Speakers Series Teaches Students to Leverage Themselves in Digital World

Socialnomics author Erik Qualman shared his five keys for students to leave a “stamp” in today’s digital world during a Friday morning convocation in the Frist Lecture Hall.

His talk focused on how social media users can utilize tools at their fingertips through the use of his “stamp” acronym, which stands for simple, true, act, map and plan. He urged students to focus on their outputs, such as starting a fashion line, organizing a nonprofit or writing a screenplay instead of exerting energy into throughputs, such as tweets, text messages and emails.

“So many of us fall into a trap that we are working for social media, but we have these social accounts working for us,” he said. He shared the story of how while on vacation he set his out of office automatic reply to appear that his mailbox account was full and directed people to resend correspondence after a certain date.

Instead of logging onto digital accounts first thing in the morning, social media users should get out two outputs to ensure they have productive days and use social media to leverage their work. Qualman also encouraged students to be firm in their destination and flexible in their path as well as network and build relationships today before they are needed in the future.

Social media is a critical tool in establishing career and professional leads, he said. Ninety-one percent of employers used LinkedIn to vet people during the hiring process, and 35 percent see something online that causes them to cancel the interview. He urged students to keep one social media profile per network instead of separate professional and personal accounts.

“You should be out there, warts and all, because it makes you a better and realistic candidate. It makes us ‘flawsome.’ Through our flaws we show how awesome we are,” Qualman said.

Users should also learn from and listen to their followers and tweak their content for greater audience appeal, he said.

Qualman also is author of Digital Leader and Crisis. In 2010, Socialnomics was a finalist for the Book of the Year by the American Marketing Association. Qualman earned a Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University and an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas.

His visit to Belmont was part of the New Century Journalism Program’s Social Media Madness Speakers Series. Each of the lectures are free and open to the public. Nancy Van Reece, social media strategist for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, will speak on building trust through social media on April 8 at 10 a.m. in the Multimedia Hall. Metamarketer.com founder Kate O’Neill will share her story at 10 a.m. on April 10 in Beaman A&B. Belmont Media Studies Professor Sybril Bennett will show students how to analyze trends using search engines during an interactive session at 10 a.m. April 12 in McWhorter Hall room 114.


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