Navigating social media: Helping students one tweet at a time

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    There are many instances where people are caught committing social media “no-no’s.”

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    Graduate studies and the TCU Career Center taught students how to use social media to their advantage Friday afternoon at “Navigating Social Media for Graduate Students.”

    “We’re helping them use their social media to sort of work for them instead of against them,” said Rachel Johnston, graduate assistant to the Dean of Graduate Studies. “You just want to make sure that you’re presenting yourself and TCU in a positive way.”

    Students filed into their seats, recalling their own versions of the “do’s and don’ts” of social media.

    “Your dirty laundry doesn’t belong there,” said Lisa Hernandez, a graduate student social work major.

    “Somebody will find out, no matter what,” said Sarah Herrera, a graduate student social work major. “If it’s on social media, it’s out there for anyone to see.”

    Presenter Karen Lindsey-Lloyd gave students a list of “do’s and don’ts” of social media that many students have heard before, such as not posting while intoxicated, staying away from sexist and racist posts and keeping all social media accounts up-to-date.

    However, Lindsey-Lloyd delivered this lesson with her own personal touch that made a college student take a genuine look at their social media account and ask a simple question.

    “What do I want to be known for?”

    Lindsey-Lloyd encouraged students to define three things that are most important in their lives and use them not only as a guide to navigating social media, but also as a way to build their brand.

    “These three things that are important in your life should be something that you have experience in,” said Lindsey-Lloyd.

    She went on to explain that if a student is not an expert in something they want to post on social media, then that’s not something the student should post.

    “For example, don’t tweet what you eat unless you are a restaurant critic,” Lindsey-Lloyd said.

    A student in the audience gave one example of her “three things.”

    “A writing teacher who writes,” said the student.

    Lindsey-Lloyd took this student’s example and gave her tips on how she can use social media to build her brand.

    “You can tweet about grammar tips – please do by the way – you can use a blog to suggest pieces of literature that people should read, you could show people how you write through your social media account,” said Lindsey-Lloyd.

    Lindsey-Lloyd identified the four social media mediums that are popular in the world of a college student. She also shared a formula that she personally uses in deciding the appropriate audience for these different mediums:

    Facebook equals social activity – family and friends.

    LinkedIn equals professional activity – professional colleagues and professional groups (companies, alumni networks, and influencers).

    Twitter and Instagram equal general public activity – aspirational employers and recruiters plus those who connect with the expertise that’s on display.

    Lindsey-Lloyd told students that there are multiple variables involved in a social media profile.

    “People are just not being mindful of what they put out there in social media,” said Lindsey-Lloyd. “It’s careless for students who think ‘oh, it’s just out there it won’t impact my next job or next interview’ but remember it is all connected, it all matters.”