Out with the old and in with the new; is this the case with traditional media versus social media? Have we traded in our print and televisions advertisements for Instagram and Twitter?

Instagram has 200 million active monthly users, 11.1 billion Facebook users as of 2013 and 271 million Twitter users with more and more joining each day. You can find almost everybody on these platforms from your neighbor, your uncle, your ex to your favourite store online. However, social media can be used for much more than social interactions, it can also be a great way to present yourself professionally, promote your business, and find or advertise jobs.

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It’s hard to believe that a few years ago you were only hired through handing out just a resume, now over 80% of companies find candidates using social media for recruitment, and about 45% of fortune 500 firms include links to their social media on their career section. About 73% of recruiters say they have successfully hired new employees through social media. With this being said, individuals have to be cautious with what they share on their personal social media pages as 1 in 3 employers have rejected candidates because of something that was seen on candidates’ social media profiles. This is something students must keep in mind as we want to present ourselves in a professional manner.

Not only can social media be used to find candidates for job positions but it has also created jobs. For example, we can now see postings for social media coordinators, social media relations, social media analyst and social media strategist, as more companies have to manage their own social media presence!

Seeing this trend, Ted Rogers School of Management has recently began offering numerous courses that deal with social media and digital marketing. For example, in the Retail Management program they offer, “ Retailing 2.0: Social Media Marketing” (RMG 922), taught by Dr Donna Smith. Sharing her insight on Social Media Dr Donna Smith says, “Social Media is crucial to the selling process. Consumers use it to search for information on products and services before they enter the store or purchase online. Retail marketers need to know how and why the consumer uses social media, especially if the sale is not closed at store level.” As well, Marketing Management major students take “Understanding Consumers and the New Media” (MKT 400). Both of these courses allow students to learn about social media marketing and how it may be used to develop long-term relationships with consumers, build awareness and how we can use it to design innovative and effective marketing plans.

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The questions is will companies continue to use social media platforms within their marketing plans and will these social media career paths be available in the long-run? Personally, I believe the answer is yes, and that this sector will continue to grow exponentially. We have entered a digital era that comes with a lot of new opportunities, which means it is crucial for companies and future business people to be knowledgeable on this new form of marketing. Overall, I highly recommend students to look into the world of social media marketing, or even take a class  to enhance your knowledge as it will benefit you as you enter the workforce no matter what major you are.

I would also love to hear your viewpoint on the world of social media, so be sure to leave a comment below!

Posted by Jacelle Cromwell

Jacelle Cromwell is an ambitious third year Retail Management student who has interests in buying, merchandising and marketing. She is an avid runner and a Chihuahua lover. As a world traveler, she has traveled to 10 different countries and hopes to travel to more destinations in the near future.

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