I went on the first part of a social media marketing course yesterday, and it was actually quite good. When I asked my boss if I could go on it I wasn’t quite sure how useful it would be, as I feel like I know a fair amount about Facebook and Twitter already. However, I don’t know all that much about marketing, and the course seems to take a very good, practical approach to what social media can do for your organisation. I only really asked to go on it so I could get some time out of the office, as I’ve basically got no work at all to do at the moment, but actually I think it’ll be very useful knowledge for me to have (and you never know, it might even help me to get a better job than this stupid potato-patch one*).
In the first session we had a short discussion about all the millions of different social media tools there are out there and what they are used for, before returning to the fact that most companies are basically only going to be interested in Facebook and Twitter (and possibly YouTube).
We then had a look at some case studies on companies that use social media well (e.g. Dell, who give away coupons via Twitter and claim to have generated $3m of sales through it), and those that have had fairly spectacular disasters with it (does anyone remember Habitat hijacking Twitter hashtags about the Iran elections to promote their goods? Very naughty indeed).
The group of people on the course seem alright, but fall into two broad categories:
- people who know nothing about social media and who go a bit glassy-eyed when you mention things like hashtags or more niche services like Gowalla
- people who know a bit about marketing and/or computers and who won’t shut the hell up showing off their knowledge regardless of whether it’s relevant.
There’s one guy, in the first category, who is into veganism and animal rights campaigning and who I think would be possibly the worst dinner party guest ever. I quite like animals, but they really are very tasty and I don’t want to hear someone banging on about why we shouldn’t chop them up and put them into delicious burgers.
Another guy made the fairly sweeping statement of “No one with any morals would buy anything made by Nestlé anyway.” I might have to keep an eye on that one, and push my Kitkats down to the bottom of my bag.
Of course there was no one fit there, despite my hopes that there would be. Why is there never any boy candy at any of the work things I go to? There must be some somewhere, surely? But apparently not.
There are three more sessions to go on the course, one each Thursday morning. I hope it will be useful. I know of course that I’ll never get to use any of it in this job, because when I suggested we have a Twitter account here I was told in an aghast tone “but we already have a website!” No amount of explaining would convince them they aren’t the same thing, or reassure them that Twitter doesn’t cost any money, so in the end I thought fuck ’em. If they don’t want to be on the ball with new communications media we can just go back to fucking morse code.
* I refer to it as such because it is rapidly turning me into a vegetable.