What’s It Like Working in Social Media?

It has been brought to my attention that I have a bad habit, both on my blog and vlog, of saying that people should expect updates on a topic and then keeping people waiting for those updates.

Well, the other shoe just dropped.

If you recall, I mentioned in my “Back…Again.” blog post that I got a new internship this semester. You may recall that I described it as super duper cool. This just in, being a Social Media Manager for Purdue Recreation and Wellness is indeed, super duper cool. This is a brand new position for the CoRec and thus, it’s a lot of work.

But I’m so excited about it. I love the work. Let me explain.

Working in social media is a relatively new phenomenon. One that is often poorly understood. Many of my friends have told me that they don’t really understand what I do, usually in the broader context of my major in Public Relations and Strategic Communication, but also my internships. So, let’s talk about what it is I do.

First and foremost, it’s a lot of meetings. I don’t work in the office very often at the CoRec, due to the whole being a full time college student thing. So, my time when I’m actually at the office is often spent in meetings ranging from weekly all staff meetings, to interdepartmental meetings to touch base on the platforms, to consultation meetings for the new recruitment videos that the CoRec is working on.

Obviously, I don’t just sit in meetings though. The @purduerecwell handle has been relatively inactive for quite some time as we worked to bring all of the different departments together to one voice. When we relaunched the accounts, I got my first experience with a tabling event. You know, those people on the sidewalks that give out free swag and tell you to follow them on social media? That.

Shouting at people as they were going about their business was definitely more nerve-racking than I anticipated. Luckily, my partner Sara was much better at it than I was, and we gained about 90 followers among Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram. I would say: Mission Success!

Also, with that, I have a tip. Always have something interactive to get people engaged. Make them want to come to you to see what’s going on. We did this event twice. The first time, we had music playing but didn’t have anything for passerby to do other than add us and get free stuff. At our next event, however, we had a three pointer competition with one of those door-hung basketball hoops that we stuck to the wall. Participants had five tries to make a basket, and if they won, they would get a free branded shirt.

Our engagement skyrocketed.

We had a crowd and a line for nearly the entire two hours minus maybe two periods of time where there was maybe a five minute lull. People saw others having fun and shooting baskets and wanted to be a part of all the excitement.

So, basically,  launch tabling was a great experience for me. I learned a lot more than I thought I would from just a short time doing it. Here are some pictures from the event.

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What do I do in the office though?

Well, I spend a lot of my time scanning through 5 different tabs, my email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and a spreadsheet where different departments will submit entries on upcoming events or campaigns they wish to be pushed.

Reading through the news and relevant hashtags on Twitter takes up a good amount of time. It’s important to stay plugged in to what’s trending, especially on Twitter, because social media moves incredibly fast. One of the major benefits of social media is that it presents a platform that allows organizations to easily and efficiently communicate with their publics at a more personal level. In order to take full advantage of this, you have to be well informed of trends and what those publics are saying and thinking.

One project that I’m currently working on is a series of videos for recruitment for the CoRec. I mentioned this very briefly above, and is worth noting that this isn’t my project, but it is one that I’m involved in. We are making four videos that each showcase different aspects of working for Recreation and Wellness, these being: What Is The Corec?, Our Mission and Values, Who Works Here?, and Numbers Don’t Lie. The videos focus on an introduction to the facility, what we try to do, inside looks at employees, and the benefits of working at the Corec, respectively.

My job in working with these is basically to help make them as fun, light hearted, and engaging as possible. Hopefully, we should have the first one done in a couple weeks, and I can write about the production of it when it’s done. Maybe even a peak of it on my youtube channel? Who knows!

I can only delve so much into the topic of what it’s like doing what I do without rambling for ages. Hopefully though, this gave at least a little insight to the field I work in, as well as an update to how things are going for me. This post came a little bit late, as things are starting to pick up for the semester. I’m still getting some content out though, so it’s improvement over last semester!

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