In my last Blog Post I wrote about 3 people who are essential to follow in the B2B market because of the positive influence they exhibit; this time around, for my 3rd blog post, I am going to present 5 lessons that I have learned from taking a Social Media course at the University of Northern Colorado and how they can be applicable to your life as well as mine. Enjoy!
1. Social Media can be beneficial even in times you don’t feel like being “social”
If you are like me you have considered crafting a Social Media profile for reasons other than continuously, and constantly, communicating with your friends, co-workers, etc. For example, I recently created a Pinterest for the sheer reason of wanting to view quotes about the B2B Market. I didn’t want to read Tweets because I was unsure of who could provide this info from my various Lists. I didn’t want to search hashtags (#) because I was having trouble thinking about what I wanted these quotes to contain;
I just wanted to browse around.
Instances like this, along with many others, are ways that Social Media can be beneficial without commenting, sharing, or messaging others.
Throughout the semester I have learned various techniques on how I can make Social Media work for me, even when I don’t feel like being particularly social.
If you feel like browsing Social Media without feeling the pressures of always engaging I recommend crafting a Feedly page (an RSS blogging feed) or even a Pinterest (where browsing is particularly accepted) and even StumbleUpon can be used as a browsing tool when one is feeling particularly “non-social”.
2. Creating a Social Media Profile (whichever you choose) may be the first chance you have to show others “You”.
Have you ever browsed the web for a good, service, or a person, only to be directed to their Social Media profile? I have too, and it has definitely opened my eyes to the importance of Social Media as a branding tool; whether a personal brand or a corporate brand. When I say Social Media may be used as a first impression I mean that seriously. For example, I recently was on LinkedIn when I got an unfamiliar request. The person who requested me was essentially a stranger;
I didn’t recognize the name but I “knew” some people that they knew.
After browsing this individuals’ page I realized that they seemed very accomplished and professional. They had a great deal of recommendations and endorsements and seemed trustworthy. I then accepted his request and he messaged me about how he always liked meeting new people especially if they seemed motivated in whatever they may do. We exchanged a few more e-mails back and forth before we wished each other luck in the future.
It was after I was done e-mailing this gentleman that I realized that he added me after reading a bit about me and realizing my strong work ethic; and I added him for the same reasons.
This example goes to show that Social Media can be a way to express your own brand to someone for the first time. A word of caution though, Social Media can give off the wrong first impression if you don’t use it right.
3.Using Social Media can actually lead to a career
Recently while I was applying for summertime internships in the marketing field I kept seeing more and more postings about open positions for running a Social Media campaign, or, as an intern in the Social Media department of a corporation.
That’s when I realized why my professor of Social Media Marketing, Denny McCorkle, was pushing us so hard to all be proficient with social media. So that we would be able to get a job in the field if that was our goal after graduation.
I never would have thought that so many people have made substantial amounts of money, and based their whole livelihood, off of the mastering of various social media platforms. There’s even a name for prominent social media figures across industries; Influencers.
I will say it does make sense though. If a firm receives negative publicity what do you usually see happen? They counteract with a well thought out Social Media campaign that combats the negative attention received. Besides commercials where do you usually see promotions from companies coming from? My guess is Social Media.
With more and more people using Social Media I have learned that somebody must be paid to be in charge of it all; and after doing research I learned that they are being paid quite well.
4. Social Media is becoming more and more prevalent, being used by big and small business, cities, and even universities.
Even before taking a Social Media course I felt that I was losing out on lots of events and activities because I was back and forth with my Social Media usage. There would be some MONTHS where I just didn’t feel like logging in and wasn’t being an active member of the given communities I have become a part of. I honestly thought that there has been an over saturation of Social Media websites and that they all virtually do the same things.
I thought Pinterest was for girls, Facebook would lose traction, LinkedIn was only for active executive professionals, and that WordPress was a basic website builder.
Until I got into a Social Media course was I exposed to the growth and intricacies of these networks and how they all have very different benefits unique to each platform.
Pinterest is used by different sexes, businesses, schools, and communities. Facebook is actually growing at a substantial rate, LinkedIn is for anyone wanting to interact with other “professionals” with no occupational boundaries, and WordPress is more than a website builder but rather an open source blogging and website content management system.
Overall, I have realized that there is a Social Media network for everybody and they each have benefits to using one compared to the other.
5.Despite the varying motives behind Social Media usage one constant remains; YOU MUST PERIODICALLY ENGAGE WITH YOUR NETWORK!
Whether you are using Facebook to keep in contact with friends, Twitter to learn advice and gather opinions, LinkedIn to expand your professional network, or use Pinterest to formulate ideas, it has become increasingly important to not only be present on the various Social Media mediums but to actively engage those in your network.
In a time when attention spans have decreased and Social Media profiles have increased it has become very easy to be “overlooked”.
Throughout the semester I have learned about various techniques to engage your audience even if you have little time. One of the most beneficial things I have learned in class is the ability to schedule your posts to either an optimal time or a set time via the application and website Hootsuite. According to their website Hootsuite,“Helps manage Social Media presence across all social networks.” This becomes extremely useful for the individuals (like myself) that often find things worth sharing but often at the most inopportune times. Even if you have time but just don’t have the drive to be social on these networks it is important to occasionally engage.
Think of it this way, would you want to have a real life friend that never wanted to talk or spread thoughts? The same should be considered for social media friends, be friendly with those in your network; you never know if what you shared could be the perfect antidote to their bad day.
Being born in 1992 puts me in the generation of users who “grew up” with the internet and even Social Media. I never thought that when I was creating a Myspace back in the day that I would end up taking a college course about Social Media and how it applicable to everyday life.
I also never thought that I would grow up to continue using Social Media as I thought it was the common fad of the time, similar to Pokémon cards, or 3 way calling. After taking this course at the University of Northern Colorado I have been exposed to many ways that social media can work for you.
If you are willing to overcome the learning curve and have the patience to find like-minded individuals who share your interests I believe that anyone can master Social Media. I hope that the 5 points I have presented have taught you something new and I invite you to share things you have learned about Social Media below. Thanks for reading!