The Ice Bucket Challenge, I bet you have all done it. First, the water was not that cold and the challenge was not that difficult. Who ever thought that taking a bag of ice, dumping it into a bucket of water, and pouring it over your head would be done by millions of people in months? According to a Facebook blog, between June 1 and August 17, over 28 million people joined the conversation about the Ice Bucket challenge. 28 million! The viral campaign also raised over $90 million dollars for ALS research. This is one example of the power of social media and it ceases to amaze me. The ability to take something so simple, and have millions of people learn about it and act in the matter of days is unbelievable
I like to think I am a social media expert – I am not. I still remember stealing my older brother’s college email address to gain access to Facebook when it was first coming out and putting Vida Guerrera as my MySpace background (outdating myself?). Over time, my social media presence has transitioned to Instagram and Twitter and I have created accounts on a few other social media platforms just to get a taste. For me, social media is something that has become engrained in my everyday life. It is fun talking trash to my friends about an upcoming sports contest through Twitter or following a friend’s road trip to the west coast through an Instagram hash tag. What better form of entertainment is there than living vicariously through other people!
Beyond my initial excitement about being able to be on Facebook before the rest of my friends and my use of social media as an entertainment tool, social media has also become a professional tool and a tool for me to express my opinions/thoughts. For a year after college, a friend and I created a sports blog. Although the writing was average at best, it was exciting being able to put our own thoughts onto paper and sharing them with others. The ability to write a post, share it with other people, and engage in a conversation through the internet was amazing. If I had the time, I would definitely start the sports blog up again.
Through my two jobs, I have always been known as the young guy who won’t shut up about the need to increase the organization’s social media presence. My first job out of college I worked as an Assistant Director of Admission at Milton Academy. At the time, we had little to no social media presence, although the students we wanted to reach were getting their information through the internet and social media – not a paper catalogue like the rest of my office thought. My boss was resistant to implementing a social media strategy, but after a year of bickering and researching the benefits, he agreed to allow me to start a student-run blog. It was a huge success and when I was leaving, I learned the blog had over seven thousand hits in the matter of 18 months.
At my current job I run our Facebook and LinkedIn pages for alumni. However, I have learned that I am not an expert in creating content and struggle to keep the pages interesting. I look forward to learning how to create value out of social media and also how different platforms work for different functions. I also look forward to learning more about how to create effective social media campaigns. My major interests are sports, education, and business so most likely all of my blog posts will revolve around these three topics.
So far the Twitter conversations have been interesting and the class seems to have a diverse range of interests. I look forward to seeing what the semester brings and taking some of what I learn back to my current organization. I also look forward to learning more about new social media platforms that I am not up to speed on (What is Yic Yack (sp) again?). To an informative and fun semester!