Wow! I can’t believe how quickly this semester has went by. That being said I have learned so many things about social media, especially if I look back on my very first blog post for this class. I’ve learned what a digital footprint is, as well as how to measure and improve my own digital footprint. I learned the importance of cleaning up my existing pages, Googling myself regularly, and that I need to be very careful what I post and where I post it. I also found the Twitter chats to be really interesting. When it comes to the business aspect of social media I learned that the opportunities that social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and many others offer to any business are endless. I also learned that many businesses use social media platforms to promote themselves, but some use them better than others. But my real eye opener happened while working on the Giant Tiger social media report. The potential these platforms offer to a business like Giant Tiger to bring in foreign spenders is so exceptional. Overall I would say that the my view on social media now compared to my first post is very different.
Learning about my digital footprint is going to help a lot with my future in the business world. I wasn’t even aware that I had a digital footprint so imagine my surprise after that class. When I Googled myself I found that I came up in the first or second links as well as images of myself. I did not find anything that was negative or misinformative. This was a bonus because I was so ignorant to social media as a whole. I also cleaned up my Facebook account and unlocked the privacy so that anyone can search for and find me. I have created accounts on Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkIn, StumbleUpon, WordPress and Google+ since the beginning of the semester. These sites are actually addictive and frequently engaging myself while viewing them will help to improve my digital imprint.
The tweet chats we had every Thursday contibuted to my learning in ways that i never anticipated. At first I literally groaned thinking about it but after a couple chats my opinion changed drastically. The chats actually turned out to be fun, but more importantly I got to compare my opinion of a topic with many others as well as see other people views and gain additional insight from my peers that the lessons didn’t offer. I think these chats are a beneficial and fun way to learn and I really enjoyed this part of the class.
When this SMET class started back in September I didn’t understand the potential that platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook offer to businesses. I have since learned that the opportunities for businesses are literally endless. The biggest one being free advertising. If a business uses their social media tools properly and effectively they can create world wide communities. Businesses get the chance to engage with customers they may not otherwise have the chance to do. Also, businesses can target many different audiences using a platform like YouTube where they create and post video content. They can organize their page that draws positive attention and promotes engagement. This will cause more people to view their pages, and give their communities a chance to expand.
Almost every business is involved in social media in some way. Some businesses use only one or two social media tools while others take advantage of every available tool. Businesses should use measuring tools for each of their pages and overall for their company. Determining their audience, who is promoting their products or services as well as how often their pages are viewed is among the mountain of information these measuring tools offer. I found that in general, the bigger the business the better they used their social media. Smaller businesses do use social media as well and some do it just as well as the biggest company out there but the most noticed companies tend to be the larger ones. This could also be because they are the most looked for and viewed more frequently.
Working on the Giant Tiger report was when I truly realized the advantages and opportunities that using social media has to offer. Giant Tiger is an all Canadian company. All of their stores are located in Canada. This company could use social media in so many ways that would draw more and more customers into their stores, but then I started thinking about how many Canadians go to America or other countries to get good deals when shopping, especially to stores and for products not offered in Canada. Then I thought, why wouldn’t a company like Giant Tiger take advantage of their social media tools and use them to create communities outside of Canada. The potential for drawing foreign shoppers to their stores is so great and to top it all off, most of these tools are free.
In conclusion, I have learned so many interesting and useful things from this social media class. Most importanly I have learned what social media actually is and the growing impact it is having on the business world. There are many things that I will apply to and use to brand myself better and develop my own social networks. Social media not only benefits business by offering free advertising and ways to engage with people all around the world. It benefits me because it helps to develop a network for myself both on and offline, creating more opportunity for myself and my career.