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.
What 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.
How 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 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.