A Home on the Hilltop: My Experience at SMU

This is SMU.

I am a member of the graduating class of 2020. Some might call us, the class of COVID-19. As my experience at SMU comes to an end, I cherish my 3.5 years on campus and last half virtually. When my journey began, I was a California girl. My identity was made from beaches, flip flops and In and Out Burger. The thought of home meant a drive down Pacific Coast Highway with the radio blasting and the windows rolled down. When I moved to Texas, I questioned my decision and happiness. However, my unhappiness could have been provoked by the size of my dorm room. All I knew was that this California girl wasn’t ready to become a Southern Belle. Boy, was I wrong!

Finding My Voice

Growing up, I was known as Jim Irwin’s granddaughter. To Green Bay Packer fans, Jim Irwin was the voice screaming the play by play during Sunday night football. What I learned by sitting in the broadcast booth beside him is that passionate communication moves people. During my experience at SMU, I knew I wanted my voice to have the same effect. Luckily, I found it in my majors, Corporate Communication and Public Relations. Professors turned into mentors as they challenged me to take leadership roles. With each semester, my confidence grew as did my success. My voice has been strengthened and will continue to represent SMU CCPA with pride. And if you ever are lucky enough to cross paths with Steve and Gwen, cherish it!

Looking Ahead

Although graduation has been postponed and several last senior moments have been taken, I am choosing to move forward while honoring my experience at SMU. 4 years have shaped me into a prepared young woman and most importantly, a professional elated to join the real world. I have accepted a job in Dallas working as an Executive Associate in Communications. A classmate within CCPA has turned into a best friend and now future roommate as we both tackle our next chapters together. SMU has truly given me everything which is hard to put in words as I type my final assignment of my senior year. When I press submit, college will be over but the relationships I formed and confidence I gained won’t ever leave my side.

Forever a Mustang

When I reference home now, it’s on the hilltop. My identity has transformed and consists of BBQ, tex-mex and line dancing. My late night snack is a honey butter chicken biscuit. SMU converted another Southern Belle and for that, I am forever thankful. My experience at SMU has come to an end, but my time in Dallas is only just beginning. Pony Up forever!

Use Social Media to Stay Fit During Quarantine

Staying at home doesn’t mean turning into a couch potato. Finding ways to stay fit is more important than ever during these unprecedented times. Living rooms have turned into fitness studios and the area where you choose to lounge may now be the area where you will sweat. In order to stay fit during quarantine, use technology and social media to achieve your fitness goals. Here are two social applications that are ready to help burn calories and sweat away those midnight snacks.

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Use these Applications for the Best Birthday in Quarantine

This is a birthday cake.

Social distancing shouldn’t damper your special day. Whether you are turning 21 or 55, inviting guests to virtually celebrate will serve as a distraction from a national pandemic. The traditional birthday party is over. Instead, with a little creativity, birthday magic is still possible. Here are two applications you should use to have the best birthday in quarantine.

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Essential Tips for Working From Home During COVID-19

Recently, President Trump announced social distancing will continue until April 30th. Because of this, the new normal for employees is working from home. For many, this sets forth a stressful experiment. Living rooms have turned into conference rooms and kitchen tables have turned into personal work spaces. With another month working virtually, here are essential tips for working from home during COVID-19.

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Companies Are Giving Back During The Coronavirus

As society navigates through this unprecedented health crisis, businesses must adjust to a new normal. Kitchen tables have turned into conference rooms and platforms such as Zoom have increased in popularity. Online communication is an essential tool today for companies proceeding in this crisis. Additionally, fear is rising around this health emergency, however, inspiring acts are rising too. When thinking of where to proceed as an online consumer, here are a few companies that are giving back during the coronavirus.

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Are you Keeping up with the Kardashians? Why Reality Television is Popular.

