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So you think you are a Social Media Expert? #SocialMedia

More and more I am hearing a lot about how easy it is to do Social Media and why would anyone want to enlist the help of an expert, and who actually is a Social Media ‘Expert’ anyway?

istock_000011297168small-564x395Nothing frustrates me further. Being an Academic who studied version 2004-2006 of Media and Communications at Monash University Melbourne, I understand what is meant when people talk about this new breed of uneducated ‘Social Media Gurus’. Idiosyncratically the pimply kid with the ‘Pumped Up Kicks’, a pair of Beats headphones, wearing skinny jeans, carrying a Mac Book Pro and a latte. As the current Social Media explosion is self taught and those whom fit into the above category generally are the experts.

As Social Media evolves quicker than the seasons change, so does the social landscape. A Social Media Expert knows this and actively participates in building and developing this landscape through understanding the culture in which they exist. A Social Media Guru lives and breathes Social Media Strategy. They post, share, emote, comment, RT, pin, blog and like in their sleep.

In response to the development of Web 2.0, Universities are finally beginning to understand and educate about the power of such a large medium. In the future we will see a Bachelor of Social Media And Communication. Our experts will be experts and educated accordingly.

Yes, anyone and everyone can jump on Facebook; upload a picture and make sense of it, but a Social Media Strategist is able to identify inadequacies in the work of a novice to the highly constructed and contextualised piece of an expert. As Covey once said “Begin with the end in mind”, we can apply this theory to the creation of a sound Social Media Strategy.

social-media-expert-married-to-the-seaLet me make this clear, just because you can upload something onto your personal page does not mean that you can create an engaging and interactive strategy for your business. But then again maybe you can, and if you can you should really be working in Social Media alongside me.

From my experience in the industry, those who choose self management over external management rarely succeed in this ever changing landscape. With a wide range of errors on posts and general directional focus clearly identified by experts with one scroll on the page. With Social Media networks changing the rules as often as Google sends out a Penguin and Panda update, you need someone who knows what they are doing. Moreover someone who has ‘tried and tested’ beforehand.

Having been on Facebook before it was open to the public in September 2006, I have seen the changing face of the interface. And the way the initial Fan Pages have developed into advertising giants of the current version of Pages is a demonstration of it’s willingness to evolve into a highly marketable product. To turn the need for digital social interaction into a medium of considerable marketing opportunities for users and businesses is technological progression at its finest.

Social Media Solutionists are across a variety of different platforms in the most effective ways. We understand the environment we exist in, as we are the ones who shape it for the future. And yes, there is always something new to learn and to read and to follow. We connect and chat with other professionals and most importantly we love Social Media so much that we write blogs ourselves. We lead by example.

Part of my job is managing what people are saying about your brand and topics that relate to your brand, as well as creatively thinking and developing content for posts and branding. The last part is having my finger on the erratic Social Media pulse in order to develop appropriate strategies in line with Social Media trends.

shutterstock_111781289Furthermore, the moment you hand over your profile you are not losing control of your brand, you are opening it up to your audience directly. Your company will still have access to every one of your pages and have the ability to create posts at any point. But before you post, I recommend that you send them to your Social Consultant instead so it does not disrupt the marketing and direction of the strategy.

Experienced Strategists will have worked within a variety of different industries and be able to understand the best use practices for the said audience. They will also understand in part the process behind the Search Engine Optimisation and how to increase your website traffic through the integration of Social Networks.

Having ‘tried it before’, experienced strategists will know what are the right mediums to engage your audience and what content will be the most successful online. We know it because we live and breathe it. We mimic our expertise on our own personal pages and we continue to learn and go.

Companies who do not dive into this landscape now will be left behind in the digital rat race. As we increase in social communication, we change how we wish to receive information. In the ‘olden days’ before Facebook, we could seek information through news and content outlets, we would search for the information and we would receive an opinionated and biased view of the news. Times haves changed and now we choose when, how and what sort of information that we want communicated to us, and by what platform in which we receive it.

generationyGen Y has moved so effortlessly into this technological sphere through schooling and are less and less reliant on televised news for current political, economical and social events. We are sitting on our smart phones, subscribing to RSS feeds and tweets. In addition, Gen Z is the first generation to not have lived without the internet. Technologically connected from the beginning and their exposure to content out reaching their capacity to comprehend it.

My point here is that in order to continue to ensure the longevity of your business, you will need to move with the times and tap into this digital market. As Gen Z will be your future and the decisions you make now will impact the likelihood of them continuing to build your brand.

So next time you are thinking about the value of a Social Media Professional, you must ask yourself if trusting the branding of your company to inexperienced hands is really worth it? Moreover why poorly paint your nails yourself, when you can get an expert finish at a Manicurist?


~MsMMango

“Being social is more than a post.”

