Rockford Social Media News-My Class at RVC called Start Up Social Media

Rockford Social Media News

Wow, I have been really neglectful of this blog, haven’t I?

So let me remedy that with a quick post about my experience teaching a four session, very basic introductory class  called Start Up Social Media at Rock Valley College.  The class has run twice now, and I think the response has been positive  from the 13 business people who have attended it.

I did not come to this class with a set curricula,  with homework and assignments, and I am glad that I did not.  Instead I asked the Continuing Education folks who had signed up and paid to attend what they would like to cover, and why this surprises me, I do not know, but each of them had a different need or desire.

So we structured the class around the conversations we had, which was very good in the short term, but I am not so sure we helped much with the long term planning and strategizing.

However, I am confident that everyone got some confidence in their ability to use social media tools more effectively.

I think one of the more effective sessions was the guest lecturer we had, Mike Crookshank,  who uses Twitter (@mtcrookshank)  to drive traffic to his Etsy store where he sells  Boy Scout Kerchief slides that he makes in his workshop behind his house.  Mike has been active in the Boy Scouts for a long time, and it is obviously a great passion of his.

Mike uses a technique he calls Twitter Farming to increase the number of followers he has on Twitter,  and you will have to come see him lecture to find out what that is, and then he tweets interesting stuff to his followers to keep their attention, and every so often he will tweet a link to his Etsy store,  and some percentage of his followers will follow that link and some percentage of those visitors then purchase.  Mike demonstrated in class one night last spring, with a four tweet broadcast, and within an hour, 71 people had visited his store.  Those tweets might have taken all of two minutes to create and send, and the actual impact of his broadcast was probably noticeable for at least one week, because not all his followers were on Twitter when he tweeted.

Another surprising experience for me was the number of folks who are well into middle age, and very adept at cell phone usage, for example, but had little experience on Social Media accounts, or whose social media usage was impacted by other family members who were disdainful of social media.  One individual had older sisters who were calling Facebook a fad, and wanted nothing to do with using it to market even though their clients were reporting that they needed to be able to see the company services online.  This same business reported that some parents were worried that pictures of  their children enjoying the business could put the kids at risk, and made sure to place a high value on privacy, so no releases were signed.

So I think asking what for my students were looking for was the best way to go…but I am left wondering how to implement a planning, creating, and measuring component in such a short time, eight hours.  If you have any ideas, let me know, OK?  More to come, much sooner than the last update.


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