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You’ve heard about social media gurus. About seven years ago, they were all the rage. Everybody wanted to grab the most followers and develop online audiences, myself included. Those of us in Charlotte who found ourselves on lists of “Charlotte’s top Twitter users” were flying by the seats of our pants. Social media was an exciting new world.

But that world has shifted. The exciting new frontier in today’s social media space is understanding users’ motivations and purposes to design strategy that leverages social media to influence, persuade, and connect in unforeseen and unexpected ways.

At Queens University of Charlotte, faculty and graduate students in the Knight School of Communication are engaged in research collaborations to understand how social media and communication practices change our world and our lives. In the past 5 years, graduate students have been leading the conversation in innovative research. In collaboration with our faculty, they’ve been exploring topics like:

  • Using Facebook groups to connect in neighborhoods and communities
  • Sharing Information about physical disabilities online
  • Twitter’s effect on Behaviors in the Classroom
  • Marketing strategies for user-generated content on Instagram
  • Connecting neighborhood communities and schools
  • Twitter as a Third Place
  • Innovative Spatial Designs for Libraries
  • The role of health care blogs to develop social support

These students are now the real social media experts – strategists who can design and implement social media messaging with purpose and a deep attention to the needs and concerns of others. They use social media to engage with people and causes, to advocate for our city and the common good, to lead the conversation and connect with audiences.

So, move over social media gurus. The days of building personal brands are giving way to robust connection and content creation online.

Want to learn more about the innovative Master of Arts in Communication at Queens or a graduate certificate in Integrated Digital Strategy? Visit Queens University of Charlotte online at or contact our admissions team at 704-337-2314 or