It’s 2:00 A.M. and the impending early morning hovers over your latest Netflix binge. The latest season of ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ is in cue and ready to stream. Should you watch one more episode? Today, most Americans are suckers for reality television. In fact, reality shows such as ‘The Bachelor’ gain nearly 8 million viewers per week to watch 30 women fight for one man’s heart. Is it the drama that keep viewers tuned in? Is it the glitz and glamour? It is safe to say, reality television is popular in this digital world.

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Satisfy Those Cravings: Fill Your Feeds with Food

This is an example of influencers who post about food.

You can’t deny your love for food! Pictures of late-night cravings or Sunday brunch fill your social feeds with food. For some, these posts inspire a quick run to the nearest Trader Joe’s to try a healthier option. And for others, food posts influence an extra-large with extra cheese pizza after a night out. Social media influences consumer’s consumption habits. You trust the restaurant recommendations and trending product tips from influencers you follow. Social feeds with food have opened a new avenue of brand awareness. Here’s how food influencers are transforming social media.

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Social Media Success: 3 Tips for Working with Influencers

This is a sponsored influencer post for specialk cereal.

Today, social media feeds overflow with sponsored posts and ads. Influencer marketing has quickly emerged, transforming how brands communicate with potential consumers about their products and services. The right influencer will circulate engagement and resonate within various digital networks. Working with influencers is an effective social media strategy that will increase brand recognition and drive traffic to your website and stores. But first, learn how to build relationships with influencers in order to create authentic social content. Working with influencers is key to your digital success so here are a few tips to get started.

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Time to go Viral! How to Use TikTok and Gain Followers.

At first glance, it’s difficult to find more than lip-synching videos and choreographed dances posted by teenagers on TikTok. Most recently, famous TikTok stars such as Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae were seen at the 2020 Celebrity All-Star game. However, this video-based social application goes beyond personal popularity among Gen Z. TikTok is transforming the way brands can digitally communicate with their customers. It’s time for your business to use TikTok and gain followers.

This is TikTok's logo.

Ok Boomer! Let’s engage with Gen Z

Social media today is all about engagement. Creative digital content drives customers to your website, store and products. Most brands focus their social media efforts and strategies on applications such as Instagram and Facebook. But TikTok, has over 500 million active users per month. This is a perfect opportunity for brands to increase awareness within Gen Z and millennials.

The first step in engaging with younger audiences is highlighting the lighter side of your business. Use TikTok and gain followers for your brand through laughter. In fact, younger generations are most responsive to humour on their social feeds. Comedy unites individuals and shares a more humane side of a brand rather than corporate. TikTok invites users to share funny and quick videos and brands now have the opportunity to shift their social content. What works on Instagram such as sponsored posts, won’t go viral on this quirky app. TikTok has a vast selection of music and memes that will enable your creative marketing efforts.

Dance online and drive traffic to stores

Here are a few video ideas based on your industry to use TikTok and gain followers. If you are in the restaurant industry, highlight your menu items with a dance challenge. Choreographed dances on TikTok quickly go viral and invite thousands to participate as well. One brand that used TikTok to gain brand awareness was Chipotle. #GuacDanceChallenge went viral as Chipotle challenged their followers to show off their best dance moves while raising attention for the restaurant’s offering of free guacamole. Chipotle used TikTok to drive foot traffic in stores and engage with their younger consumers online.

This is Chipotle's viral guacamole dance challenge.

Chipotle, however, isn’t the only brand using TikTok. Organizations such as the National Basketball Association (NBA) use TikTok to post bloopers during games or behind the scene moments while a team travels. The NBA is enabling users to witness their favorite players not only on the court, but off the court as well. Use your brand’s TikTok and gain followers by sharing about employees and everyday moments in the office. A business is more than it’s products and social apps like TikTok are a creative way to engage your employees with your followers.

A final note, TikTok tips

TikTok is meant to be fun. There are no rules and most importantly, you have creative freedom to showcase your brand. Post silly videos that engage users and invite them to recreate and add a personal twist. Ultimately, if your business wants to reach a younger audience use Tiktok and gain followers.