I’ve been promoting Twitter to students for several years now. At first, they didn’t see the point. To students, social media was merely for entertainment or staying connected with family and friends.
I’ve used Twitter mostly for building a PLN of educators and creative professionals, although entertainment does weigh in from time to time. I think that students often miss the fact that Twitter can have serious uses.
I think that digital media students need to be aware of the marketing potential of the various forms of social media. Most students don’t miss that this is going on. But perhaps they don’t yet see themselves as needing to acquire skills with promoting themselves and their work through this medium.
If they are stuck in the “family and friends” mindset, they are missing out on the opportunity to interact with various brands on Twitter. One of my students recently won a bunch of merchandise simply by interacting on Twitter :
Twitter is a great way to bring attention to problems you may have as a customer. For example, a few years ago on Valentine’s day, I along with thousands of others received an order of flowers that were damaged by cold weather. But with one tweet, I received a voucher for free replacement flowers.
There have been other examples. For example, Adobe helped me to straighten out an issue with billing by communication through social media that I had never been able to get resolved through any other means.
Social media is great for consumers. It is great for businesses. And it is wonderful for making professional connections. Until something better comes along, I will continue advising students to get involved in serious uses of social media.