COM0015 – Blog #4: Out of the Box – A Learning Curve

vintage-social-networkingThis certificate and these courses have been a total learning curve for me.  When I started the certificate I was very much a social media “newbie”.  I started a Facebook account years before because everyone I knew had one.  I had a Pinterest account which I enjoyed posting anything and everything to the boards.  I had a barely started LinkedIn profile.  That was the extent to my online presence.  However, I was very curious about the whole thing.  I found the draw to social media fascinating.  I found it interesting that people were so willing to share everything about their life with the world.  I work for an organization that was also fascinated by all of it and the way it would impact our business in the future.  So, I started on a journey to earn this certificate and learn a little more about what all the fuss was about.  What an eye opening experience!  I have really enjoyed this course and the whole program.  I have learned so much and there have been many unexpected applications of social media and online marketing.

Social-Media2I have been amazed at all I have learned about the way social media has changed the world around us.  These applications range from disaster relief, first responders, non-profit (awareness and fundraising), to businesses and individual users. The most unexpected application that I have found in the field of online marketing and social media is probably the opportunity to connect and create relationships with our customers outside of a business transaction.  From a business perspective, I have been so impressed by the opportunities social media presents to us.  I always thought it was just another form of advertising, a way to get our name out there.  Unfortunately, I thought the megaphone approach made sense, we talk, they listen.  This has been a real eye opener for me in this program and this course.  The importance of creating conversations and even more important the art of listening has been a game changer for me and my company.  It has caused us to plan a whole new launch of our online presence.  Our customers have come to expect a different level of service than what we have been providing and this is a big change for us.  The importance of having a positive online presence and engagement with our customers is something we have really come to understand through this program.

imagesAC7WZR53One of the new possibilities being explored in social media that we are most excited about from a business perspective is the opportunity to buy through social media channels. The potential for a “buy” button or a special offer being advertised through social media and then being able to take advantage of that offer through social media directly is very exciting.  This would allow us to create a call to action, like a limited time offer that people could take advantage of through that social media channel.  It would be another metric we could measure our social media efforts by, outside of reach or engagement alone.

20150213social_networks_boxPerhaps the most surprising application for social media and online marketing that I have found is their use for me personally.  When I signed up for this course/program I was interested in learning more professionally and being able to apply those skills to my work life.  I have been very surprised how much I have learned and been able to apply to my life outside of work as well.  I have started a website and a blog which I really enjoy.  I have also started working to build a LinkedIn profile after all of the learning we have done surrounding professional networking.  I have recently stepped into a new role at work and I am amazed by how many people meet me and say they looked me up on LinkedIn prior to our meeting.  It has made me realize the importance of our personal online presence and the importance of being the one in control of what others are seeing.

I look forward to incorporating all I have learned into both my work life and my life outside of work.  I am excited about all the possibilities that lie ahead!  I look forward to being a larger part of this online world that only a few months back I knew so little about!

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