The best way to understand social media: Immersion Learning.
IMMERSION LEARNING is instruction based on extensive exposure to surroundings or conditions that are native or pertinent to the object of study. It is widely accepted as the most effective way of learning a new language. Think:Rosetta Stone.
Social media, including social networking and social marketing, is a type of language which can be better learned using the same immersion methods. Reading books and taking courses may undoubtedly help you learn more about this thing called social media, but to truly understand the nuances of today's world wide web you must experience it yourself.
This may sound like a common sense approach if your an experiential learner, but in essence aren't we all? Of the three types of learning: Auditory, Visual and Kinesthetic, immersion influences each of them. You can read all the 'Dummies' series, consume countless articles and watch hundreds of webinars, but until you are sitting at your computer actually participating in social media it will remain theoretical.
1. Learning is a basic function of human beings. We are designed to learned.
2. The learning process can be broken into two parts: first, how we learn; second, sources of learning.
3. We are designed with the three modalities of learning: thinking, feeling and experiencing
4. Each of us has a built-in method of learning
5. When any of these modalities are ignored, the quality of the learning declines.
6. The source of our learning is derived from three places: self, others, nature
7. Our built-in learning system works best if we are immersed in the learning.
8. Our most memorable life experiences typically take place in total immersion context.
9. Most of us fail to design our learning experiences with all three modalities in mind.
Define Your Social Goals.
Why do you want to learn about social media? If your answer is because everyone else is doing it, you may be right. But it may not be the right thing for you. If you own a business and sell online, I would suggest you learn it. However, if your life is plenty full and you are just feeling pressured, then by all means do something else that you enjoy.
- Understand what people are talking about
- Get attention from other bloggers
- Brand yourself
- Get the latest tech news
- Connect with friends and family
- Connect with influential users
- Promote your business
- Gain more leads for your business
- Get more 'likes' on Facebook
- Gain more followers on Twitter
- Make money from social networking sites
- Become an authority
What Can You Gain By Understanding Social Media?
1. You will learn about web culture, internet memes and the new terms and phrases people are using.
2. You will learn how some or all of these social tools can improve your life or serve your purpose.
3. You will gain an understanding of how individuals and businesses are using the web.
4. You will learn how to get others interested in your blog, website, Facebook page or your online resume.
(check out more uTube videos such as "Twitter in Plain English", "Blogs in Plain English").
So Where Do You Begin?
You could certainly begin by reading relevant articles in order to learn the lingo. If you're just starting out, try a few Google searches such as:
How to learn social media
Social marketing tips
How to start a blog
Google your questions and you are bound to be directed to more articles than you can read in this lifetime. I recommend that you set a time limit and skim over as many articles as you can during that time. I would further recommend that the articles you read are current. You are seeking the most up-to-date information.
Check out the people you admire and see what they are doing.
Spend some time looking at different blogs and websites you like. Check out your friends Facebook pages or Pinterest boards. Take some time reviewing powerful LinkedIn profiles or your competitor's tweets. Learn from what they are doing well....learn from their mistakes.
Many, if not all, of the social sites these days are free. You can create a website or blog and not go public until you are good and ready. You also are given the option of canceling at any time you'd like. All of that means that there is little risk in trying.
Humans crave connections. Our desire to be a part of something supersedes nearly all other wishes. Take, for example, the recent poll asking people what they would be willing to give up in order to lose weight. Most people would choose to sacrifice time with their loved ones, money, even their health, but they would not give up their cell phones. I'm curious what folks would be willing to surrender in order to keep their Facebook accounts.
So what now?
Consider yourself a detective. Go to every source that you can think of to gather information. You'll process that information and disregard what you won't need later, but your primary goal now is consumption. Yes, this is work. Yes, this will require time and commitment, but once you have ferreted out the information you can use it to your advantage.
Now, stop reading this hub and go start a website!