How are college students using Social Media? Are they interacting with businesses via these channels?
Aren’t the twenty-some-year-olds supposed to be current and active with a variety of social media practices? I’m finding in a lot of cases – especially when these are business social media channels – the answer is no. Working for cheapest viagra 100mg
Foursquare? Flickr? I had never even heard of these sites until I started working for MMC, and I am finding that neither did a lot of my friends. In an informal survey that I sent out to my UW-Madison network via Facebook, I found from one hundred respondents that my hypothesis was correct: Students are a lot like me. Since all of these students happen to be my friends, take the following with the grain of salt. Maybe my friends and I are social media Neanderthals.
The number one most used site by a landslide is Facebook. Students use YouTube the second most followed by Twitter. Of my friends, I would say about one-fifth of them maintain an active Twitter account, and if it weren’t for my internship, I probably wouldn’t have one either.
During the school year, I don’t have a lot of free time to gallivant around social media websites, read Twitter updates, or compose constant posts. If I do make spare time for a five-minute study break, my go to site is Facebook so I can catch up with my friends, find out what the latest social event is, or check out pictures from the weekend.
Like most of my friends, I have around one thousand friends on Facebook, but have “liked” less than ten legitimate business pages. A lot of the pages that my friends and I do “like” are related to Madison, our jobs, or are school-related pages such as “The University of Wisconsin is better than the University of Minnesota.” Working for MMC has made me realize the benefits of “liking” a well-structured business page along with the process that goes into making a successful page.
Another way some of my friends use social media is through blog posts. While most of my friends don’t post blogs, about one-third of them read blogs. A good way college students stay connected with their friends studying abroad is through blog posts and other social media sites such as Skype. Several of my friends went to Europe this past semester and kept up-to-date posts about their trips and crazy antics.
This next survey question really surprised me. To me, a LinkedIn page is just another foreboding stepping-stone into entering the real world, so I’ve always put off creating a page (I had every intention of making one before the fall career fair). Since most of my friends range in ages from 19 to 22, you would think they would at least be aware of the site. Over one-third of my friends haven’t even heard of LinkedIn and only one-fourth of them have an account. Time to step your game up guys!
I also asked my friends about mobile devices and social media. Since my friends often crucify me and my dated, Internet-less cell phone mocking, “Hey Amy, I didn’t know you got the new iPhone – haha…” it’s safe to say I’m not very current with the latest iPhone apps. But I asked the questions, and of the responses I got from my lucky friends who do own iPhones, it comes to no surprise that many of them are using the typical Facebook and Twitter applications. From there answers ranged from several Pandora users to an UrbanSpoon user to a Yelp user. Beyond Facebook and Twitter, it seemed like very few individuals here at UW tapped into other social media outlets.
This post really shows how college students set their social media priorities differently than other demographic groups, and how we stay true to what’s functional for our lifestyles. MMC has definitely opened my eyes to a variety of social media sites that I would like to try, but in reality, I know I can only choose so many Internet addictions before my grades plummet and my parents cut me off the gravy train.
In a sense, these results can ultimately be connected to a business’s use of social media; use what you know, establish what works best for your company, and don’t spread yourself too thin. So maybe my friends and I are smart enough to know this and pick and choose the best site for ourselves? Or, maybe it’s the college bubble that keeps us out of the loop?
Either way, I definitely have a lot more to learn about social media and am taking a personal vow to keep up with the latest trends. Since this is my second blog post, I’m well on my way!
GUEST POST BY AMY HILDEBRAND, RISING JUNIOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, MADISON