I recently attended the Hawaii Island Women’s Leadership Forum where I gravitated over to the “Social Media Workshop” that my friend Denise was leading. There were about 60 women in the audience and they were all raptly intent on the information being given about social media in business.
When Denise started talking about Twitter and using hashtags, she must have gotten a few strange looks because she stopped her discussion and asked the women in the room who knew what a hashtag was. Only a few people raised their hands. Now, a true discussion on what hashtags are, the best use for them, where they can be used, (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest) and clever ideas for using them to generate business would have been an hour conversation by itself.
In fact, to really understand the mechanics, nuances, and marketing ideas of each social channel, you would need almost an hour for EACH ONE. Each channel is its own separate microcosm and has its own language and demographics. Ask a teenager if they are posting to Facebook anymore. Nope. They are more likely to be using SnapChat and Instagram. (That’s IG to your teen). Most of my clients deal with mature and middle aged women who like food, travel, leisure and real estate. That audience is firmly planted on Facebook.
When I travel and I am headed to conferences, I jump onto Twitter to connect with the attendees before the conference, find out what the presenters are saying before and during the conference and find interesting hashtags to follow around the theme of the event. Did I learn how to use Twitter in an hour. No.
It took me many months of trial and error, question and answer, and just plain using both social networks myself and for my clients (along with my lesser used ones LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube) to get a strong grip on using them effectively.
One of my client’s, Hawaii Coffee Connection has an active Facebook page, which I post to three days a week, an Instagram account with fun photos of coffee and speciality items, Twitter for promoting our blog posts and social feeds and Pinterest for the “cooking and shopping” fans that are found on that network for photos of the company’s products and recipes.
It has taken a few months to find how best to engage with our fans, what makes them like a post and make them talk to us in the comments, then head over to the website to purchase items. Posting for the sake of posting is like what Denise likened to “hitting tennis balls into outer space”. You need a plan, a strategy and you certainly need to know how to actually use the tools AND respond back.
I overheard some ladies after the seminar talking about how they still wanted to learn more about posting photos to Facebook business pages, or if they should even be on Twitter or what social channel would be best for their business. The seminar would have had to have been a half day offering to have been able to answer all the individuals needs in that room. After presenting on social media myself, I know that folks will come to a Facebook seminar if they are newbies or pros looking for answers to their “next level” of using it effectively and the presenter always has the conundrum of trying to teach at ALL LEVELS AT ONCE. It is impossible, and even more so when you have to try and give information about all the channels and how to use them all for success. Not in an hour.
I applaud Denise for getting in there and providing as much information as she did, but I am hoping the organizers will create a “drill down” portion of seminars that can cover the basics at a very beginner level at next year’s event. (and, of course, I would love to do one on “Who are you trying to reach and how do you engage?” That should be the first question, right? That question alone would take an hour, but the answer would help drive your effort, time and money.)
Can you learn about ONE network, how it would benefit YOUR business and target YOUR audience in an hour? YES.
As a silent auction gift for the Big Island Chocolate Festival, I am offering an hour of consulting time to answer questions about social media channels, using the various networks for business and helping with the mechanics of using Facebook, Twitter or whatever social media channel the winner thinks they want to know more about. If you can not come to the Festival on May 9th and are reading this later, I also offer one hour trainings using GoToMeeting where I do a screen share with you and I can offer this to anyone..all over the country. Go ahead…ask me..I’ll give you an hour.
Email me at Julie@Ziemelis.com for more information.