When I first started this blog I called myself, in a self-deprecating way, a social media neophyte. Some three months later with a great teacher, three assignments, multiple readings, hours of online research, and other classmates’ knowledge under my belt I think I have graduated from complete neophyte to advanced beginner.
I still won’t be applying for any type of job with social media in its title or job description but at least now I have a better understanding of what’s out there and how it works (and how it doesn’t work).
Since I was such a complete novice the simple procedure of opening a Twitter account was a new and important skill I learned. Yeah, I know, loser oldtimer!
My Top Guns
While I learned many new skills, the three most important things I learned from this class were:
- outputs versus outcomes
- the role of social media for listening and engaging
- the role of influencers
I have to confess that I never realized social media had ways of proving its worth – that there were evaluation tools out there like google analytics, Klout, twitonomy, webtrends analytics for Facebook, etc. I never realized the number of tweets is not an outcome but an output, and the outcome is a direct measure of the objective you set out for your company/yourself.
I was honestly so naive I thought people just used these platforms to disseminate information. Boy, was I wrong. Dissemination is actually the last thing a company or individual wants to do on social media. By looking at really engaging companies in Hamilton, like Gorilla Cheese, I get the purpose of social media now – create conversations, a forum where people can let information flow freely in a timely manner. While I cannot really see myself using Twitter to engage my followers, I love it to follow others and get my worldly information this way. Traditional media like newspapers are going to have to figure out quickly how they can survive in the revenue/financial model in which they operate given most people don’t get information from this source. CRAZY!!
And finally, I love the idea of these influencers out there online who can help you build your brand, advocate on your behalf and introduce you to a whole new world of people with whom you can connect. It’s crazy and reminds me of the old Breck shampoo adds from the 70s – “and they told two people and so on and so on” (now I am really dating myself). But it makes sense. Why do all the work when you can get others to do it for you!
So thanks to Jared for a wonderful class and to my classmates for opening my eyes and ears to social media. Not sure what else I want to learn as I am still digesting all the information from these last months. Maybe after a summer vacation (finally) I’ll take some time to figure out what’s next for me and social media.
Thanks for reading!