Member Perspective: Using Social Media for Networking

This semester I attended my first networking event, a Tweetup, which is an event for Twitter users to meet face-to-face.  This particular event was hosted by Eisbrenner Public Relations and held for local public relations professionals and students at Mr. B’s in Royal Oak.

Admittedly, I created my Twitter account an hour before attending the event, only in fear  of not be admitted at the door without having one, and expected to never use it again.  What I found inside—other than the fact that I was the only person there who had yet to send a “tweet”—is that more and more people are connecting professionally through social networking sites. In an industry like PR where reaching your publics in new and innovative ways is crucial, companies and professionals are embracing sites like Facebook and Twitter, sites that were once thought to be just fads among young adults and kids.

The experience was eye opening, to say the least. The professionals I spoke with at the event could not  emphasize enough the role that social networking sites are now playing in the business world. They discussed the importance of becoming familiar with sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace—all sites that I had tried to stay away from in the past. It’s clear that by mastering these sites, you can better connect with professionals —and even more importantly—they can  learn more about you.

I never thought my familiarity with Facebook would help me at work, but knowledge of social media has become essential for PR practitioners,” said Jared Bryan, Eisbrenner intern and former Wayne State PRSSA president.

The Tweetup was an exciting and new experience that helped me understand an exciting and new tool, social networking. The more we embrace and begin to use and understand social networking sites; the better off we will be  as future PR professionals.

— Jeremy Tucker, Member of Wayne State PRSSA


2 responses to “Member Perspective: Using Social Media for Networking

  1. Very nice post! I believe SM is vital to understand if you’re in any field were communication is the key form of selling your service. I hear many young professionals say they don’t understand which is why they don’t use sites such as twitter, LinkedIn, and the plethora of sites and social media tools entering the market daily.

    You can take this approach of “I don’t understand, so I don’t use,” but it will result in a career that does not come near its potential. Clients are continuously looking for ways to cut cost, increase awareness, and develop closer relationships with people. In addition, they expect young people coming out of college to understand social media because it is a part of our generation.

    As a young advertising professional, I’ve seen a number of friends advance in companies quicker than normal purely because they understood SM, a tool many season pros are trying to play catch-up. I’m sure this applies to the PR side of the business also. Our generation wants career advancement faster than ever, and social media is a tool that can provide that rapid advancement.

    Learn social media, understand it, and benefit from it.

    I recommend reading Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day by Dave Evans

  2. Jeremy,

    Good for your that you took the plunge and jumped into Twitter. When I first started an account I wasn’t sure how it would work either, but as you use it, you’ll learn. It’s a great information sharing tool. It also helps to humanize companies and to make people accessible.

    Be sure to put your Twitter name on your resume, and your LinkedIn profile as well. Professionals will go there to check out what you’re saying.

    Mary Henige, APR

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