140 Characters or Less

140 Characters or Less

By Jennifer Ren, Intern

 

We all know that one person who is constantly updating their Twitter or Facebook, letting their followers know when they eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and every detail in between all in 140 characters or less. Social media, and the constant need to feel connected, is an addiction. I see it with my peers during class, on the streets and I see it in myself. My phone is filled with various social media applications that I use throughout the day.

I am reminded of the frequency of my social media use when I open them up. Facebook advertisements that are geared to what I look at on the Internet, Instagrams’ sponsored ads based on my search history, and even Snapchat shows sponsored advertisements. So while the social media boom is not so great for users’ need to feel connected to the world, it has been great for consumer businesses as well as the public relations businesses behind those campaigns.

These few months at Fusion PR have taught me a lot about the social media world and how companies use these platforms to position themselves towards their consumer audience. TweetChats and Facebook updates are the main methods we, at Fusion, encourage discussions among industry experts to raise awareness about new business ventures from our clients. Not only have I learned how companies use these tools to create angles for themselves, I’ve also learned how to use these tools to portray myself in the face of future professional opportunities.

The importance of this was brought up at one of our bi-monthly brown-bag lunches, where senior members of the Fusion team sit down with the interns and discuss important topics in PR. One particular meeting, we talked about various social media platforms we use and discussed how and what we post on social media can help or harm us. Any future professional connections can search and potentially see our past activity – good or bad.

With everyone having access to the Internet, it is incredibly easy to search a name and track their Internet activity. As a result, social media has become a sort of double-edged sword, potentially detrimental to individuals whose activity is inappropriate but beneficial and important for businesses to reach consumers. So the next time you’re bored in class and want to post something inappropriate, thinking that only friends will see it, think again.

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