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THE SOCIAL MEDIA SCHOLAR Why Tori Rayaan Davis, a graduate student at the University of Florida, is pursuing a master’s degree in social media

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// NOVEMBER 2016

89.55 MILLION FOLLOWERS

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SELENA GOMEZ

FELIX ARVID ULF KJELLBERG A.K.A. PEWDIEPIE

ANDREW B. BACHELOR A.K.A. KINGBACH

JOY CHO/OH JOY!

KYLIE JENNER

Name: Tori Rayaan Davis School: University of Florida Instagram: @torirayann Major: B.S. in Telecommunications, Media, and Society from University of Florida in 2014; Masters in Mass Communication with a specialization in Social Media from University of Florida in 2017

KATY PERRY

Research Methods, Social Media Metrics, and Branding and Advertising, Davis’ degree seems to be more oriented toward how to successfully market, advertise and create a brand using social media. “If there’s a company or brand that isn’t on social media, I’m going to question if they’re legit,” explained Davis. “If you’re going for millennials, you’d better be on social media.” Moreover, companies that want a response from millennials better have someone like Davis—a person who’s part of that generation, and who knows how to navigate both social media and current trends. Realizing she possesses these qualities, Davis knows her future will be filled with numerous opportunities, and she’s hopeful about one day moving to New York. “Doing marketing for a company like Lionsgate would be my ultimate goal,” she says. Her passion for social media is clear in the way her face lights up and the way she becomes animated when speaking. “[Social media] is just so fun,” says Davis. “It can be a place where I make something silly and it works. And it changes constantly; you have to keep up with it. I’m always learning something new, experiencing something new and meeting new people.” For students or graduates who are interested in pursuing a social media-oriented degree, take Davis’ advice: “Before you try to run a page for a brand, know your audience. Know what they’re looking for.” “Oh,” she added. “And think positive thoughts. Positivity will get you a long way.”

103.5 MILLION LIKES

When most people imagine the ty pical college girl in her early 20s, they probably aren’t imagining Tori Rayann Davis. Living in Pensacola, Florida, this 23year old student already has her B.S. in Telecommunications, Media and Society from the University of Florida—a degree she received when she was only 20. “I couldn’t even have a beer to celebrate,” she joked. Currently, Davis is on her way to completing her Masters in Mass Communication with a specialization in Social Media. While most people might, and do, balk at the idea of a degree in social media, Davis thinks people have the wrong idea about what “doing social media” actually means. “It’s more than just posting a picture or a selfie,” says Davis. “Photoshop, Premiere, Audition: Any person interested in social media should have a basic knowledge of those skills. You need to know how to make stuff— like ads, videos and pictures—yourself.” Before she began pursuing her masters, Davis had never really worked with programs like Adobe or Photoshop. While her favorite class has been Branding and Advertising— an area where the social media marketer shines—Davis was excited to talk about a course called Digital Story telling. “It’s a newer class that teaches you how to tell stories through photos and videos,” she explained. “You learn how to shoot videos, edit them, work with audio… Most graduates are saying that more and more jobs want people who can shoot and edit video.” With classes like Digital Story telling, Web

CHRISTIANO RONALDO

August Wright, College of Charleston


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