Words like “social media” and “content marketing” are on everyone’s lips these days. As businesses and associations rush to build blogs and establish their presence on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn, many have the uncomfortable feeling that they should be doing more, or doing it differently.
Others have resigned themselves to a lackluster online presence, or they’ve simply thrown up their hands and declared that “social media is for kids.” Or it’s too complicated, or it’s not worth the bother.
The truth is, even for the organizations that approach social media and content marketing as a must-have, it’s often hard to find the in-house time and resources to do it well.
It really isn’t just a matter of slapping up a couple of pictures on Facebook or thumb-typing out a couple of tweets between meetings. Like any other part of doing business, it requires a combination of planning, strategy, and tactical know-how.
And that’s where it can make sense to assign the task to someone who’s had some experience, knows the ropes, and wants to help you make a difference. Which is pretty much what I do at Smarter Shift these days.
Social media: learning through doing
Since I came on board as social media advisor here last fall, a few people have asked me where I learned “all this social media stuff.”
The truth is, I learned the way most content marketing pros do: through my own experience.
I’ve been a blogger since 2008, which is practically the Stone Ages in social media terms. Back then, I think we called it “Web 2.0.” Remember that? Yeah, good times.
Since 2012, my sister and I have run a blog called After the Kids Leave, where we bat around ideas about midlife, the empty nest, how to keep our kids on their toes. It started as, and remains, a hobby for us both, but it’s also turned into a training ground.
To me, the most important ingredient in social media success is curiosity—the willingness to keep asking, “Hey, what’s this? How does it work? What can I do with it?”
Earlier this week I wrote a post there on the long, strange path from “personal blogger” to social media pro. Like many career paths these days, this one was unexpected, and came with its fair share of challenges, but I have to tell you: I’m pretty happy with the outcome.
I hope you enjoy the story!