“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”
So how does it impact you, in social media? You are playing in one of the most volatile industries, one that continues to grow
atphenomenal rates, evolve in a non-linear manner, and even in some ways, has yet to be defined. If you want to play in this space, you really have no choice but continue to learn. That’s why you’re here, reading this blog post, isn’t it? You’re off to a good start.
You lead a busy life, I know. And it’s easy to get distracted with all the blog posts, news articles, podcasts, webinars, and whitepapers floating about from who knows who. So here are the two best tips to get you started on an efficient and effective social learning ‘program’. Ugh, that doesn’t sound very fun. Let’s say learning ‘adventure’. A little cheesy, but we’ll go with it.
Tip #1: Take only 20 minutes
Set a timer, or a calendar alert and give yourself exactly 20 minutes. This may not seem like a lot of time, but you might be surprised how much you can learn in 20 minutes. That’s 20 minutes of dedicated time. No email
(see tip #2)! If this works well for you and you think you can afford more time, you can expand later on. It’s important to start with a smaller time that you can accomplish first to make sure you stick to the ‘adventure’.
Tip #2: Do it first
Before you open your email, before you have your first meeting or your first call, okay maybe after you’ve gotten your morning coffee: learn. Open your mind before it’s been clogged by anything else and absorb something new. (You’ll also be amazed at the feeling of control this gives you in your day – starting it off on your own terms, and accomplishing something great. – Added bonus!)
Tip #3: Start with the experts
There’s a lot of content out there, and that’s a drastic understatement. There’s content from self-proclaimed ‘social media gurus’, ‘doers’, ‘early-birds’, veterans, and industry experts. How do you know who’s who? You don’t. Well, not unless you want to spend 20 minutes researching them first. Ah! Your time limit’s up and you wasted it learning about someone else’s bio and how they classify in the social media spectrum. I’d try and avoid that, for now at least. And that’s why you should stick to the experts. Wait – that doesn’t mean to stop reading this now - you’ve got to at least read the rest of the adventure! But the experts are almost always guaranteed to provide 20 minutes of quality content.
A great opportunity in this learning ‘adventure’ is to allow these 20 minutes to expand your views and thoughts on social media. Reading content that you already know about is obviously a waste, and similarly reading content that agrees with the way you think is not particularly helpful to your development (although this is a common tendency, known as confirmation bias.) The chart below outlines different components of social media as they apply to social media marketers and some excellent resources along each component. Links to all are included (simply click on the resource)!
(Note that some of these influencers dabble and discuss more than social media, but nearly everything they touch on will be relevant to you).
So just remember, continuous learning will broaden your thinking, challenge your current beliefs on social media, and make you a more successful social media marketer. So start small, be religious, and be selective in your content. Learn on!
Do you regularly soak up any content from these resources above? Have they been valuable? Did I miss any that you think the rest of the adventurers should know about? Share your thoughts in the comments.