Student Spotlight: Elizabeth Moffat, Communication Major Tweeting with the Canucks

ElizabethWhat is your background in social media?

I first jumped into using social media as more than just a personal user in 2010, when I was interning for the Canucks. I found that the quickest way to get player quotes, or the information I needed from practice during road trips was by following the Twitter feeds from beat reporters travelling with the team.

From there I became much more active on Twitter, sharing my Canucks posts, and within a year I was using Facebook and Twitter as part of my job for the SFU’s OLC website, taking control of their account, and posting from some other SFU accounts as well.
Since then I also helped launch The Game According to Twitter with Canucks Hockey Blog, engaging with tons of other hockey fans to put together game recaps through their tweets.

Why do you think it is such an important component in marketing/business?

I think social media really allows for whole new levels of marketing and customer service, brands can engage with their fans, critics and customers on a much more personal and authentic level, if they choose to do so.

It’s quickly coming to the point where consumers expect to be able to reach companies online, and businesses need to be able to go to where their audience is.

Canucks on Facebook

Canucks Hockey Blog on Facebook

How has your online presence helped you to network or job search?

I’ve met some great people through online connections, I can’t say that they without a doubt have been directly responsible for landing a job, but they have definitely helped.

Having an online presence that shows off your personality, and demonstrates your strengths is a great thing to have, it’s one more way to grab an employer’s or potential contact’s attention, and gives them one more reason to hire you.

What is your favorite aspect of social media?

Probably the ability to connect with people you likely never would have otherwise.

Not only is it an interesting way to connect with people near you, it’s also pretty amazing in its crowdsourcing ability. It’s a pretty revolutionary way to access breaking news, using reports from locals and professional journalists to put together a picture of what is happening. It’s susceptible to a lot of misinformation, but at the same time, you’re forced to learn pretty quick how to check your facts and sources.

What advice do you have for other students?

Use your common sense. Most of the stories I hear about social media gone wrong could have been avoided by just using some common sense when posting. Know your audience. If you don’t want something you post to be seen by the public, then either figure out your privacy settings, or just don’t post it. While some platforms may prove to be a passing trend, the changes social media brings aren’t going away, so we all need to adapt.

Elizabeth MoffatElizabeth Moffat graduates from SFU this June with a Communication degree, before she takes off to spend the summer traveling. She currently works with the SFU hockey team and SFU’s Online Learning Community. You can find her on Twitter @lizzmoffat, where she’s usually posting about the Canucks or her latest favourite TV show.

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Student Spotlight: Kyle, PR Major & Aspiring Social Media Community Manager

This student spotlight is on Kyle Dempster, a public relations major at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania with a focus in social media. Kyle is an aspiring social media community manager and HootSuite Campus Ambassador.

Kyle DempsterWhat is your background in social media?

I began in the early days of Myspace when social media was just starting to take off. I was in ninth grade and had no idea what it would become by 2013. I migrated to Facebook in 2007 or 2008 and began using it extensively. I really like the options and ways to connect with people. I was on social media way more than my friends at the time but I saw social media as nothing more than a fad. I joined Twitter in 2008 because many of the podcasts I listened to were promoting its use for connecting with fans — little did I know how prevalent it would become.

When I entered college in 2010 I went in as a secondary education history major, but soon decided I wanted to interact with people more. I changed my major to public relations because I knew I could pursue social media work through that track. For a couple of years now, I have frequented Mashable to learn more social media information and to keep on top of changes in the field.

Furthermore, in July of 2012 I visited HootSuite’s site and noticed HootSuite University for the first time. I decided to take the certification course and quickly fell in love with the company’s atmosphere. This led me to join #HSUChats on Twitter, and through that I was recruited as a HootSuite Campus Ambassador.

You can find me on almost any social network under the username KyleDempster7.

Why do you think social media is such an important component in business?

I think social media is a fantastic way for businesses to connect with their customers and it is really important in an age when we have so many products to choose from. Because of this huge influx of choices, organizations need to stand out when it comes to their customer relations.

