Social media are virtually "omnipresent" nowadays. Especially students are often online 27/7 on Facebook, Twitter & co., not least thanks to easy-to-use apps for smartphones and tablets. Many use social media for messaging or keeping their friends updated on what they are up to next. They are also great for checking on favourite websites, news channels, Twitter feeds etc. Online media also provide efficient tools for finding and securing student accommodaiton.
However, social media have the potential to be more than just digital devices for socialising and entertainment. Smart students know how to harness them for more practical aims and goals and thus to give themselves an edge when it comes to their academic work as well as job hunting. Some even use their skills to make a living as so-called "social media managers". In the age of constant digital communication and the e-market, "know-how" is the definite key to success. In this post we provide you with some helpful tips on how to use the many available social media platforms to gain some practical benefits.
Establishing and Maintaining an International Network
One of the biggest advantages of Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus & co. is the opportunity to create and maintain an international network of contacts with little to no effort. You can get in touch and exchange information with a friend from any country in the world, at any time you want. Going to a university or college in the UK makes it particularly easy to meet people from all over the globe and social media allow you to keep in touch with them. Use this potential for your own advantage by connecting with people who can share their experiences, know-how, ideas, and contacts with you. Social media platforms can help to improve your intercultural skills, which definitely have a positive effect on your soft skill profile. Being well connected is also regarded as a tangible advantage in many professions.
Creating a Personalised and Quick News Feed
Most people's social media feeds supply them with the latest news and events in the lives of their friends and acquaintances: that means lots of pictures of the latest holiday trips, dogs, cats, or newest family members. This is great as it enables you to be part of your social environment event though your actual physical location might be hundreds (or even thousands) of miles away. However, you can use social media platforms also for getting "real-time" access to hard news coming from organisations, political parties, media outlets, and companies that you deem interesting. In fact, social media might "feed" you with interesting news and insider information that you won't necessarily find in conventional mass media sources.
An increasing number of companies use social media to recruit new staff members, not only by posting vacant positions on their business pages but also by contacting people whom they deem interesting. But it also works the other way around: by following businesses, organisations, and industries you'll make sure to be always up-to-date when it comes to the latest job postings. Keeping a regularly updated profile and limiting the number of publicly accessible pictures of you can hence become quite important. After all, your digital effigy might leave the first impression with a potential future employer.