Ferris State University alumnus and social media expert Luke Wyckoff pulls no punches.
“Everything you post on any social media platform, I can read within five seconds,” he said.
That’s just one reason college students must learn how to best shape an online presence now in order to get a job in the future.
Wyckoff, the owner of Denver-based Social Media Energy, will make his case during a presentation with the Ferris mascot-inspired title “Social Media – Doggone Important for Your Future.” The 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11 event in Williams Auditorium will begin with a panel discussion.
The 5-Star event is part of the university’s SocialFest 2012, which kicks off Sept. 10 with five days of free activities designed to engage new and continuing students through social media. The festival, organized by Ferris’ Social Media Team, will feature a YouTube Film Festival, Foursquare Scavenger Hunt, a Facebook caption contest and other happenings that include prize opportunities.
Wyckoff, who grew up in Sheridan, Mich., fueled his social skills while a student at Ferris. He co-founded the rugby club team, was co-captain for two years of the university’s national champion debate team and photographed events on campus. He also was involved in Greek life, serving as recruitment director for the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and as president of the Interfraternity Council.
“The one thing I loved about Ferris was that it gave you the opportunity to be incredibly active while getting an education and learning how to be social,” said Wyckoff, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Sales.
His involvement on campus opened doors and taught him various life lessons, he said.
“Lambda Chi Alpha taught me about leadership and how to delegate responsibilities while managing projects,” Wyckoff said. “The rugby team taught me more about how to gain a competitive edge. But above all, the debate team taught me it doesn’t matter that you are from Ferris State, located in a small town – you can still beat Harvard in an intellectual battle.”
After graduation in 1993, Wyckoff moved to Grand Rapids and in 1999 to the Denver, Colo. area. During that time, he worked in sales and training, including 12 years with Development Dimensions International, an executive talent management company. He also pursued a master’s degree at Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado-Boulder, graduating in 2004.
In 2007, Wyckoff founded Wyckoff Consulting, which specializes in executive searches and human resource consultations. His use of social media for his consulting business evolved two years later into Social Media Energy, an outsourcing company for “online reputation management.” SME, whose 100-plus clients include Steelcase, an industry-leading supplier of office furnishings based in Grand Rapids, provides Web design and search engine optimization, fan pages, YouTube mini-movies, mobile applications and more.
Wyckoff regularly speaks at executive functions across North America and Europe on such topics as social media and business, and taking risks in the current economy. His presentation during SocialFest is a way to share his expertise with students who attend his alma mater.
“I bring humor, wit and business knowledge to one of the hottest topics in business today – social media,” Wyckoff said. “I will be speaking about the pros and cons of social media and how it affects your future. Students will hear success stories, but will also be alerted to some of the biggest red flags when it comes to social media.”