I met Diana, last year, at the Military Blog Conference and we've been digital besties ever since. I left the post topic up to her, and by surprise she wrote this post that is near and dear to my heart.
Diana M. Rodriguez is a native Washingtonian who works as a professional writer, , social media expert, commentator, editor and public affairs practitioner. Diana writes for Clearancejobs.com and is the web content manager for a National Guard website. Diana previously worked as an editor and senior communications analyst for the Department of Defense. Tweet her @DCGal62
One of the worst misconceptions and misunderstandings about social media is that is it just for being social. That opinion is ignorant, ridiculous, and narrow-minded. To really understand the value and power of social media, one only has to look at the way almost every company and organization uses it in their daily operation. Once they start to pay attention, they can see that social media is as much about marketing and selling as it is about communication for personal social reasons.
Back in 2008, before social media really took off, many people didn’t understand it or its value. I worked with one woman, who was about a decade younger than I, who used to love to tell me that social media was pointless and had no value at all other than to interact with friends on Facebook. She actually made fun of me and told me that all the time I spent on social media, instead of doing “more important” things, was a sad waste of my time. Of course, I have since proven her wrong about a hundred times, and many thousands of dollars, over.
It is hard to say why there is so much reluctance to give social media its due. I guess change is very difficult for many people and changing their conceptions and pre-conceived notions about how to do business can really hold them back. Having knowledge of social media strategies and being savvy can boost your value as an employee and bring huge return on investment.
I think many people are actually envious and afraid because they haven’t figured out how it all works and how to use social media strategically and for their own purposes. Well, those of us who make our living by communicating and understand the “ins and outs” of it aren’t really going to give up all the tricks of the trade.
A few years ago, I met a woman who was very successful in the communications field, but she was having a terrible time finding a job because she was completely ignorant of how to use social media. The market had changed in a few years and for those who were not early adopters, it was becoming more competitive and difficult to get hired without a social media “portfolio” in their toolkit. The main reason employers want their staff to have knowledge of social media is the free marketing and information-sharing benefits it brings. The more an employee knows about the tricks of the trade of social media, the better for the company or organization!
I love the fact that not only have I proven the skeptics and haters wrong, but have also benefitted and profited from my experience and expertise on how to use social media as a way to bring audiences and attention to organizations and causes.
Social media is here to stay because it reaches people more efficiently and effectively than more elaborate marketing and public relations campaigns which can cost millions of dollars. Social media has brought the ability to market and sell to the masses in a more simple and direct way- on the internet through websites. But keep in mind; it is still a tool which requires innovation, skill, and understanding.
Thanks for taking over Diamonds, Dog Tags & Diapers for the day, Diana! I hope everyone clicks over to Say What I Mean, but I Don't Say it Meanly and reads your insightful posts.