#NB: This is a repost of an original post by MsMMango – if you want to talk Social Media, follow me on Twitter @MsMMango or emmango@me.com 

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Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

Some days you actually just wish someone would come along with a tayzer and give you the zap you need to get started.

Before my beautiful trip to Vegas, I was ‘Miss Motivation’! I was out on my bike smashing KMs in the wind. Now all I can think about is how to avoid any sort of cardio training. “I’m like totes CBF!

softball

There are two types of fitness fiends in the world. Those good with team sports and balls, and those who enjoy the 15 minute run on the treadmill. I hate the treadmill. Trying to get myself to a gym for a casual session is harder than pulling teeth. I am so bored with self-motivated fitness; I’d rather chew off my leg. For this reason I play sport.

I am currently playing a regular Softball game, which is not the sport for fitness buffs. Realistically you only need to be able to run a little, and a massive hit is always more warranted. As long as you can get to the first base, then you’ve got it covered. However preceding weekend this proved more than difficult. I did mange to hit five fouls.

Social Mixed Netball, which has sadly gone to the dogs, as we could never get enough members to commit permanently. It’s the most frustrating part, when you are keen to play and others play ‘whenevs’. I hate the non-committal netballers, I play the game for two reasons; 1) to burn calories and 2) to challenge my brain in a different way.

27

Reaching 27, over the last couple of days means that I have hit the most vital point for a women. Apparently the theory is ‘everything goes downhill after 27’. This indeed is a scary predicament that I have landed myself in. Isn’t 27 the year that you are supposed to accept yourself for who you are? Or is that what just older people say to make themselves feel good?

Armed with the thought that my ridiculously great metabolism may be moving towards a slower existence is scary. I can only look back to the 29 kilos that I weighed when I was 12. Is this inability to be motivated for exercise just another stage? Or is it reflective of a positive identity establishment?

More recently I have become fascinated with the workings of the mind. In particular, the workings of the minds around me. Why people do the things they do? It has led me into readings of various social theorists such as Freud, Foucault and Erikson. When reflecting between the situations in my adult life and those I deal with daily in the classroom. I can draw enormous conclusions. I am seeing the same behavioural patterns with adults as I do with children.

huxley

It is these patterns of restrictive development and defense mechanisms, which are ultimately able to lead me to direct my conclusions to the social class networks formed from Aldous Huxley’s, ‘A Brave New World’. I cannot help to relate Huxley’s view of the society with my own real world experiences. I agree with the American Psychological Association (1) that adult cognition can be seriously affected by the educational choices of an adult in their 20s. Moreover, I would relate this to a form of ‘educational enlightenment’.

It is this attempt to seek answers and explanations for behaviour that I can reflect on my own path to self-discovery. I’m at a point in my life where I want to change the way my life is going. I guess on the basic level I am happy. I am happy with the person who I have become, but I also still wonder if I had been more committed to sport as a teenager, then maybe I wouldn’t find so much difficulty in motivating myself as an adult.

Ironically in conversing with others, I have established exactly what it is I need to do with my own life. I am looking at whom I want to take with me into the next 10 years. I am learning about myself and about the thought processes of others. I have learnt that many do not give me back as much as I feel I give them. However this will not stop me from being the person I have become.

The flavour of the month in my vastly spread social circle is to have children. This is scary because I believe that I am not ready. I don’t know if I will ever be ready. What is more poignant is that it is actually harder to get pregnant than our parents have told us, with more and more people looking to various forms of hormone replacement to facilitate fertilisation. And to this effect, I can hear the clock ticking.

top-five-get-smarter-1I teach my students that ‘life is about getting smarter’, that the more intelligent you are the more successful you will be. I do not mean entirely that students need further education in order to develop themselves, but it is a good start. As much as I sat there in University dreaming about my life outside the hour in the lecture theatre, I am surprised with the amount of information I have obtained. An example would be the practice of being about to teach World War One history right out of my head or the ability to reference The Russian Revolution as the beginning of Socialist Movements of the 20th Century.

I am a glass half full person and the events of the last couple of weeks have demonstrated to me that there is more to life than the bumps in the road. And to this effect you have to keep going, that life is really not as bad as it could be. These are the exact words I gave to a year 12 today, who thought nothing could be worse that the bitchy high school fights of last year. Unfortunately, my further explanation of life provided her with no real relief other than that this is how it is.

So, my goals for the next year are going to be centered around the development of my mind. I want to expand and challenge myself in a breadth of social and academic activities that allow me to further facilitate personal educational enlightenment. And by this I mean I want change. I feel no longer challenged by the context of the world in which I exist. Challenges in this world are only against my emotional wellbeing and not pitted against my intellect. I want to thrive in the world around me whilst I can. And I do not want to take NO for answer, especially if it is coming from me.

~Mango
“Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood” Stephen Covey

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1) Arnett, J. (2006). “Emerging Adults in America, Coming of Age in the 21st Century.”American Psychological Association.