SOCIAL MEDIA IMPACT ON BUSINESS STUDENTS AND! THE IMPORTANCE OF ONLINE PRESENCE!

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1 SOCIAL MEDIA IMPACT ON BUSINESS STUDENTS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF ONLINE PRESENCE Prepared for Ms. Shari Weiss Business Communication San Francisco State University Prepared by Noemi Viver-Grigorian San Francisco State University April 7, 2015

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY iv INTRODUCTION.. 1 Background.. 1 Purpose 1 Significance. 1 Scope 1 Organization. 1 FINDINGS. 2 Using Facebook as a Marketing Tool.. 2 Using LinkedIn as a Job Searching Tool 3 Using Twitter as a Networking Tool. 5 Using GooglePlus as a Group Collaboration Tool. 6 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS. 7 Summary of Problems and Procedures 7 Summary of Findings 7 Conclusions 7 Recommendations. 7 WORKS CITED 8

3 Figure LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 1 Statistics of Facebook and Distribution Across the World Percentages of LinkedIn Users for Trends in LinkedIn Use 3 3 The 10 Most Influential Global Brands on LinkedIn. 4 4 Unscientific Yet Accurate Twitter User Pie Chart Screenshot of GooglePlus Documents With Multiple Projects Saved.. 6

4 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Most students use social media sites for personal recreation, but they can very well be used to expand the student s resume and aid him or her when applying for jobs. For that purpose and with the goal of creating and marketing a personal brand in mind, online presence must be built. This report contains vital information on why is it so important, as well as analysis on how successful brands have marketed themselves and what can students learn from it. In conclusion, social media sites can provide more than just recreation. It is simply a question of knowing how to use them to one s advantage. Analysis of social media sites uncovered the essential benefits in three major areas: Introduction: The importance of Social Media Sites. Out of hundreds of social media sites, the four that are most used are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and GooglePlus. Each site has its own features and capabilities. Students must use them wisely and to their advantage in order to portray a professional and appealing profile of themselves. This report will cover why is online presence so important and the impact it can make on potential employers. Findings. Students upload too much personal information to the Internet. While this may not have an immediate negative effect, it can come back later when applying for jobs. All information posted on the Internet is not private, and may be available for future employers who search applicants on the web in hopes of learning more about them. By being careful on what students post, and by building a good online presence, the chances of getting the job students apply for are higher. Throughout research and by looking at successful companies and how they brand themselves, this reports shows how a good online presence can be built. Conclusion and Recommendations. Future employers may resource to the Internet for further information about students. By having not only an account, but an appropriate and positive online presence, students increase their chances of getting the job they are applying for. Thus, it is highly recommended for students to create a profile in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or GooglePlus, or combination of these, as they are widely known, and can be used to market one s personal brand. By creating an account and continuously updating it, and by learning from what other successful individuals or companies are doing to market themselves, a professional personal brand and good online presence can be established. By learning why is online presence so important and analyzing the marketing of successful brands, it is recommended to build personal accounts on the most known social sites and pay careful attention on what one posts, comments and does. This will make a difference down the road as, when applying to jobs, the student can be confident and rest assured that his or her social image won t diminish the chances of being accepted, but rather enhance it. iv

5 INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND: Students should always keep a good online presence. With the increasing use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, it is easy to upload more of our private life than we want future employers to know. This information becomes public and, although it may not affect students short-term, it may be looked upon eventually. Nowadays, employers will not only look at the students resume and references, but also search him or her on the Internet. PURPOSE: The purpose of this report is to teach business students how to create a professional yet personal online presence, as well as how to maintain an appropriate profile. This report will remain students the importance of online presence and the impact it can make on employers. SIGNIFICANCE: Nowadays, resumes and references are not the only pieces of information employers look at. They often search potential employees on the Internet. Students are often caught up on social media sites uploading information about their personal life. Although the information may seem protected and private, it can very easily end in the hands of a potential employer. If it does, it is important that it leaves a good image of the student. SCOPE: There are hundreds of social media sites that business students can benefit from in one or another way. However, this report will focus on the four that are most popular and used, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and GooglePlus. Each one has multiple uses and can be used recreationally, but this report will focus on their possibilities as tools to enhance the student s personal brand, image, and online presence. ORGANIZATION: This report will first address Facebook as a tool for marketing the student s personal brand. Secondly, it will talk about LinkedIn as it is the most used site for job searches and should be used as an extension of a student s resume. Thirdly, it will address Twitter and its capabilities as a networking site. Lastly, it will talk about the uses of GooglePlus as a group collaboration tool. ad 1