People love to be heard and sometimes all it takes to make them feel heard is a ReTweet or a simple thank you in response to their comment. I also think it is a great way to forge bonds with people that would never have been heard before social media. This gives businesses the chance to create brand ambassadors as well as create mutually beneficial relationships.

I would love to become a community manager someday; talking to consumers via social media really gives me a thrill, not to mention pride in my work.

@kyledempsterHow has your online presence helped you to network or job search?

This interview, for example, is all thanks to meeting Kayla, and learning about this blog via the HootSuite Campus Ambassador Program. I also find it very useful to have respectable social networks setup that I can direct future employers to. I’ve even gone as far as creating business cards with my Twitter handle on them!

What is your favorite aspect of social media?

This is a tricky question…I love the changes and new opportunities to connect. I’m a big techie at heart so I also love seeing social media integrated into devices, like the iPhone.

What advice do you have for other students?

Read, read, read! Not books published years ago, but articles by reputable social media organizations like Mashable and HootSuite. I think books and theories have their place, but social media is cutting edge; it’s fast and it can be unforgiving, so make sure you know the lay of the land.

Kyle DempsterKyle Dempster @kyledempster7

Kyle Dempster is a public relations major at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania with a focus in social media. He is also the Public Relations Chair of his school’s chapter of PRSSA and its public relations firm, Rock PRoductions, a HootSuite Campus Ambassador, and works at the Office of Residence Life as their social media manager. Learn more about Kyle on his website.

Student Spotlight: Adelyn, Grad Student in New Media Management at Newhouse

Adelyn in Class

Adelyn and classmates at Newhouse

Today we have the pleasure of hearing from Adelyn Biedenbach, a graduate student at Syracuse University, who is currently enrolled in the New Media Management program at Newhouse. See what she has to say about her grad program, her work with Dr. William J. Ward, a social media professor at Newhouse, and how social media plays a part in it all.

Why did you choose your grad program at Syracuse?

I chose my graduate program at Syracuse University for a number of reasons. It is an intense one year program which also contains classes in the business school and both the speed and the variety appealed to me. My undergraduate degree is in Journalism from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA where I am originally from, and while I learned a number of storytelling and writing skills there, I felt that the management and business side of the media would bolster my ability to understand and operate in the media sphere. Newhouse is also an outstanding facility with a range of dedicated faculty and opportunities for guest speakers and events to get a glimpse of what’s going on in many aspects of the media world and I am happy with my choice!

What kind of work do you do with Dr4Ward?

Dr. William Ward, aka Dr4Ward, teaches a number of courses at the university in social media and engagement. I am his instructional associate (IA) for COM 400 which is Social Media U Need 2 Know and is open to undergraduate students. As his IA, I work as a community manager to facilitate in-class social media discussions on a number of platforms including Twitter, our class Facebook group, LinkedIn and Google+. I also help to score weekly to do lists of tasks which immerse students in the activities needed to brand themselves socially and learn how to professionally make use of social platforms including Storify and HootSuite social media certifications.

In what ways do you showcase your experience using social media?

Approaching graduation, myself and a number of the senior students in my classes are focusing on representing their experiences online. There are a number of different approaches, but I like to use several different platforms. On LinkedIn, I try to include not only my internship experience but also my coursework and links to real projects that I have worked on in class. I also try to keep a consistent profile photo between social accounts. This can sometimes be a challenge, but if an employer or someone would come across you on Twitter, you would want them to also recognize you on Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.

Adelyn LinkedIn

What is your favorite aspect of social media?

It’s so difficult to choose one aspect of social media that is my favorite; so many parts of it keep me coming back for more. 🙂 However, if I had to choose, I think it would be the access to information of all kinds in real time. I read somewhere that the average person has access to more information on the front page of a newspaper then they had in their entire lives in say the 1700/1800s. Now imagine that amplified by a few minutes on Twitter or a few hours with flipboard. Its an amazing way to be informed, connected and constantly learning.

Adelyn BiedenbachAdelyn Biedenbach @adelynlee

Adelyn Biedenbach is currently finishing up her graduate degree in new media management at Syracuse University. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA her undergraduate degree is in Journalism from Point Park University. Her passions in media include social media, media strategy, interviewing and analytics.