I just finished a social media “Platforms & Strategies” class at the University of Washington. It’s been a roller coaster ride of clicking and linking, lurking and liking, and researching and retweeting; and it’s been incredibly eye-opening. There’s a lot to know about social media but here are a few things that stood out during the last ten weeks.
- Using Social Media Can be Exhilarating. I signed up for the class because my job is marketing, and I needed to get up to date. I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy it. Connecting with people all over the world, having conversations with people who do what you do, seeing amazing photos and great videos…what’s not to like? Although if you’re the addictive type, maybe you should stop now and go adopt a cat rather than view them online.
- Using Social Media Increases Your Troubleshooting Tolerance. You’ll spend some of your time troubleshooting platforms and apps. I wasn’t looking forward to that, because I’d rather be a creative than a troubleshooter. But I found it became less daunting as time went on. Social media platforms try to make it easy for you; after all, it’s in their best interest to do so. Plus, conquering a problem must release dopamine into your system, because it sure was thrilling to solve each problem and move on to the good stuff. Hmm. Maybe I need to adopt a cat.
- You Need a Plan. Dabbling is great for learning what you like and what works for you, but at some point you have to decide why you’re on the roller coaster and what you’re going to do there. Even if you’re just there to have fun, it’s more fun if you have followers. So find out want your passion or brand is, and stick with it (see next item).
- It Takes Time. There’s a lot of noise out there, and takes strategy and creativity to burst through it. Even when you think you have it all figured out, everything will change and you’ll have to think in new ways. Hopefully that’s part of the fun (see item 2).
- You’re Not as Far Behind as You Think. Some social media platforms are younger than the stuff in the Rubbermaid container in my fridge, and new ones emerge constantly. Sure, a lot of people have beat you to it, and have become social media influencers in their fields. But there are plenty of niches left unoccupied. What’s your niche?
More about the University of Washington Social Media Technologies & Implementation Program.
Photo: Paul Arrington