Playing “Farmville” and keeping in touch with friends and family aren’t the only things Dixie State University students can use social media sites for.
Social networking platforms offer users a variety of different benefits if they are willing to look for them.
Assistant CIT professor Joe Francom said marketing and advertising are some of the biggest uses of social networking sites.
“I know there’s a lot of marketing that goes on in these social networking sites,” Francom said. “Whether it’s an advertisement of a product or a store, discounts [or] coupons, I’ve seen all these floating around.”
Many businesses use social media platforms to advertise new products or offer discounts. Interacting with a business’ or product’s social media page or account could lead to finding discounts for desirable products or services.
Emma Buys, a junior CIT major from St. George, said she has received coupons and is aware of the heavy advertising on the sites, which leads to her occasionally purchasing the products.
“I have gotten coupons and seen a lot of ads, and they can be effective sometimes,” Buys said.
Businesses aren’t alone in trying to utilize social media for increases in revenue. People are also using these free platforms to sell unwanted items.
Brooke Whipple, a junior psychology major from Mesquite, Nev., said she has sold four items through Facebook groups.
“They have an online yard sale that I’ve used to sell things a couple of times on Facebook,” Whipple said. “They have [a group] for St. George [and] one for Mesquite.”
St. George Online Yard Sale is a private group on Facebook that users can request to join. Once they are a member, users can buy or sell various items to other members as long as specific rules are followed.
Finding and joining theses specific groups on Facebook can be an inexpensive alternative to users who wish to sell or buy items.
Another benefit of social networking sites is the ability to connect to multiple platforms.
Visual technology professor Eric Pederson said these sites are designed to share information across networks.
“Both Twitter and Facebook and others are technology platforms for communicating and sharing information,” Pederson said. “A post on Twitter or Facebook may be programmed to show up on numerous websites or mobile platforms instantly.”
Linking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts seems to be common knowledge, but there is a site where multiple accounts can be controlled and connected on one screen.
Hootesuite.com is one site where multiple social media sites can be controlled, programmed and tracked. Although mostly utilized by businesses, it can be a tool students can use as well. Sharing important information on all accounts simultaneously can reach a greater number of people in a shorter amount of time.
Another benefit of social media is being able to connect on a more professional or academic level.
LinkedIn is one site that is geared toward professionals. Creating a network of contacts and a portfolio will help in future professional endeavors.
Erica Campbell, a senior English major from St. George, said she has used social media to help with academic work.
“I have used [social media] to get interviews with people for a few of my projects,” Campbell said.