Final Thoughts

So, my Social Media and Emerging Technologies course has already come to an end. I cannot believe how fast this semester has gone, how many new people I’ve met, and how much I’ve learned. Going into this course, I knew social media was the norm today, and how it could benefit a business. Now that I’ve taken SMET, I realize that there’s so much more to social media.

Honestly, going into SMET, I questioned why I even had to take this course. I never believed I was tech savvy, or social media savvy. Within the second week of class, I realized that my social media skills were exemplary. I didn’t think I was going to learn much in this class simply because I use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and so many other online communities on the daily. I was truly wrong on that one;; I learned a lot more then what I anticipated for.  I learned how businesses are using social media today, how to appropriately use social media, and some new programs too. The one thing I will always remember from this course is the digital footprint. This has stuck in my mind since we’ve learned about it. I never gave much thought to what I posted online; I never cared if it was “appropriate” or not. Now, it’s something I constantly think about. Fights and arguments are constantly started over social media, and it’s super easy to get drawn into them. I won’t even lie, I’ve had some “e-drama” and arguments over Facebook, and now I absolutely avoid them. I want to keep my digital footprint as clean and classy as possible, so I am super cautious of what I post now.

Being a business student, owning my own business will always be an option for me. After taking this course, I realize now how important social media is to the business world. Also, many social media networks are free to join! If you use your social media appropriately and effectively, this basically means free marketing! You can easily build your own brand today on tools such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram; and conveniently, they’re all free.

After taking this course, my opinion on social media has been much more positive. I always figured online communities were pretty negative, and I now know how to avoid that. I personally enjoyed this course and learned quite a bit. I have taken many things from SMET, such as the digital footprint and how to effectively and appropriately build my own brand. I’ve already used some of the new tools and advice that I’ve learned in this class and I will continue to use them in the future.

What Else is Out There

There are so many forms of social media online today. Almost every form of social media has a different way of working – meaning you aren’t going to find two websites the same. I believe businesses today would find great use from using Pinterest and Instagram, as they are both on a photo sharing basis, but work completely differently. Personally, I use both Instagram and Pinterest and I find extreme use to both communities.

So first of all, what is Pinterest? 

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards tot plain their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

– Pinterest

There we have it! Taken straight from the Pinterest website and simply put, it is a virtual pinboard. I believe that businesses could seriously benefit from using Pinterest. They could take photos of their products and organize it into categories on their pinboards. This would be an easy and organized way of getting your products out there and your own personal brand as well. Products go around Pinterest so easily, because once one of your followers repins something, you and all of their followers can see it on the newsfeed page. I believe pictures are an excellent way to showcase your products and what you have to offer. People are attracted to pretty things and visuals. By simply using a well taken picture, you are more inclined to draw customers in. I have been on Pinterest for quite some time now, and I have found so many interesting and new ideas its unreal! I have pinboards for recipes, fitness, city skylines and a couple other things that interest me. Regardless of who you are, you can find anything you find interesting on Pinterest.

The second social media app that I believe would be useful to businesses is Instagram. So now …

Meet Instagram

It’s a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your photos with friends and family. Snap a picture, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, then post to Instagram. Share to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr too – it’s as easy as pie. It’s photo sharing, reinvented.

Oh yeah, did we mention it’s free?

– Instagram

Once again, taken right from Instagram and simply put, it’s a photo sharing phone app. The only downfall to Instagram is the fact that it is only available to iPhone and Android users. Although, you can share these photos onto Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr. Instagram is extremely easy to use; simply take a picture, choose a filter to make your image appear “vintage” and upload it! You can also add hashtags that are relevant to your picture. When you hashtag your picture, people can search these hashtags just like Twitter. If another user likes your picture, they will probably start following your stream of pictures. Unlike Pinterest, there are no virtual pinboards, so Instagram is a little more simple to use, but less organized in a way. The thing that could benefit businesses, is the fact that people can comment on your pictures! If a business posts a picture of their product, users could review it right there, on the picture. Businesses could use Instagram as a great source for feedback. I believe businesses could promote their products very easily using Instagram. I also use Instagram on a personal basis, and I follow a couple of makeup artists. You can learn many things just from a picture, and you can get so excited about a product by simply seeing a visual.

Personally, I believe that using Pinterest and Instagram could really help a business and could be an excellent promotional strategy. It is such a simplified way of getting new coming products out there because there are so many users on both of these online communities. Businesses that use social media tend to be more successful. Personally, I do not watch TV, so I would never know any new products coming that could interest me if it weren’t for social media. Standard television commercials are not a sufficient way of marketing anymore. We have so many new tools available to us, that businesses really need to find other sources to market their goods. I believe Instagram and Pinterest are excellent tools to be using for business.