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Where Marketers Go to Grow

September 22, 2010 // 11:20 AM

Social Media 101: A Required Course

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social media education

The biggest barrier to entry into the social media world is education. It’s difficult to “teach an old dog new tricks” especially when social media and the internet in general, are always changing. There’s so much to learn and understand – What is it? Why do I need it? How do I get started? Who has time for this? How do I prioritize? How does this benefit my business?

My advice is to just try it - start small, make mistakes and learn from them. Here’s a great article that details Simple Ways B2B Companies Can Be More Social and another on Common B2B Social Media Marketing Mistakes to get you started. We even created a comprehensive collection of Social Media Marketing Resources to help you accelerate through and overcome the social media learning curve.

So, while the “old dogs” are learning, taking it slow and giving it a chance, how can we help the “new dogs” or the next generation of entrepreneurs and business owners get onboard with social media? We need to give them a leg up and better prepare and educate them through courses and curriculums designed around social media.

Melissa Cohen, PR Manager at Metis Communications, recently wrote an article called “ The Spirit of the Real-Time Web ” in which she reflects on a panel discussion from the 140 Characters Conference among two principals and a high school science teacher who all “expressed the need to educate school districts – everyone from teachers, parents, students and the board about the importance of social media for education.”

Teachers are very much like many business owners in that they continue to rely on traditional methods and technologies to reach their target audience of students or parents or customers. They aren’t thinking about the way their audience gets information today – through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. They aren’t thinking about new ways to interact and engage through the internet. The world is shifting from being static and tangible to being instantaneous and changeable. We need to adapt on all levels if we want to create successful students, future business owners and businesses.

As Cohen says, “We welcome and challenge school districts and every entrepreneur out there to commit to social media. You might actually learn something…or…increase your customer base, raise awareness of your brand, recommend brands to others and obtain market feedback.”

That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

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Topics: Social Media

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