“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. ” Henry Ford
As I reach the end of my Social Media Research and Techniques course, I know I am leaving with much more knowledge than I came in with, but much more to still learn. My initial reluctance to participating in social media has subsided and I now feel more confident in my abilities. Narrowing down lessons I have learned is hard. There are so many…but here are my top three:
- Social media is much more than pushing out a message, it is a mutual conversation. Shared, empathetic experiences where both people benefit is what makes social media powerful. This is important to me because I never viewed social media in this way prior to this course.
- Not participating in social media does not mean that people are not having conversations about your company. These conversations are happening, but if you are engaged and reading comments on your blog, twitter etc. you can find out what people are really thinking. It can give you some great insight and alert you to problems you may not have known about otherwise. If you know about them, you can fix them. This is important to me because I previously felt it might be better not to participate in these platforms as it gives people the opportunity to say things you might not want to have posted on-line. I realize now that this is like sticking your head in the sand.
- Establish goals and objectives before you start. Ask yourself, “Who are you and what do you want your brand image to be?” This question should be addressed whether you are a company or an individual. Each time you do a post, tweet or status update, ask yourself ” is this reflecting or supporting my brand?” If not, you should think twice before posting it. “Listen” to what other people are doing, especially your competitors and counterparts. By doing this, you can get a good sense of what works well and even more importantly, what doesn’t. I never thought about the importance of establishing goals and objectives before engaging in social media but I realize now it is crucial to success.
I would like to learn more about YouTube videos. I would like to know how to post them, what techniques make them effective and how to incorporate these successfully into my blog. I would also like to learn how to skillfully use Pinterest and Instagram. I am a visual person who is stirred by images so these platforms really appeal to me. There is definitely an art to using them.
I know I have only reached the “tip of the iceberg” and that there is a great deal more for me to learn. I hope to take some more courses so I feel even more comfortable contributing and interacting on-line.
I feel happy I have taken the first step. Now I need to continue the journey…