As a late 90s baby, social media has been popular for the majority of my life. Unlike some of my peers, who played a part early on in the social media revolution, I didn’t create my first online profile until I joined Facebook in 2010. (Well, unless you want to count Webkinz as social media.) I was 13 when I joined Facebook, if I did the math correctly, and social media has consistently continued to become a bigger part of my life ever since. Today, I regularly use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. I also have accounts for Pinterest and Snapchat, although I don’t use those as much as I used to.
As I’ve wrote about before, there are pros and cons to social media and the things it has allowed us to do (a con being distracting me from writing this blog post). For me, social media has largely had a positive impact on my life. Until I entered the public relations field, I used it solely for social and entertainment purposes. I played games, chatted with people from school, kept in touch with relatives and laughed over memes. I still do pretty much all of those things. Without social media, I wouldn’t have found out about a lot of my now favorite movies, books or TV shows. Social sites like Yelp and Zomato help me decide which new restaurants to try and how much money I can expect to spend when going out. There’s an additional professional element to my social media usage that didn’t start taking shape until after I started college.
If you would have told me at age 13 that I was going to make a living partially by helping people post to Facebook, I probably would have called you crazy for two reasons:
1.) Middle school me was really sure I was going to be a famous singer or YA novel author
2.) Facebook was just a weird website that let you play Farmville and post pictures – why would anyone need help doing that?
From small nonprofits to giant corporations, we have now started to understand the importance of social media as a tool for connecting organizations to their target markets. So important, in fact, that entire marketing agencies like Cyclone Social are profiting off of specializing in social media.
My first professional communications role was the Marketing Lead for IUPUI’s Weeks of Welcome back in 2016. That was my first time creating posts on behalf of an organization for promotional purposes, and I’ve basically been doing that ever since. During my first internship with Indiana Futsal, I helped the organization strategize their social media use – especially focusing on live event coverage. My success in that role led to my current title at the Indiana Soccer Association – Social Media Producer. Along the way, I’ve also added four other internships to my resume, each of which involved a social media component.
Though it’s difficult to specialize in applications that are constantly changing, social media has become a P.R. tactic that I’m a big proponent of – and one of the ones that I am most comfortable utilizing. I am continuously asked to create posts or schedule entire social media calendars in the different roles I pursue. The experiences I’ve had in the last couple years have allowed me to see how social media can be used as a tool to positively impact both the organizations I work for and my personal life. Middle school me would have never imagined that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram would play such an important role in my career, but the path that I have been going down thus far seems to be indicating that social media is going to be a key to my future success.