What college degree relates to Social Media & Why we need Social Media

What college degree relates to Social Media & Why we need Social Media

Category : Social Media

As a Social Media speaker and consultant I am very interested in what is going on in the college environment that relates to Social Media. What “college”, in a University setting, is teaching the concepts for a Social Media Professional of the future? Is it a business course teaching marketing or customer service? Might you find this material in the college of Liberal Arts such as graphic design or new media?

J.R. Atkins speaks at SMU on Social MediaDuring a recent visit to Southern Methodist University I found a most engaging and eager group of students studying Social Media in the Meadows School of Liberal Arts, Corporate Communication and Public Affairs (CCPA) program. Professor Nina Flournoy, Senior Lecturer in the program, invited me to share some real world experience with her class. We barely scratched the surface of “The Big 5 of Social Media” before we were out of time.

Would you like to know their most pressing question? It’s one I face every day as I visit with company leaders about how to use Social Media. Each student has been tasked with working with a local company or organization to implement social media tools. It seems that many of the targeted organizations are asking “Why do I need to do this?” This leaves me and my student colleagues scratching our heads and thinking to ourselves “why wouldn’t you use Social Media? Don’t you get it?”

Here are a few ideas to consider when we are faced with the big “why” question.
The Social Media Revolution video producerFirst, I refer the unaware and uninformed to Erik Qualman’s video called the “The Social Media Revolution”. In about 5 minutes, Eric gives an overview of statistics and Social Media trends that lead the viewer to an “Ah Ha” moment if they are open minded.

Second, I explain to my audience that Social Media, in its simplest form, is a communication tool or channel. Just like you have a phone to receive phone calls, you need Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter a Blog, … to receive messages and communicate with current and prospective customers.

The third and final reason I share with those seeking Social Media understanding, is to use Social Media for what they will become. “What? “they may say, “I did not know I or my company, was ‘becoming’ anything” As John Compton, CEO of PepsiCo Foods recently said, and I paraphrase, J.R. Atkins visit with John Compton of PepsiCo Foods“We us all forms of communication including social media to listen and grow as a company. We listen to stakeholders and stockholders, employees and employers, customers and constituents to transform PepsiCo into a new and better company.” PepsiCo is “becoming” a new and better organization every day and so should we.

Please share with me your thoughts and ideas about how best to introduce Social Media to someone who “doesn’t get it yet.” What are your stories? What are your questions? Let’s use this blog a tool for learning, sharing and becoming something better.

About Author


As an Author, Speaker & Consultant on Social Media, Mobile Apps, Sales & Marketing, I help individuals and companies embrace social media and mobile Apps as communication tools, then use marketing to drive results. I enjoy connecting to others using these tools to grow their business.


Amanda Lipscomb

September 12, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Thank you for including our class in your blog. You’re absolutely
right, it doesn’t make sense for a company to not be using social media! It’s a free and vital asset to any company’s growth.

I have a question for you… I read somewhere that the human mind can only
handle up to 120 relationships with people. How many people do you come
across daily in networking and meetings? How do you keep them all straight
and build a personable relationship with all of them?

J.R. Atkins

September 13, 2010 at 12:14 am

Great question Amanda,
I probably attend more functions to meet new people then the average person so my numbers may be a little higher. In any given week, I will go to 1 or 2 lunch meetings, 1 or 2 association or professional group meetings and 1 or 2 happy hours. These 3 to 6 events will generate anywhere from 10 to 100 contacts with both new people and people I know.
When I get back to my desk, I send each person either an invitation to connect on LinkedIn or a note if we are already connected. For me, this is just the beginning of the relationship. Over the next few days I may see an interesting comment they make on LinkedIn or follow them on Twitter or connect with them on Facebook. If they have a blog and or YouTube Channel I usually check those out.
Blending the in person and on line helps to foster better relationships. I can get to know someone better and faster with the help of Social Media. And, I use Social Media to help manage the relationships, thus allowing me to connect with as many as 5000 people on varying levels. When I am asked if I know someone, I first try mental recall and if I cannot recall them I will usually look in LinkedIn (on my laptop or iPhone) to see what they do, look at their picture and then recall our relationship. I refer this to the “degree of knowing” someone. I may know them real well, others I need a little help and some I know very little as we are at the beginning of “knowing”.
I hopes this helps you and others in some way.

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