Social Media Brown Bag Series: Learn the Essentials

By Courtney Hibler

Youngstown State University students and faculty can learn tips and tricks for managing social media in a new Social Media Brown Bag series, where attendees are encouraged to bring a lunch and learn from local social media experts.

Most recently, on March 5, the Social Media Brown Bag series focused on Twitter.

These free events were started by Adam Earnheardt, chair of the Department of Communication, and he encourages members of the YSU community to join the series and learn more how social media works, highlighting a different platform each event.

“[The communication department gets] a lot of questions from people in the community about how to set things up on a social media platform,” he said. “[The communication department] thought [they] could help them on an individual basis or with an intern.”

By bringing community members together who experience the same frustrations and concerns about social media, Earnheardt hopes to build a support network.

Photo by Tanner Mondok/The Jambar

Kati Hartwig, coordinator of social media and digital marketing, was the guest speaker at the event on March 5 and taught attendees how to use Twitter and its features.

Some features included how to construct a tweet, schedule a tweet, start a live video, using hashtags, viewing analytics, adding photos, how to search for a GIF and more.

“I love Twitter,” Hartwig said. “My friends don’t necessarily understand Twitter, and teaching others how to utilize their skills in social media is gratifying.”

To get those in attendance involved, Hartwig started the hashtag #YSUBBL. It stands for YSU Brown Bag Lunch, and was provided as an example to show everyone how a hashtag works on Twitter.

In Hartwig’s opinion, these events are extremely helpful when people seek help to learn how to better their skills in social media.

Rahim Hython, a junior linguistics major, said he doesn’t use Twitter as much as Facebook because he doesn’t understand how it works.

“This information session helped me understand everything a bit better,” he said. “I’ll need to dive into it more on my own, but now that I’ve received a learning head start, I feel more confident.”

In his opinion, students and faculty who don’t utilize social media shouldn’t be afraid to attend or feel embarrassed because there are many others who face the same troubles.

Hartwig, who has a hand in managing YSU’s twitter account, said YSU joins the fun on Twitter by interacting with their followers and posting what they’re accomplishing on campus.

She encourages students and faculty to follow the YSU Twitter account, @youngstownstate, to keep up-to-date with the campus community.

“We always want to promote what our students are doing on campus,” she said. “We like to have fun and let them know we’re listening.”

Earnheardt said a large number of people have shown up to the Social Media Brown Bag events, and he hopes to see this audience continue to grow while targeting student groups on campus.

“I’m interested to see who shows up for our Snapchat information session,” he said. “Traditional college age students are using Snapchat, and we want to give them strategies on how to market their programs.”

Future Social Media Brown Bag events, including information on Facebook Live and Snapchat, will be held on March 26 and April 30 in Kilcawley Center’s Ohio Room from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.