As Internet-based communication continues its mainstay in today’s society, the usage of social media has progressed from communal sharing to building a reputation and generating career opportunities. According to the Pew Research Internet Project, social media is the new public square, where many inquiring minds share knowledge, debate issues, plan activities and get their news. Experts say social media has had a weighty effect on the field of social science, with accelerated growth anticipated by 2022.

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Michael Germano)

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Michael Germano)

“Instead of large monoliths, like Facebook, where everyone can congregate, there will be more specialized platforms or online communities clustered around geographies or shared interests,” said Dr. Michael Germano, an associate professor at California State University, Los Angeles. “The choices for business in L.A. will be many in terms of where they might choose to engage and interact with their markets.”

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What has social media taught us?

“Social media confirms what we already know about being human. We are extremely social creatures. We thrive on connections and interaction. What we are learning as a society is to be careful and prudent, since what can be shared can be recorded.”

How are marketers feeling the impact of social media?

“The days of communicating outwardly in a type of model that predominantly consists of one-way advertising are long gone, and have been replaced by two-way interactive discussions. Capturing social media attention requires the ability to create meaningful content that is capable of building and sustaining relationships with current and future customers.”

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What defines an effective social media trafficker?

“Social media marketing professionals must constantly evaluate and communicate the utility of new social technologies. So, presentation skills are a must. They know how to express themselves visually, as well as through writing.”

What is your message to aspiring social media marketers?

“I advise them to develop technological literacies. They don’t need to write code, but understand the underpinnings of technology in an expansive way. Social media marketing professionals are content curators and creators. Thereby, a strong ability to conceptualize and create engaging content is a must. This is what makes them most valuable to an organization.”

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Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to