Michaela Lumpert, Campus Carrier news editor
Social media has become one of the fastest growing markets, according to the New York Times. Since the pandemic began, more and more companies and users have switched to social media platforms to share and receive news and information instantaneously, according to the Global Web Index. Not only that, but social media has also become a distraction for many people, who often times would turn to the platforms when they felt lonely or wishing to connect with others. The platforms people use every day have a great impact because of the current state of the world.
Sam Nazione, associate professor of communication, is teaching a social media class this semester at Berry. Her class focuses on how students can use social media beneficially for their future, and how to successfully use social media as a job.
She stated that the one of the main reasons that companies have utilized social media more is because it is a safe way to engage with future clients and target audiences. As the world is becoming more socially distant and remote, social media offers companies a way to reach out and still be connected to people without physically being together.
Because of this, Nazione explained that more and more companies are pouring money into their social media accounts. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of data on how COVID-19 has impacted social media directly, and that is what Nazione struggles with in explaining this growth to her students.
“Everything right now is pretty speculative,” Nazione said.
There has been an overall switch to social media and visual growth of social media across platforms.
Across Berry’s campus, the effects of the growth of social media are being felt by students. More and more students choose to use social media as their main source for communication because of the variety of organizations that are communicating through social media. Senior Rebecca Tejeda is the social media manager for the Berry College Dance Company.
She started working with the dance company and their Instagram almost two years ago. Since the pandemic began, she has seen an increase in engagement with followers. They are focusing their efforts on explaining details of the program with prospective students because the company can no longer attend Discover Berry events. These events were vital for the program in reaching out and connecting with prospective dance students, but now social media has become that bridge they can use to reach these students.
“We want to connect more with students so that when they get here they understand a little but more about the program, and that was the beauty of Discover Berry was having that time to do that,” Tejeda said. “Using our Instagram, we are hoping to still have those connections.
After Berry, Tejeda hopes to make a career in social media, but fears that this job market won’t be able to sustain itself.
“I don’t envision myself staying in [social media] long term,” Tejeda said. “I think I would prefer other areas of that field of study, but I have built a good foundation and if need be I can keep my work in social media.”
Senior Mattie Collier has overcome that fear of the sustainability of the social media market and accepted a job as a marketing manager for a start-up company called Gnymble.
Recently Collier had applied to over 30 jobs before receiving her current job, and hoped to receive a job working with some sort of social media.
“I have always wanted to do content marketing,” Collier said.
Collier is currently working with the company part-time, before transitioning to full-time after graduating from Berry. She explained that the company is only doing marketing for social media because they have experienced the positive effects that social media can bring.
“Social media is the only type of marketing we are doing because we realized that paid ads have not been as helpful as content marketing through social media,” Collier said.
She explained that this is because most of their clients are using social media more and are interacting more with the company through their social media accounts. Their engagement has increased by 70 percent since May.
Currently, Collier stated that they are focusing social media efforts on Facebook and LinkedIn. Their target audience mainly uses these platforms. Collier explained that she finds it important that in order to have successful social media for a company, the social media manager must identify the target audience and use the platform that the target audience is most comfortable with.
Moving forward, whether social media is a sustainable market or not, students are considering it more as they look for jobs after Berry. Nazione expects that more future communication graduates will consider social media as a job.
“I think that tons of our students are going into social media more than ever before, especially if your communication major,” Naizone said. “It doesn’t matter concentration you are, you probably could do a really good job with social media especially given how important visuals are and videography and using the algorithm for certain platforms.”