The Importance of Creating an Authentic Social Media Presence for College Students

My name is Nora. I am a sorority girl. I am a leader. I am a public relations and advertising major. I am a sister. I am a college senior. Most of all, I am determined to make a difference.

Who are you? That is a question many struggle to face in college. What seems to be a better question is what do OTHERS think of YOU?

“College is the best time of your life—cherish it.” That’s what they all say.  

Soon I will be in the “real world.” I will run around the city promoting products or perhaps smoothing over crises in the media. My reputation is everything. I learned this from my mother, thanks Mom. Reputation landed my job as a social media coordinator and gained respect amongst my peers.

As a college senior at Rowan University, I found college as more a learning experience than a crazed party. It is full of experiences, both good and bad, that shaped me into the person I am today. College teaches you confidence and perseverance. What they didn’t teach you is social media etiquette.

Social media is my passion. My double major, public relations and advertising, forced me to learn the ins and outs of consumer engagement through new media applications. 

From Facebook to Instagram, your online reputation is essential in connecting with others in personal settings and, believe it or not, professional settings.

I am a member of Theta Phi Alpha Fraternity at Rowan University. Our national office stresses the importance of a clean social media image. What does that mean?

A clean social media image involves posting content that positively contributes to your self-image and group image. While it may be legal to drink, my friends, family and ultimately prospective employers do not want to see me in a negative light. 

I constantly remind my sisters and friends about social media etiquette. This policy in place prevents a negative reputation from images, posts, tweets and more. I do not want anyone viewing my profile confused about who I am.

Twitter, a leading social media platform, can easily make or break one’s reputation. One tweet can ruin a career. Take a lesson from Justine Sacco. Last year she tweeted an insulting comment about AIDS on her Twitter, costing her reputation and job. It only takes one tweet, one public post, to make the difference. 

Settings on Facebook allow users to view your profile including photos, posts and more made public, even if your Facebook is private. Facebook is not the only one. According to Twitter, everything posted is archived and saved on its site and even search engines, such as Google.

You have to ask yourself, “Is this worth posting? How will it affect my reputation?” You may think once deleted it’s gone, but it’s still there. According to management at LinkedIn, over 80% of employers use social media to find the perfect candidate.

I am a social media activist. I am a leader. I am a sister. I am a mentor. I make a difference. My name is Nora.

See how my reputation changed after reading this article?


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