Establish your goals. Learn from those more experienced than you. Be patient.
Those were a few of the tips that social media expert Glen Gilmore offered to Pitt-Johns--town students who packed Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center on Wednesday night to hear the latest installment in the university’s Globally Impactful Speakers & Talks series.
Gilmore, a professor at Rutgers University School of Business who boasts more than 300,000 followers on his Twitter account, @GlenGilmore, advised his listeners to use their social media accounts “to share their passions and to make change in the world.”
“If (students) use social media in a strategic way,” Gilmore said, “and think about what it is they’re sharing, they’ll build a personal brand – a brand that will allow them to have opportunities, not just locally, but globally as well, and help them – to the extent that they’re staying in the area – to bring new economic vitality and entrepreneurship here.”
Gilmore broke down the process of becoming a social media influencer into a few simple-sounding steps.
“Establish what your goals are,” he advised students.
“Follow people who are in the field that you want to be in. Try to discover what they’re doing, what it is they’re sharing, and from there begin to demonstrate your own personal brand, your own personal thoughts, so that you become recognized too as a thought leader.”
“It’s not going to occur overnight,” Gilmore cautioned, advising students to be persistent and to implement their strategies consistently and over time.
Sophomore Stephen Ashley, a business major and entrepreneur, said he plans to put Gilmore’s advice into practice as he begins marketing his new clothing line, Unknown.
“I’m a young entrepreneur, trying to get my name out there, so some of the points that he made were really good,” Ashley said. “He made a good point when he said, ‘Look at other people who are in your field, look at what they’re doing,’ so I think that’s what I’m going to try to do.”
“Ultimately, social media’s about making connections,” Gilmore said. “If a student consistently shares content that demonstrates a passion for a particular field, they’ll make connections with thought leaders in their field. Those connections can become real friendships and real opportunities for them going into the future.”
Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar said Gilmore’s speech offered students “valuable advice and innovative ideas about how to advance their career goals (and) their personal goals ... in this new world that is dominated by social media.”
The school’s Globally Impactful Speakers & Talks series, Spectar said, “is part of our commitment to preparing students for the real world. Our vision is to be the regional leader educating for success in the real world ... and (Gilmore’s speech) is another step on that ladder.”
Before Gilmore’s speech, school officials held a private reception to honor Ron Vickroy, a former Pitt-Johnstown business professor who retired in 2012 after a 27-year career.
“He’s a great professor who’s touched the lives of many students, who’s transformed the university by his service,” Spectar said of Vickroy.
“We wanted to celebrate him and to show him our appreciation and gratitude and love for his years of distinguished service. He makes us very proud.”
The school has started a crowdfunded scholarship fund in Vickroy’s name, funded in part by the many Pitt-Johns-town students and alumni he taught over the years, according to Tammy Barbin, the university’s executive director of community and public relations.
Donations are being accepted. Anyone interested in contributing to the scholarship fund should contact the Pitt-Johnstown Office of Institutional Advancement by calling 269-2080.