Dreaming in Social Media
They say – who ever “they” are – that you know that you fluent in a language when you start to dream in that language. The point being that you no longer have to think about the translation in your head, instead you just speak. The same could be said for social media, there are people that take their experience with public relations or marketing and try to figure out how to do accomplish the same thing goals with social media.
They are still translating.
Then there are those that just see social media for all its possibilities, and it is no longer about using it for marketing, branding, public relations etc.
They are fluent.
So if you goal is fluency in social media here are a couple of tips:
1. Think like a social media person. If you want to get in to the head of a social media person you have to understand how they think. Start looking for stories and case studies on social media campaigns that rocked (and sucked). Look at more than just the stunts, or big pushes – like Domino’s and their current campaign asking people to provide photos of their pizza (which I am a total fan girl for). See how a company’s day-to-day interactions are. How are companies interacting with customers or fans? Observe how often they are posting to YouTube and what the content is. These daily interactions are the fastest way to become fluent.
2. Practice with native speakers. I have a 19 year old sister, and the last time she was visiting she said the most profound thing. She was discussing some club in LA and stated that it was “the bomb.com”. Now I always thought that I was “hip” or at least aware of trends, but that was a new turn of phrase, even for me. In order to speak the language, you need to spend time with people that organically understand and utilizes social media. Go to conferences, find local groups, find your peers!
3. Read the literature. There are dozens of very smart people that have written wonderful books that explain the history, evolution, and current application for social media. Reading these is another way to get in the mindset of a social media person. I personally recommend Made to Stick, Buyology, Naked Conversations, and Wikinomics. As a disclaimer, none of these are exactly about social media, they are more about branding, marketing, being smart online, etc. As always, I turn to my social media bible (Mashable) for their review of the Top 5 Must-Read Social Media Books.
4. Complete immersion. Fluency is only gained when you fully immerse yourself, attending major industry conferences are the best place to take what you have learned in the three previous steps and test how you sounds to natives. You might discover that your “accent” is off, but that is why immersion is so important. SXSW and Blog World are two examples of good industry events, but don’t miss out on those smaller conferences such as Gravity Summit.