October 20, 2016, by Guest Blogger

How I combined my interest in social media with a placement!

Saadiya, a student in MA International Relations at The University of Nottingham talks about her placement with Features Nottingham


(C) Features Nottingham

I went on a placement as a social media marketer at Features Nottingham, a local private dental practice. As it was a social media position I thought it would be a great opportunity to put my own social media skills to the test. I’ve been using platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with family and friends and have even ventured into the world of YouTube and blogging to create my own personal content. The world of online content making and creativity is bigger than ever and it’s great to be able to engage and connect with others around the world through a blog post, YouTube video or simple tweet. I always like referring to The Arab Spring of 2012 as an example for how great and influential social media can be – powerful enough to start a revolution and keep it going. Now, I’m not looking to start a revolution myself any time soon but utilising social media for any business is a smart move. It was this knowledge of online media that I hoped to introduce during my time at Features Nottingham and showcase not only how important but easy it is to use.

Although I’m familiar with most social media outlets I was faced with some challenges when working at Features Nottingham. It was important to get the tone right and at first I found it a struggle to mix the informal side of social media such as tweets, Facebook updates and blog posts with the more formal, ethical and business side of the company. Myself and Carol (my placement manager) spent a lot of time discussing ways to engage customers, bloggers and connect with other companies while maintaining the ethics and professionalism that the company had worked hard to build. This meant that I had to learn about the ins and outs of the dentistry world and what, as a private practice is acceptable and frowned upon when it came to advertising and offering incentives to potential customers.

“I was able to re-design and re-write their entire website from a more customer friendly point of view”

Something that I was able to develop during my placement was the idea that social media, website pages and blog posts should be written from the point of view of the potential customer or client. Questions like ‘what questions are my current customers always asking me?’ and ‘if I was looking for a dentist to go to, what would I look for when picking a place?’ allow you to step in to the mind-set of the individual viewing your website for the first time and let you format the information to meet their needs and desires. Carol and I discussed these ideas extensively and I was able to re-design and re-write their entire website from a more customer friendly and informal point of view while still maintaining the professionalism of the business.

The great thing about social media is that you can do as little or as much as you like and work it round to fit any style of business. A simple tweet or Facebook update to keep customers and clients up-to-date on the daily happenings of a business, a few blog posts a week to advise, inform or entertain and even a couple of videos to further engage customers and capture their attention are great and innovative ways to incorporate social media. You may even reach new customers (such as teenagers or young adults) that traditional advertising platforms struggle to engage with, building up a loyal and interested following.

If you’re interested in doing a postgraduate placement visit our webpage for more information, or check out current opportunities at the Placements Portal.

Posted in Placements