook”, but I look at it in a different way. The word optimization comes to mind “an act, process, or methodology of making something (as a design, system, or decision) as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible” (Merriam-Webster 2012). If I could learn how to use social media tools in the most optimal way I could exceed my client’s objectives making me one valuable employee!

Social Media is one of the most powerful communication tools on the planet. Consider that 2 billion people around the globe are connected to the internet today, and approximately 86% of those users are active on social media platforms. Whether we connect to friends across the globe or businesses down the street, this tool gives internet users the power to interact and engage with the world around them.

Businesses recognize the power of social media. Companies can (amongst other things) start public relations campaigns, build brand equity, target specific audiences, and announce their services via social media. It’s quickly becoming a company standard to utilize platforms like Facebook and Twitter. With that development, there is a legitimate need for an adequately trained workforce in Social Media strategy.

As an employee in the Marketing field, I noticed many companies in my industry (CPG) relying more on social media campaigns. I understood the basics of how social media worked from a personal standpoint, but I had very little idea of what it meant to run a social media campaign for a business. I knew that recent graduates had a better knowledge and understanding of social media that far surpassed my own, and that in order to be competitive I needed to understand social media marketing platforms and strategies.

I have had the pleasure of taking social media classes in graduate school and have felt that it has given me an edge as a member of the workforce. Whether it’s developing a professional social media portfolio, or enhancing my connection with leaders in my industry, these skills allow students to compete in a world that is becoming more engrossed with social media.

Sources:

Bullas, J(September 02, 2011) 20 Stunning Social Media Statistics. JeffBullas.com Retrieved July 12, 2012 from http://www.jeffbullas.com/2011/09/02/20-stunning-social-media-statistics/

Thomas (April 01, 2009) Social Media Heads to Graduate School. Open Education. Retrieved July 12, 2012 from http://www.openeducation.net/2009/03/31/social-media-heads-to-graduate-school/

Merriam-Webster(2012) Optimization. Merriam-Webster.com Retrieved July 12, 2012 from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/optimization

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