6 FINDINGS Using Facebook as a Marketing Tool Facebook is a social media sites that has possibilities for very detailed information. They allow for photos, videos, long descriptions, posts and testimonials, as well as commenting and liking on others posts. Facebook can be great entertainment for personal use but it is also important that the student realizes that he or she can use it to market themselves. There was a study done in early 2013 of 2,000 European students between the age of 20 and 25, studying advertising, marketing communications, design, public relations, and events. This study was done as a survey and is called The Next Generations of Marcoms. Out of all students, 89% said that social media is a channel that all marketing practitioners should use. Students need to be careful with what pictures they post, what they say, and they like as it will determine the image they are projecting of themselves. It is important to remember that Facebook is the most used social media site and potential employers are likely to have an account as well. Looking at Figure 1 below, it clearly illustrates the importance of Facebook, as it shows how many users there are, how spread across the world, how many females and males, as well as some statistics on age and activity, which helps to understand that employers are likely to have a Facebook and use it to check up on the student applying for a job at their company. Figure 1. STATISTICS OF FACEBOOK AND DISTRIBUTION ACROSS THE WORLD Source: Design Info-graphics 2

7 Using LinkedIn as a Job Searching Tool LinkedIn is another social media site, but with a different approach to that of Facebook. LinkedIn allows individuals and companies to create professional profiles for themselves and network with others. It is also easy to incorporate activities in other social media sites into LinkedIn. As Nanji mentions in her article Networking Tools, Through the use of widgets, members can promote their various social networking activities, such as Twitter stream or blog entries of their product pages, onto their LinkedIn profile page. LinkedIn not only serves as a networking tool, but also as a job searching tool. As Figure 2 shows below, most people take advantage of the free uses of LinkedIn without missing out on the benefits. A LinkedIn account doesn t need to include all features in order for it to useful when searching for a job. Looking specifically at last year s statistics, more than half of the users were spending at least 3 hours per week on LinkedIn, which means profiles and other people s accounts are viewed constantly. When students apply to a job, they should keep in mind that all the statistics shown below, as it proves LinkedIn is a very used platform, especially when it comes to matters related to businesses. Two important statistics to notice when looking at Figure 2 are Area that LinkedIn has helped most users with and Percentage for whom LinkedIn has helped increase branding/marketing presence in the marketplace. To answer both, the area most assisted was researching people and companies, and 41% of users improved their online presence thanks to LinkedIn. This shows the benefits and advantages when marketing a personal brand, as many employers will be likely to search for a LinkedIn account. Figure 2. PERCENTAGES OF LINKEDIN USERS FOR TRENDS IN LINKEDIN USE Source: Power+Formula 3

8 Furthermore, when students create a LinkedIn account, it is very important that they only add those who can be influential for them. The friends they add is about quality, not quantity, as how influential someone is will determine the chances that other users will see your profile. For this, it is useful to analyze highly influential brands and learn from them. As Valter Sciarrillo mentions in his article The 10 Most Influential Global Brands On LinkedIn the three practs that these top leaders have in common are: They continually update users on industry news. They release new and engaging content tailored to specific audiences. They add their voice to relevant conversations that their audiences care about. Even though these are brands and not individuals, students can still learn and take away from it. To adjust that to a student, he or she should be updating their LinkedIn account continuously. For example, every time a new skill is learnt or in progress and every time a new job is completed or accepted. Students should also tailor their profile, comments and followers to the area they seek employment for. If their career is in the area of finance in business, they would add journals or magazines that talk about current events and the economy, as well as focus on the skills that are directly related to financing. Figure 3 shows in order the ten most influential global brands on LinkedIn and what industry they are related to. Following the previous example of a student in finances, and looking at the table below, the student would then prioritize adding the newspapers of Wall Street Journal and Financial Times as their connections rather than a classmate in freshmen year in college that may not connect or land the student to any potential jobs. For this reason, students need to think about quality rather than quantity. As an analogy, it is better to have two beautiful, impressive and high-quality bridges connecting two separate cities, than to have ten that are done poorly, are not reliable, and won t last many years. Connections are like bridges, and students should choose wisely what bridges to built. Figure 3. THE 10 MOST INFLUENTIAL GLOBAL BRANDS ON LINKEDIN Source: LinkedIn, based on LinkedIn s Content Marketing Score for June

