Build a positive social media presence

Kara McIntyre

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Kara McIntyre, mass communication junior

Kara McIntyre, mass communication junior

When I first started using Twitter six years ago, I never imagined that it would influence the world as much as it has. I never imagined that for any social media network, really. I figured it would be like all of the other trends—it’d be popular for a few months, create some waves in the community, and then disappear—but social media has done the exact opposite. Now a decade old, it keeps growing and can update in an instant. 

From last spring to this spring, I served as Chi Omega’s public relations chairman. I was in charge of running all of the sorority’s social media accounts and creating marketing and recruiting strategies. I learned the importance of a positive social media presence, especially for college students.

Social media is how we communicate. I mean, to find out quick information about someone, stalk them on Facebook. According to wearesocial.net, out of the 7.2 billion people in the world, there are slightly more than 3 billion active Internet users. And to top that, 3.65 billion mobile users have access to the Internet via smartphones and tablets, making it even easier to use social media at our fingertips. It’s no wonder we’re all addicted to our phones.

But after operating an organization’s social media accounts versus my personal one, I realized that one look at someone’s profile can make or break your opinion of them. I can tell a lot about a person from one glance at their Facebook or Twitter profile.

And keeping social media profiles on private isn’t the solution either — employers may get the impression you have something to hide. Cultivating a positive, public presence is far more important than hiding your presence altogether.

I had to be extremely careful with what I posted because potential new members could be looking at our Twitter or creeping through our pictures on Instagram (and thanks to Twitter’s “switch account” feature, posting from the wrong account happened sometimes…oops). I wanted them to see the best parts of Chi Omega.

Now as marketing director for Residence Hall Association, I’m doing something slightly different. While I still help operate the RHA Instagram, we do not have a Twitter or Facebook page, which has become a priority for me to fix. Twitter is where everything happens.

My experience in this field has taught me this: social media impacts us every day, personally and professionally. This generation wants fast and easy—we’re all running around living chaotic lives with our noses in our phones, and using social media fits that lifestyle just right.

Using social media also allows us to make connections with people from around the world, so make sure those connections are setting you up for a bright future. The competition is probably Tweeting or Facebooking anyway, so you should be too.

Oh, and if you wouldn’t want your grandma to see it: Don’t post it. Simple.

Kara McIntyre is a mass communication junior.

Check out the rest of the series:

Social media is more than retweets and friend counts

Coordinator: ‘We try to be ahead of everything’

Shipley joins Instagram

Digital presence can make, break job searches

Networking: If You’re Not Doing It, You Should Be

Social Media: Be mindful of what you post

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