Behind the Screen: Seeing McGill Social Media from the Inside

socialmedia (1)Recently, my boss did something saintly. It really hit her one afternoon that I love writing and social media…and she knows social media writers. To be honest, I was incredibly flattered that she read any of my pieces at all. She ended up contacting major social media McGill staff to see if they would like to meet with a humble, young blogger. Much to my appreciation, they accepted.

Meeting with the social media gurus of McGill gave me a whole new perspective on the way these platforms have evolved to become a central part of people and real-life perception. In this day and age, the idea of stories and the way we interact  is constantly changing. So much so that new careers are forming around these evolving communication tools every day. This is where social media plays such a vital role in storytelling, branding and shaping an image.

The McGill Alumni Communications Officer (Digital Strategy) educated me on the complexities of riding the social media wave. There’s so much more to Facebook algorithms and Instagram likes than I previously realized. Great subject material can get buried in the web when not packaged properly. But on the other hand, Facebook will actually reward you when you receive popularity and attention for a post. Posting at the right time with strategic targeting (and maybe add in a 45 second video clip for some kick) can mean the difference between reaching 200 to 200 000 people. After chatting about politicians’ Twitter feeds, and respecting social media platforms, it was time to let her get back to #work.

The Social Media Manager in the McGill Communications office was also truly impressive. She essentially created the position for herself working up through the communications office. In witnessing the emerging spread of social media firsthand and seeing other universities jump on the bandwagon, she kick-started McGill on platforms that grew to great success. She runs McGill’s social media presence herself now and brought McGill up to be one of the most prominent Canadian universities posting on social media today. Seeing her work and meeting the communications team was like seeing behind-the-scenes of a favorite TV series. I met everyone who has ever emailed me student news, who wrote about the professors I research and posted the videos I shared.

Overall, my Tuesday felt very social media savvy. Albeit, I probably won’t top Selena Gomez’s count of Instagram followers but I will definitely be more self aware of the image I project online. You never know where opportunities may arise or where your interests may lead. If you’re like me, they may fall into your lap with sweet serendipity.

Note: I sincerely appreciate that these wonderful people took the time out of their work day to chat with me about their careers, and that my boss was able to make this happen. Thank you to everyone I was able to meet with!

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