Jenn Lisak is a senior marketing major at Butler University who is currently looking for a post-graduation job utilizing her skills in marketing, advertising, and social media. She is currently interning at TF Publishing in Indianapolis, and she is passionate about social media communication.

Almost ten years ago, I joined social media networks, such as MySpace and Facebook, for the sole purpose of staying connected with my friends and family on the worldwide web. Most of Generation Y joined these networks for this reason, and I would even argue that we initiated the social media movement over the span of the last decade. We constantly updated our statuses, we posted pictures, and we created an online community that our parents joked about. Little did they know that social media would become a part of their lives soon enough. (And not just as a social network either).

In the past year alone, business executives and corporations have become a large part of the social media community, especially on Twitter. In November of 2009, I decided to create an account on Twitter in order to find out more about these major corporations and what’s happening in the business world. However, I noticed that this social network was different from what I knew, and that I wanted to use it differently than MySpace or Facebook. During my first couple of days on Twitter, I simply looked at what other people posted and got a general feel for the network. When I was exploring the site, I stumbled upon even more social media networks that people were using, and I observed a difference in how these networks were used as well. Finally, I came to an important realization; these networks, including MySpace and Facebook, weren’t just used for social communication anymore. The world of social media had transformed into a place to market brand names, to post news stories, to provide customer service, and to become more knowledgeable about many different fields. In other words, social media had changed for me. Social media had changed for everyone!

Social media networks have become playgrounds for businesses: they’re free, fun, and accessible. But these businesses take up social media space. So, what does this mean for Generation Y? For one, we are shocked that the Baby Boomers and Generation X have taken over the online community that we initiated. On the other hand, we know that we now have complete access to business professionals and social media experts that we would not have access to otherwise. But the best part about the change is that the social media revolution has created thousands of awesome jobs that WE can fill!

Where do I think social media is going? I think it’s going in exactly the right direction. Technology and social media communication have provided us with resources that we need to embrace instead of resist. Social media isn’t just a pastime anymore — it’s a necessary tool for businesses to serve their customers more effectively. It’s created a whole job industry in the midst of a recession. For some, it’s created a lifestyle. And it gives us access to the people we want to know about.

My advice to all businesses is to use social media. Decide what you want to represent in the social media world. Integrate your marketing communications across all channels. Most importantly, don’t just use social media for the benefit of yourself. Use it to create a community, help other people, and learn from the experts! Just as Becky Robinson said, social media is about relationships. Make them and use them!

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