What Did I Learn From Attending Social Media 101?
Focus and Discipline are the Keys to Social Media Success
As you read this, it will become painfully obvious that focus and discipline are two things I desperately need to work on.
I initially decided to attend the Social Media 101 presentation to meet (face-to-face) Nicole Crimaldi (aka @MsCareerGirl), Matt Chevy (aka @MattChevy) and Mari Madden Luangrath (aka @FoiledCupcakes). I was invited and wanted to make sure to show up and maybe even learn something. In my mind, “probably not…” I know everything – right? I hate when I’m proven WRONG!
I was excited to go and couldn’t wait to get there. I left with plenty of time, but who would have guessed there was construction so early in the season. Not to make excuses, I wasn’t going to make it, on time. You’ve heard “Your first impressions are the most important”. Taking that into account, of course, I didn’t pay any attention to the details of where the function was being held (ADD Alert!). I had to call Matt to find out, and again (ADD) didn’t really listen. I walked around the entire campus (Elgin Community College) looking for the location. To make a long story short, it was where I had originally started. My hair was all wind-blown, I was hot and exasperated by the time I finally arrived.
Yay, I’m here! Now let’s get started. There was a nice sized group of enthusiastic newbie’s. Coffee, donuts and bagels were provided as well as a booklet called “Social Media Guidelines.” Which I thought that was fantastic, by the way.
The meeting started, everyone introduced themselves and Matt and Nicole began their presentation.
I was very impressed to learn a whole bunch of stuff that I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t get to take full advantage of. One of my bitchiest, pain in the ass wonderful customers was driving me crazy with shipping questions for their orders that were to be delivered in three different states. Phone was ringing and texts were flying, but I was still able to tweet, take and share pictures and believe it or not learn some valuable information. Sorry, Matt and Nicole for having to get up so many times. Work takes priority…
Here is what I got out of Social Media 101:
Social Media 101 covered all the main points of what it takes to effectively participate and take advantage of the opportunities we are afforded through Social Media.
Matt would be surprised to know, I picked up on one point that kept resonating throughout the presentation. “You have to be disciplined and dedicated,” with your Social Media activities. If you cannot discipline yourself to stay the course, you cannot succeed with Social Media.
Begin by working towards building a positive reputation on the web and establish your online footprint by being yourself, being genuine and most importantly being PRESENT. Your objective is to establish a Social Media Strategy and set goals, focusing your online activities towards meeting that objective.
Discipline yourself set time aside for Social Media. Make it part of your daily routine as part of your strategy by dedicating a few hours of the day to manage your online presence. Your strategies should include engaging with people on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin as well as reading and commenting on blog posts.
If you get a chance to attend one of these, you will also learn about the role Google plays in Social Media and networking. Google Reader, Google Alerts and Google Analytics are super important if you are serious about meeting your Social Media goals.
They also talked about blogs, branding yourself on the web, case studies and much, much more. Mari came in around Noon, which was a treat (no pun intended) she came bearing her famous Foiled Cupcakes. She also spent time engaging the group with interactive marketing exercises. Having attendees use their businesses as the subject for the group to come up with Social Marketing strategies.
Mari ROCKED it out!
At the end of the day, I was honored to meet Matt, Nicole and Mari. I learned a hell of a lot more than my thick headedness would have ever imagined I would.
If you have an opportunity to attend a Social Media 101, 102 or whatever level is offered, you should definitely take advantage of it. If invited, I would go again in a heart beat.
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