Before signing up to the course, I was already heavily involved in using different types of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube) and until recently, never knew how powerful they can be as a media professional tool. I just thought it was a nice way to keep people up to date with what you are doing or for talking with friends. Now, I see them as a substantial piece of kit that can enhance people’s careers, and not just in the media. It gives you a great opportunity to promote yourself or a production in which you can reach out to lots of different markets or people, and those who may be otherwise unreachable.
Facebook is one of the strongest social media tools in the world, which is primarily set out for you to share stuff with friends. However, other features on the site such as ‘Groups’ and ‘Pages’ allow you to reach others around the world which are not just necessarily in your friend list. As you join a group, your friends see this in their news list, which in turn they can join, and then there friends join etc. Before you know it, it may have reached 50,000 different people after just 10 clicks from your linked friends. It’s free advertisement and a massive opportunity to getting your brand into the wider world. During our TV task, we used Facebook’s ‘group’ tool to organise group meetings or to finalise ideas. Again, a communication tool that is free, which could be used to keep in contact with links in the media industry. Facebook is now the most popular website in the world with over 500 million members, and more then 2 million unique hits per day. You would be stupid to not take the opportunity to sign up and use it to it’s full potential.
The newest and perhaps the most powerful social media tool is Twitter. It now plays a massive part in promotion which you can see celebrities do on a regular basis. By adding ‘hashtags’ (#) or by using a ‘@’ on your ‘tweets’, you can get your productions, items or views across the world at a huge pace. By using Twitter to it’s fill advantage, you an promote yourself as a brand or showcase your work for it then to be re-tweeted by others. Again, as a free resource, not using it could now be classed as career suicide.
Youtube is also a valuable source for looking for new ideas or new people that may enhance your career as a media professional. You could be browsing the site and see a video of something you enjoy, then message the producer of the piece and next thing you know, you could be working on a piece with the original producer. It could also happen the other way round too. You may showcase some of your work to then be contacted by someone who might offer you a job. You only have to look at the likes of Justin Bieber or Freddie Wong who have both done that and now have successful careers in their fields.
Looking at this module as a whole, it has opened my eyes to seeing these social media websites not just for their classed purpose, but as tools to promote myself or my work. Learning about web 2.0 tools such as ‘Prezi’, “Camtasia’ and ‘Pixir’ have helped me by enhancing my creativity and toolset which I hope to include in all future productions. I would love to study about digital and social media in more detail going into year 2 but unfortunately it has been taken off the syllabus which is disappointing, but this won’t stop me looking for further web and social tools that I could use in the future.