Building and Maintaining Relationships through Social Media

Building and Maintaining Relationships through Social Media

Alisa Agozzino (Ohio Northern University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5178-4.ch004
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Abstract

In recent years, social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs have rocked the higher education world. No longer is just being present on these mediums enough. Integration of social media tools into daily practices through monitoring, teaching, and collaboration allows those in higher education to build and maintain relationships with key publics. From devising social media goals and objectives to monitoring channels and evaluating efforts, social media can be integrated into the higher education arena. In this chapter, multiple dimensions of social media tools and the various ways those in higher education can integrate those tools into operation are exposed and elaborated upon. In an effort to provide readers with best practices, ideas are shared to present those in higher education with optimal ways to connect, build, and maintain relationships with others both internally and externally.
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Development Of Social Media

As defined by Kaplan and Haenlein (2010), “Social media is a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user generated content” (p. 61). Davis, Deil-Amen, Rios-Aguilar, and González Canché (2013) defined social media as the “Web-based and mobile applications that allow individuals and organizations to create, engage, and share new user-generated or existing content, in digital environments through multi-way communication” (p. 1). Both definitions share common core elements. In combining and simplifying the two aforementioned definitions, I forward one of my own, defining social media as applications that allow the user to create and share user-generated content.

The first recognizable social media site that came into play was SixDegrees.com in 1997 (Boyd & Ellison, 2007). Yet, after a three year run, the site was shut down. “SixDegrees.com allowed users to create profiles, list their Friends and, beginning in 1998, surf the Friends list” (Boyd & Ellison, 2007, p. 214). Thereafter, several social media sites developed, some still in place today, while others fell by the wayside. Ryze, Tribe.net, LinkedIn, and Friendster all came to the surface around 2001 and shortly thereafter (Boyd & Ellison, 2007).

The social media frenzy began to spread and early adopters were quickly buying into the next new network. In 2003, Myspace was founded by Tom Anderson and Chris Dewolfe and quickly became a teen favorite (About Myspace, 2013). Boyd and Ellison (2007) stated, “As the social media and user-generated content phenomena grew, websites focused on media sharing began implementing SNS features and becoming SNSs themselves. Examples include Flickr (photo sharing), Last.FM (music listening habits), and YouTube (video sharing)” (p. 216).

Zuckerberg built the social networking site Facebook in February 2004. Initially started as a website dedicated strictly to users at Harvard where Zuckerberg attended college, he slowly allowed it to grow to included users at other colleges and universities. In September 2006, Facebook opened their social networking website to the general public, including anyone age 13 and over with a valid email address. The social media tool now boasts it has over a billion users and is still going strong.

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