Guest Speaker Michelle Walfred: Branding and Social Media

“The way you brand yourself is crucial in getting a career” (Michelle Walfred). Ms. Michelle, certified in social media and communications, discussed and advised students at the University of Delaware the importance of decision making, presentation on and off social media, the issues with social media and branding yourself for today and for future careers. Throughout this presentation, the main takeaway was the topic of branding; branding is a marketing strategy used to create an image and identity that is unique and professional in which catches the eyes of employers or consumers. When branding yourself, it is important to develop proper mannerisms in a social gathering, effective communication skills, and a conscientious quality as developing these qualities can allow employers to become interested and see that individual as a good investment for their company in the present and for the future of it down the road. With branding, Ms. Michelle strongly advised students to be mindful of the use of social media and what is presented on your page, as posting one comment or one image can cause opinions to change about your appearance due to it offending someone or it being a bad representation of who you are as an individual and your interest. However, although social media can affect the identity of someone, it can also be used to create a professional identity and advocate for specific topics or beliefs, one specifically being, agriculture.

In todays society, many adopt beliefs before researching the truth about an event or a specific process or career which can cause those things to be downgraded. Thus, social media can be a resourceful way of presenting the truth out to the public as just like many things, agriculture is being villainized on certain processes that occur within the industry all due to the poor platform others have created for it. Essentially, the social media platform allows large agricultural organizations and companies to spread factual information and the truth about agriculture which can change the way the public views the industry for the better of agriculture companies and organizations and for the agriculture industry as a whole, across the world. From this lecture and the information gained, many things can be learned, especially those who are preparing to enter the work force.

Throughout this lecture, the topics of branding and using the social media platform were used which allowed the students within the understanding todays agriculture class and myself to develop a greater sense of social media and branding and ways that it could be affected, improved, and help obtain job opportunities. One fact that I found interesting, was how many organizations use the social media platform to speak the truth, which is unfortunate that many must use this platform to present the truth to the people in this society. However, with the knowledge of these topics, myself and the other students can build a brand and create opportunities for ourselves as well as help advocate for todays agriculture which can help the industry and ourselves today and our future investments.

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