How Media Students Should Use Social Media

Posted on 08 September 2011 by Cheryl Joy

The growth of the media industry has been tremendous over the last few years. The leaps that it has taken would put any prize horse to shame. There has been no looking back ever since people realized the power that lay in media…and the money. The amount of money riding in this industry is a clear indication of its success. But as with all success stories, even this one is not without merit. The media industry is one where creativity is a big buck winner and innovation is the need of the hour. And there is no questioning the worth of a truly original idea, it really works.

One of the newest entrants to this crazy yet interesting world is social media. For many here, including myself a while back, social media was equal to Facebook. That was all there was to it. However in reality it is not the case. While social media is not just Facebook, it definitely is one of its biggest success stories. There will be very few among us who do not have a Facebook account, let alone less than 200 friends. While this number is clearly not an indication of how liked you are in society, it surely speaks of the number of people that you can reach out to in a split second. That power itself is huge. There is a lot of potential in this medium and it has been evident with the kind of speed with which news spreads on social networking sites. Today, the fate of the movie can by all means be judged by the number of activity its site sees. Or making it a little easier, the number of comments or tweets about it.

However social media is not all about Facebook. It is just the start…going on to twitter and even blogs, this form of media has huge potential. How exactly can a media student use this form of media. The answer lies in the term itself- Social Networking. Networking is the buzz word for this industry where people and their opinion form the crux of all successes and failures. Media students should see networking sites as more than a means to broaden their friend circle, it should be a means to keep themselves in touch with as many people and information from the industry they wish to be part of. While this does not mean sending out strange friend requests and hounding people on Linked In, it simply means staying in touch with the industry as such.

It is important to be aware of all the happenings of the industry and this is easily done with all the blogs that are found on the net. While not all of them are potent sources of information, there are few which can really help an aspirant to understand the nuances of the industry. Apart from this, many of the people who blog about media are media persons themselves. While all of them might not be kind enough to encourage youngsters who mail them for information, the openness of the industry indicates that people will not be averse to the idea of helping new comers out. Especially on blogs, apart from getting information, one can build relationships with professionals who will be more than willing to spread their knowledge about the industry.

Apart from this the internet has also blessed us with more sites than one can possibly imagine. There are many sites for aspiring media professionals which give out information about the industry and sometimes even help by giving relevant projects. While there might not be much money in these projects, it will help students to get a taste of the industry and how it functions. An understanding of the industry will help them to get better exposure and thus a better job. Apart from the more obvious benefits, the learning curve is much greater when projects are undertaken. This also improves ones’ portfolio which again would help in getting a more quality job.

Thus media students should make it a point to understand the power of the industry that they aspire to enter. Accordingly they should use this understanding to make the most of the many forms that it has to offer. Using social media effectively can not only improve your chances of getting a better job, it will also aid in the learning process which at the end of the day is extremely important from the long term point of view.

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