9 Using Twitter as a Networking Tool Twitter allows individuals to send comments or tweets in short messages limited to 140 characters which appear on the followers home pages. It also allows companies to do the same, who can use this feature to their advantage to promote products or services. Messages can also link to the product s website, Facebook profile, photos or videos. Twitter can be used at the students advantage by posting comments that enhances their skills and abilities, as well as experiences. Figure 4 below represents a comical way to categorized all activities that happen on a daily basis in Twitter. Although this is certainly not true for all users, the pie chart comes to show that the large majority of users spends their time posting comments that are irrelevant to future employers. Note as well, there s a percent that are under-appreciated employees ranting about co-workers. What image would this show to a potential future employer, or even to the current one? No one wants a employee that only sees the negative side of aspects or complains about others rather than taking action. Students should use Twitter to present themselves positively. Figure 4. UNSCIENTIFIC YET ACCURATE TWITTER USER PIE CHART Source: Tiphereth Gloria for digitaltip.com 5

10 Using GooglePlus as a Group Collaboration Tool GooglePlus is the forth and last social media site this report will cover. Although the format, layout and purpose of GooglePlus is different from those as Facebook, it is still very beneficial and helpful to create and use an account. GooglePlus allows students to, not only present themselves as more computer savvy, but also to work with others in group and collaborate in common projects. Alison Zeringue brings some helpful tips to consider in her article Beyond Social: The Benefits To Google+ For Businesses. Unlike Facebook, GooglePlus is able to host GIFs, so Zeringue recommends uploading those if the students believes the audience will appreciate the animated pictures. She also advices to stay active and to add influential people and pages you the circles, similarly to adding important people on LinkeIn. She also reminds students to connect their website to the account on GooglePlus, as it will be easier for employers to connect all forms of information. Last, she encourages students to ask for reviews as it will be helpful to improve upon one self. In figure 5 below, a screenshot of a feature of GooglePlus is shown. Traditionally, working on same projects would require meetings and someone to put it all together. Nowadays, shared documents allows students to work in a team and progress in their project regardless location. Another advantage is that everyone can see each other s work without having to ask or needing help. In this manner, every document and project is organized and easy to progress on. Figure 5. SCREENSHOT OF GOOGLEPLUS DOCUMENTS WITH MULTIPLE PROJECTS SAVED Source: Personal Account in GooglePlus 6

11 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS SUMMARY OF PROBLEMS AND PROCEDURES: Often students upload too much personal information to the Internet. While this may not have an immediate negative effect, it can come back later when applying for jobs. All information posted on the Internet is not private, and may be available for future employers who search applicants on the web in hopes of learning more about them. With a good online presence, the chances of getting the job students apply for are higher. For this purpose, this reports analyzes the four most known and used social media sites. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS: The four most used social media sites are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and GooglePlus. This report analyzed the use and advantages of each one, as well as address why building a good online presence is important when looking for jobs. Each social media brings different features but they all have the possibilities of showing and portraying the student s image. It is about what the student wants the site to be. CONCLUSIONS: Through the four most used and known social media sites, which include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and GooglePlus it is possible to market one s personal brand and present it in a better way for potential future employees. By creating an account and continuously working on them, updating them, and learning from what other successful individuals or companies are doing to market themselves, the personal brand and good online presence can be established. RECOMMENDATIONS: It is highly recommended for students to create a profile in all four social media sites as they are widely used and recognized. Future employers may want an extension of the hard copy resume and they may resource to the Internet for further information about students. By having not only an account, but an appropriate and positive online presence, students increase their chances of getting the job they are applying for. 7

12 WORKS CITED Nanji, A. (2013, June 6). Marketing Students Say Facebook Is Most Important Social Tool. Retrieved April 7, 2015, from marketing-students-say-facebook-is-most-important-social-tool#ixzz3weeh5ev0 Sciarrillo, V. (2014, June 18). The 10 Most Influential Global Brands on LinkedIn. Retrieved April 7, 2015, from on-linkedin Zeringue, A. (2014, February 13). Beyond Social: The Benefits To Google For Business. Retrieved April 7, 2015, from business

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