This week I visited the Red River College campus on Princess for the first time! Nice space! I was invited by instructor Melodie Richard, to speak to a Creative Communications class about the real life business applications of social media marketing in the business world. Dan and I met Melodie at the RRC Directions Business Conference on Feb 1, 2012.
Some of the best questions and most rich discussions revolved around making a successful transition from using social media just as a “kid in college” to looking at serious reputation management as a marketing professional. Even beyond that, doing the social media work for your employer, speaking in the “company voice”.
In a room of 13 students, there were 2 “early adopters” – people that explore each new platform and jump on each new trend and pride themselves at being on the cutting edge. Most of the class used Facebook and Twitter, the majority had a profile on LinkedIn, and there were one or two that were more lightweight users of social media. A couple of the students were already working professionally with the platforms, either for employers, or in promoting their own business.
This class graduates in April, and I think that if their level of enthusiasm and their thirst for new knowledge carries forward into their professional lives, that they will make excellent additions to the businesses that choose to hire them. We talked a bit about building professional networks as marketing professionals and being “your own brand” online, to establish a presence and demonstrate competency – so I will be following many of them on Twitter to see what they do between now and graduation.
Thank you Melodie, for the opportunity to meet your class and share some insights. Thanks to the class for really paying attention and not texting or playing Angry Birds during my talk. I wish each of you much success in finding your career starter jobs – have a great graduation!