It’s a phrase I’ve heard numerous times over the last year and frankly, I’m quite tired of it. “We need to get some young people in here who know what social media is.”
Since when is social media for young people? (A certain RP can help me attest to this.) Since when are “old” people who have Phds and 30 years of research experience incapable of learning something new? Since when are “old” people ineligible to be knowledgeable about important data sources?
So, to you old farts and young lazy asses, here is my guide to get you back on track and eligible to speak intelligently about social media.
1) Get a facebook page. Friend at least 20 people including friends and family and colleagues, become fans of at least 20 brands like KFC and Old Spice, join at least 20 groups. Read what people are saying on your page, on the fanpages, on the group pages, and write on other people’s pages. Like their messages, follow their senseless links and watch their stupid videos.
2) Get a twitter account. Follow at least 50 people. Actively participate for at least 2 weeks. Write tweets. Read tweets. Reply to tweets. Click and read the links people share.
3) Visit youtube at least 5 times. Watch the videos that make no sense, that seem inappropriate and offensive. Read the video comments. Leave video comments. Reply to video comments.
4) Find a few blogs that interest you. (You are reading a blog now.) Read them. Comment on them. Ask if you can write a guest post for them.
After following these guidelines for two weeks, you will have a fairly good feel for how people communicate online. You won’t know all the details but at least you’ll know what your colleagues are talking about when they say DM and retweet and buzzup.
To really internalize social media, follow the list religiously for two months. (Then try to quit cold turkey.)
If you keep it up as a part of your everyday routine, you will have part of the qualifications to be a social media researcher. (The others including knowing how to design research and use statistics.) Social media is a share and share alike space. So share.
- What Was Your Biggest Social Media Mistake? What Did Your Learn? (bethkanter.org)
- Back When Social Media Was Human… (outspokenmedia.com)
- How to Commit to a Social Media Content Strategy (debbiehemley.com)