5 Things I learned by Holding my First Social Media WorkshopAnita Kirkbride
On June 27 I was thrilled to see a packed, standing room only board room at the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development (CEED) here in Halifax, NS. “Social Media for Twirps” was billed as an overview of the big three social platforms (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) and I was still a little unsure whether or not there would be enough interest in this type of workshop. So when over 40 entrepreneurs and non-profit reps used up every last chair, I was understandably excited.
From all the feedback I’ve received so far, the workshop was a success. I’ve had many follow-up conversations via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter stemming from that day. Traffic to my website increased for the few days surrounding the workshop and I was able to get a good start on my e-newsletter list from the attendants. I learned a lot by hosting my first workshop and some of it surprised me.
1. Late-comers are still coming
While I think we all know that people of all age groups are using Facebook and Twitter, do we all also understand that there are still many people out there who are NOT using them? I am constantly reminded not to assume a person is a social media aficionado just by guessing their age. I am so engrossed in the social media mindset that I forget there are late-comers out there. It’s also interesting to see how many people are using a platform for personal, but not business, or vice versa–sometimes they simply don’t see the forest for the trees.
2. There is never enough time to talk about social media
The single most common comment I got was “I wish we’d had more time to talk about XYZ.” Sure, rogue questions might take a little more time than you’d planned for, but people are curious about social media and neophytes need more time to absorb what you’re saying. THEN they will think of the questions. Social media is overwhelming to a newbie.
3. Hiccups will happen
No matter how many times you practice your presentation, something will likely go wrong. There was ONE slide on my new Prezi slide deck that didn’t want to show up. It worked perfectly at home, but not at CEED. Thankfully it was just one slide and it wasn’t integral to the presentation. You have to learn to deal with “hiccups” as one person commented.
4. People Understand Twitter the Least.
Some people just don’t get it and maybe they never will. It still seems to have the reputation of being the place where people go to share what they ate for breakfast that morning and what the person in the seat across from them on the bus is wearing. Sure, there are lots of people who use Twitter that way, but it is also a very powerful marketing tool. I will be taking this learning in particular to develop a hands-on workshop called “Twitter Talk for Twirps”.
5. Engagement is still a new idea.
“Engagement” seems to be a difficult concept to grasp for some people.
There’s something about the fact that all of this social media “stuff” being done on computers that makes it hard for people to understand how you can “engage” with followers. Social media marketing (or networking, whichever you prefer) is all about creating relationships.
Thank you to all the Twirps who came out to my first workshop, asked questions and provided feedback. I am already working on my next workshops…I wonder what I will learn next time around?