What is Social Media?
Where technology and social settings become one, Social Media is a method to communicate, build connections, connect with groups of people and share knowledge, using a variety of online tools and platforms. Social Media allows a person to create their own digital identity and makes it possible to connect and interact with people on a global scale.
That definition sounded like a definition. I like how Darmesh Shaw and Brian Halligan define it in their book, Inbound Marketing: “…Social Media is about connecting, interacting, and sharing online.”
Think about Social Media as a party: You will get reconnected with old friends, meet new people, learn new things, and if you act like a jerk you may find yourself without any friends
Who Is Using Social Media
The 2010 Edison Research/Arbitron Internet and Multimedia Research Series found that the number of people with a Social Media profile has doubled in the past 2 years from 24% to 48% , and the number of people using Social Media sites several times a day has doubled over the past year from 18 to 39 million.
So what about student use?
EDUCAUSE 2010 ECAR Study shows students’ activity in Social Media has increased every year over the past 4 years, with the most substantial growth in the 30+ demographics.
Think about the demographics of your campus and compare it to the chart on the left and think about how many students could already be active participants online.
So what does this mean?
Social Media has changed the way we communicate.
According to Nielsen Online Research, people are communicating more through Social Media than email. This changes how we should communicate with students. Many campuses and student groups are still relying on listserves as their main method of communication. If you are having trouble reaching your students, or if your student leaders are having issues with reaching members while using listserves, it might just be time to think of another method of communication. Email is no longer the only means of online communication. Looking at the increasing Social Media trends, there are more effective ways of communicating.
There are many Social Media tools on the web, but I am going to focus on Twitter and how it can increase your effectiveness in communication with students, student leaders, and colleagues.