What I Learned at the Social Media Marketing Seminar

by The Arland Group

17 March, 2011

Monday, I went to a seminar in St. Louis for Social Media Marketing. Walking in, I was determined to be the star pupil and absorb every ounce of social media that I could. I quickly realized that I wasn’t there for the same reasons as everyone else. The point of the seminar was to teach the very basics of how to use social media. I already know how to effectively use social media; in fact, it’s in my job description. I was there to gain valuable insight and here are three major things I picked up on.

Time is money

If you are running a business or organization, that’s what your time and energy should be going into.  Social media takes constant research, planning, updating and monitoring. All of this takes a lot of time. Many people start a Facebook and Twitter page with good intentions, but once they realize the amount of time and effort that goes into it, they let the page become stagnant. Time is valuable and you should be spending it doing what you do best.

A seminar doesn’t magically turn you into a social media guru

Social media is really the newest form of marketing. There’s a lot more to it than just randomly tweeting or posting on a wall. You have to formulate a plan, have a strategy and be able to monitor and evaluate the results. The seminar had great information on doing this, but it’s not realistic to think that you are going show up at work the next day and all of a sudden understand the ins and outs of social media. It takes several seminars, lectures, and years to earn a degree. You can’t go to one class and expect to be handed a diploma. Learning social media is no different, it takes time and as I stated above, time is money.

Having an outside perspective is a good thing

There seems to be a fear of letting someone outside the company or organization handle social media. Having a fresh perspective is invaluable. It’s great to have someone who is unbiased come up with ideas that you never would have thought of.  When you hire someone outside your organization, you aren’t losing control, you’re saving yourself a lot of legwork and ensuring that your message gets out and is actually heard.

All in all the seminar was very informative and every organization has different needs, but I didn’t have the guts to stand up and say this at the seminar, so I’ll go ahead and do it here: You can spend the time and effort that goes into social media, but why not just hire us to do it for you?