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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Food For Thought:

Thanks for visiting my blog!  The purpose is quite simple, to introduce my love of food to social media!

 

Here are some links to help you get started taking a bite out of social media:

  • Yelp Glorious Yelp is one of my favorite social media sites that serve many food-driven needs. Traveling? Check yelp out for a favorite foodie hot-spot. Had a wonderful dining experience? Share your review with the community! Wonder when that new restaurant down the street is opening? Find out on yelp!
  • Meet fellow foodies on FoodCandy where you trade recipes, read food blogs, and find food-centric events.
  • Speaking of blogs, a few of my favorite are Oh She Glows where you can find some delicious vegan fare.  Smitten Kitchen ( I highly recommend the warm butternut squash and chickpea salad, again mostly vegetarian-fare here but fear not Carnivores! The Pioneer Woman has some delicious recipes to offer as well that will answer all of your meat-loving prayers. All of these sites are visually stunning and contain recipes that are delicious and easy!

The Social Media Matrix, and how it can be used in the food/consumer goods-industry:

All of the Social Media sites above can be utilized for food-centric companies whether it be  restaurants, markets, food-brokers, farmers etc. Since I work in the Food brokering CPG industry, I will focus on how that particular industry can benefit from these SM outlets.

facebook can be used to connect consumers, clients, and brokers. At my company, we use Facebook as a way to familiarize ourselves with the public. It has the highest number of potential viewers, as they have roughly 800 million users. This can be accessed by anyone who works for the company although marketing or management will presumably be the primary user.

Linkedin can be used to find potential employment or can be used by the business to find employees or connect with current employees. This is a great site to find talent as resumes are often at the users fingertips. HR will most likely be the primary user, but management and employees will also access the site.

Buzzagent may not be the best site for a food broker because they do not have a physical product or a service for general public use. This would be a great site to suggest for clientele. Clients (food manufacturers) can test out new products and gain feedback to enhance sales presentations or to use to improve products.

Yelp was discussed earlier as well. This is a growing community that food brokering companies can use to gain knowledge about overall public sentiment regarding a business, product, service or brand. For example, if a number of 1-2 star reviews are given to a particular company management may want to investigate what is causing the negative reviews.  They also have discussion boards which may help to gauge sentiment as well.Yelp reviews can cover businesses (including food brokers) and/or local manufacturing companies so this may be an under-utilized site that marketers and management may want to consider looking at.

So now I pose this question to you blog viewers, what are some of your favorite social media sites that discuss food?

Sources:

(2011). How it Works. Retrieved from http://www.bzzagent.com/pg/FAQs
(2004-2012). 10 Things You Should Know About Yelp. Retrieved from http://www.bzzagent.com/pg/FAQs
(2011). About Us. Retrieved from http://press.linkedin.com/about
(2011). Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics