I personally came early to social media, creating accounts on all the early networks as they appeared. For example, I entered Facebook in 2005 when it required an .edu email to register and I had used Friendster and MySpace before that. I viewed social media as something I needed to know about for my teaching more than something I needed in my personal life.
I teach in the graduate program in Professional Technical Communication at NJIT. My own graduate work in media focused on video and that was an entry point into much of my tech life. Social media became something I introduced to the NJIT program a few years later when it was clear that corporations, government, and big and small businesses all needed the expertise of specialists in social media.
After using social media for myself and teaching courses in the theory and practice of creating SM strategies, I started working with a few clients to create strategies for their organizations,
For three years I worked with the non-profit National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) as the social media coordinator for their higher education affiliate groups. THis included creating an overall social media strategy, formulating policies for employees and scheduling daily content to networks with a focus on higher education communities. The three groups – the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), Two Year College English Association (TYCA), Conference on English Education (CEE) – were brought into Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram. I provided content for humanities teachers and scholars on issues, initiatives, and programs related to professional practices.
I also worked to create a social media strategy for using video. In recording, editing and posting video to NCTE’s YouTube channel, we started to move the organization, as other organizations had already done, into the use of video as social media.
As I tell my students, the strategy for using social media is very similar whether you work with a small business or international corporation. Yes, the neighborhood restaurant and a national restaurant chain have differences in scale, but concerns about ethical and legal use of networks and messages, and building community and engagement exists in organizations of all sizes.