Just before I started this program, I was working in an admin role and I was asked if I would like the opportunity to plan and execute the Company’s social media strategy. Truthfully, the only experience I had with social media at the time was personal – I had no idea how to go about putting together a social media strategy, I had never been on Twitter and had certainly never used any paid advertising. The company offered to pay for me to complete the Algonquin College Social Media Course and away I went.
With so little experience there have been a lot of unexpected applications in the online marketing and social media field. I really had no idea that there was so much planning and strategy behind each and every post. Outwardly, I would say that it looks pretty simple – write a short blurb and post but we all know that isn’t the case.
Social Listening – another thing I had never heard of that makes so much sense now and is an integral part of my social media strategy. Through all of the different classes in this program, I found myself questioning and reworking our strategy. It was hard to develop a voice and a purpose when our goal wasn’t to sell something but an idea.
Something unexpected that I’ve noticed personally more than professionally is social media influencers. Particularly on Instagram, it is so interesting to see the huge rise in the number of people being paid to advertise different products. I find it fascinating that if someone has a large number of followers and some influence brands will send them free products and pay them to promote them. That’s a pretty good gig!
Other applications I didn’t really pay attention to previously were things like Instagram and Facebook stories and Instagram and Facebook Live. These applications have gained popularity over the last couple of years and I feel that they can be of great use to businesses. As we move further towards a desire for authenticity from companies on social media, I think we’re going to see even more desire for these types of applications that give followers a view from the inside.
In my industry, there is a lot of skepticism about the value of social media marketing and whether there are more direct ways to meet our goals, but I personally feel that not being on social media can cause more damage than being on social media. As I have always told skeptics, chances are our competitors are on social media and if they are we need to be there and part of the conversation.