The spring semester is coming to a close, and that means it’s time to reflect. When I first told friends and family I was taking a social media class, most laughed and asked if all I had to do was tweet. What a lot of people don’t know is that social media is a powerful communication tool for people and businesses.
I did much more than tweet this semester. I developed my personal brand using Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and WordPress, improving my Klout score from 22 to 48. I also wrote a social media policy; social media analysis and three-month social media plan for local businesses.
Through my experiences, I learned:
- Maintaining multiple social media accounts takes time and energy, but social media management tools, like HootSuite, can help.
- I should not put anything on social media that I wouldn’t want my future employer to see. Although I don’t think I did this before this class, it’s always a good reminder.
- Social media should be a healthy mix of mindcasting and lifecasting.
- Businesses should measure the reach and popularity of each post using Facebook Insights, Google Analytics and other data collection tools. This helps businesses determine what’s working on social media and what’s not.
- Using key words, tags and links in blog posts can improve my SEO.
Out of everything I learned, my biggest takeaway was writing a social media plan for a business. This was a real life learning experience that will be extremely beneficial for my future career.
My attitude toward social media has become more positive as a result of this class. After hearing about how Elizabeth Hilpipre uses social media to help animals at the Nebraska Humane Society find homes, I grew excited about the potential of pursuing social media management as a career.
Overall, this was an extremely valuable class, and I am proud to say I accomplished the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the semester. From puppies, presentations and personal branding to celebrating the end of the semester with pie, I can honestly say I enjoyed everything about this class.