What Pew Internet Research about Social Media Means for Students
According to Pew Internet a non-profit organization that generates reports on the affects of the internet on American life, the “power users” of social media sites are women ages 18-29 years old. This means that “that nearly nine out of 10 (89 percent) women in that age demographic who are online use the [social media] sites overall, and 69 percent are plugged into social media outlets each day. The social media sites that the study looks at include Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. In addition to this statistic, the study also found that “nearly two-thirds of adult Internet users (65 percent) are plugged into at least one social networking site,” which is double of what it was in 2008.
Those statistics are pretty awesome and all, but what do they mean to us?
Firstly, it means that college-aged women are kicking butt at social media. However, just because we are using it the most, does that mean that we understand it the most? Hopefully the answer is yes, but I am not convinced. For a college student, using social media means more than just updating your close friends on what you’re doing this weekend or what weird thing you just saw happen. It means using it to benefit you the most. It means using social media to brand yourself. Use it to create yourself an online presence. Become an expert on a subject. Become a known persona in those niches that you are especially interested.
Because so many women (89% of women, for god’s sake) are using social media, just having a Twitter and LinkedIn no longer sets you apart from the pack. You have to be awesome at your social media management. Consider how you are using your social media. Are you making the most of it? This is a tool that is really starting to change the ways businesses work and how people are hired. It is a way of connecting and a way to make yourself known. However, if handled improperly or lazily, it’s a way to just fade back into the crowd.
Now for the boys, this article has impact for you too. Because women have the upperhand in social media, you have an fantastic opportunity to stand out. If you manage your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts well, you will stand out among your male competitors because of your experience in social media. This isn’t to say that you don’t have to work as hard as your fellow ladybros at managing social media. It just means that you have the chance to really master something that is important in today’s society and make yourself stand out more.
Anything that you can bring to the table will help you in the future, even if it’s something that seems as frivlous as social media. More and more businesses have Twitter accounts to communicate with their customers to address problems, answer questions, and generate more buzz about their products. If you can bring experience and knowledge on how to manage social media well, you’ll at least have your foot in the door.
For more information how to manage your social media life, check out Emily’s awesome social media series TweetMemeFace.
To view Pew Internet’s full report on their findings, click here.
How do you use social media to brand your image? Has using social media ever helped you get a job or an internship or helped you make a great connection?
[via Maximum PC]