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Do I Really Need Social Media Training?

06 Dec

So you’ve heard about Facebook and Twitter and the difference it can make to your business. You’ve heard from friends who say orders for their products have increased five fold since someone tweeted about them, and you decide to get a little of the social media action for yourself.

But just how simple is it? Admittedly it doesn’t look like rocket science and although you may not quite understand all the terminology or what it all means, you probably assume that you’ll just pick it up as you go along. You see an email pop up about “social media training” but you dismiss it on the grounds that if you didn’t need training in how to send a text you are fairly sure you’ll be able to manage 140 characters in a tweet.

And so you begin.  You open up a Twitter account and start following people. People follow you back. You message them personally to thank them. They message you back and thank you for thanking them.  You tweet to them, they reciprocate. You start asking your friends if they will follow you.  You follow your friends followers. Soon, acquiring new followers seems to have taken over your life. You realise you are checking your phone for tweets much more than you ever used to for texts. You have thrown yourself into the world of social media and wonder what on earth you used to do with all that “spare” time you had before.

You can’t eat out in a restaurant without posting a photo of your meal.  You retweet anything you’re asked to, building up an online karma bank which you hope will one day pay dividends.  It used to be that the last person you said goodnight to before you turned off the light was your loved one, now it’s Twitter. You’re in love.

But then real life kicks in, and one day you’re in a meeting and you can’t tweet at all.  Never mind, you say, you’ll make up for it the next day. But the next day there is a crisis at work and the day after that you have more client meetings and before you know where you are a whole week has gone by without you even checking on Twitter.

So what went wrong and how could social media training have helped you do things differently? Firstly, media training is about understanding the medium you are about to engage with. Any social media course worth its salt will require you to look at devising your own social media strategy, so that you have a plan with objectives to follow. Training would also have helped you plan a sustainable approach to posting – consistency is key when it comes to social media.

So although it may look like child’s play, social media is a minefield and like any other part of marketing your business, training is key to ensuring that you get the most out of it, 100% of the time.

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Karen Ainley is an experienced trainer and ex-BBC reporter, who provides social media training to help people understand what social media is all about.

 

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