During the Fall of 2017, I took a course called Social Media Marketing with Professor Aaron Dinin. Throughout the semester, we explored the various uses of and strategies for social media. We began with personality marketing, looking at how celebrities use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat to provide entertainment and cultural value. Then, we focused on influence marketing, where individuals educate their followers on particular skills, lifestyles, or perspectives, particularly through Facebook and Youtube. Our third focus was corporate marketing, during which we analyzed corporate brands and explored how tones and intended audiences differ among platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. During each social media marketing module, we learned the purposes of the particular form of marketing, developed an understanding of effective strategies, analyzed good and poor examples, heard from leaders in the field, and focused on a particular account of interest.
Originally, I was unsure if I should take this class. I didn’t know how much marketing on social media for entrepreneurs would connect to my passion for environmental advocacy. But, I decided to take a chance and enrolled in this course, recognizing social media is becoming increasingly important in many fields.
I was struck by how on the first day, the first thing the professor asked us to do was to come to the front of the room and take a selfie with him. Upon returning to our seats, he had us think about why he may want to have this picture. We recognized that were he to post the picture, Professor Dinin would appear as a cool and engaging professor, strengthening his personal brand. With this introduction, we began to recognize the nuances of social media and the intention behind every post and tweet.
As we progressed during the semester, I was engaged by the seminar style of the course, enabling us to share, explore, and challenge personal perspectives on social media. I genuinely enjoyed so many of our conversations, ranging from the Instagram profile of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s to comparing tweets by McDonalds and Wendy’s. In particular, I really enjoyed when speakers came to our class to share their expertise. Hearing from the digital director for NC Governor Roy Cooper, yoga influencer Jessamyn Stanley, and global head of social media at SAS, my classmates and I learned about creating social media content for a living, developing both an appreciation and critical eye for their work.
Improving my ability to delineate purposes and the effectiveness of strategies on social media, I have developed a greater awareness of how other are using this innovative tool to advance their personal and professional goals. Subsequently, I believe my potential to maximize the potential of social media in my own life has greatly increased.
Social Media Marketing in My Future
How has this course impacted my work as an environmental advocate?
First, as a Brand Ambassador for a green-tech platform, UCapture, I will be more intentional when creating posts and tweets to advertise our service. I will embody an important takeaway of the class, provide value on social media, through generating content that people want to see and feel good about.
Second, I will think more about how I make posts related to politics and policy, recognizing certain audiences are more receptive to particular tones, lengths and frequencies on certain platforms. Rather than merely sharing my thoughts, I plan to do so in a way that advances my personal brand as a young environmental advocate while maximizing the likelihood that my followers will take action on the issue.
Third, I want to use LinkedIn as a tool to develop my credibility within the realm of environmental policy, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Our final class project provided us the opportunity to think critically about how we want to advance our own goals on social media, and I think this will unlock new connections and opportunities for the future.