“We live in a digital age” is a phrase that I have heard several times in my undergraduate career. Being a public relations student, I may have heard that statement more than other students at my university. This idea that we live in a digital world has been pounded into our brains because our profession requires that we constantly be connected and stay on top of everything. We must be connected through news, texting and social media. Most public relations students are already connected constantly to the digital world. So it would seem that it would be easy for us to be able to do any job that requires us to be digitally savvy.
That’s what ran through my mind when I was offered the social media coordinator position for Campus Activities at CWU. Being a millennial, social media seemed like a breeze. I was constantly on social media anyways, it wouldn’t be any different. If you hadn’t caught my sarcasm yet, I was extremely wrong.
When you are using social media for personal use, your personal brand is already established. Your friends trust you and (hopefully) already like you, so they will endorse your post. They like them, they share them or they comment on them. When posting on your own Instagram or Facebook, you rarely analyze what you are posting.
However, when you are posting on the behalf of a company, it is much different. Usually people don’t follow companies that aren’t extremely well known. People will follow Starbucks, Nike, Apple etc, because they already know them and are loyal. But when it comes to a small company, people aren’t as eager. Small companies have to work for their followers. The reasoning behind this is because people don’t follow organizations they don’t trust. They follow big name brands or celebrities, because they trust the content and the person and are familiar with it.
There is logic to this madness. Instead of posting on a whim, social media jobs require planning and research. You have to know what your followers like and know what time they will see your posts. Whether that requires pop culture posts for a while until it builds your following base or constantly promoting your social media at events. You have to prove the company is worthy of being followed.