Are You a Social Media Guru?

Social media can be used to help boost job-hunting efforts, help companies market their products and engage consumers, and even help spread the word about health concerns. From job-hunting to working in almost any aspect of communications, it has become indispensable.

Evan Strange of Butler University, whose tips on networking through social media appeared in last month’s PRSSA Forum, is just one of an expanding population of young adults creating Web content and using social networking to jump-start their careers. These proactive behaviors are necessary given the competitive job market, and also serve as good examples of technology use for veteran professionals.

In the health arena, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is launching a social media campaign through their website, Twitter, Facebook, texting and a PSA from celebs called “I know.”  In an effort to reduce the stigma around AIDS and HIV, the campaign is encouraging a very vulnerable population of African-Americans aged 18 to 24 to talk more openly about it. “Social media gives us a real-time platform for being able to reach out to this audience…[it’s] a really powerful tool,” said Booker Daniels, a CDC health communications specialist and project lead for “I know.”

General Motor’s Chevrolet brand is engaging with influencers through a social media road trip and experiential marketing at the event, in Austin, TX, from March 12 to 21 with South By Southwest (SXSW) and Fleishman-Hillard. “Being able to interact with social media influencers will help Chevrolet build up its consumer base and increase Chevrolet’s fans and followers online,” said Christopher Barger, director of global social media for GM.   Fleishman-Hillard  is the PR agency leading the SXSW campaign, and GM worked with its internal marketing and communications teams on the promotion. SXSW is an official sponsor for music, film, and interactive festivals.

After reading these three examples of social media campaigning, ask yourself if you are becoming a social media guru.  If not, find ways to increase your social marketing skills through class projects, work experience and training.