Developing a Social Media Training Group

Our running group after our 5k

On May 1st, I ran my second 5k and the boyfriend, Mike, ran his first.  This race went a lot better than my first.  I would like to say it was because of the support of a loving boyfriend, but yeah, we’re not that couple.  The difference was that we joined a running group.  Every Saturday morning (okay, maybe it was just most Saturdays), we would meet up and do a group run.  In addition, we would get a lesson on something related to running and a weekly email reinforcing that lesson.  Knowing that there were people expecting me to be there on Saturday mornings and getting that weekly email kept me going.  I got to the race and I made it through.

This got me thinking.  I have this same kind of setup on the social media sites I participate on.  It may not be as formal, but there are people that would miss me if I were gone and knowing this keeps me going.  Also, there are a number of people that I learn from and that reinforce these lessons by example.  So how did I get this lucky?  Work.  Lots and lots of work.  But lucky for you, I am willing to share with you exactly what that work was.

  1. I went to seminars and social events that centered around social media. Yes, I started out by not even participating on an actual site.  I found local mentors that were willing to share what they know and took advantage of that.  I will caution that when doing this that you should be careful of the Scheister McSchesitersons out there.  Look for those that are connected to reputable agencies and are not trying to sell you anything.  I assure you they are out there and are willing to help.  You just have to look.
  2. I followed these local mentors on their site(s) of choice and then I listened. Once again, there was no active participation.  I studied how they were using the sites and noted what I could take and make my own.  I also looked for those that they seemed to engage and followed them if they seemed to be applicable to what I was doing.
  3. I engaged when I knew I could add something of value. Don’t take this idea of “value” so seriously.  This can be as simple as encouraging the silliness of others.  Lord knows, this is how I have developed my most successful “training” group.  Just know that if someone is asking for something (whether they know it or not), don’t be afraid to give it to them if you can.
  4. Write valuable posts. Once again, don’t take this so seriously.  Value can be found in silliness.  If silliness is a part of your personality, put it in.  We are not looking for you to change your personality.  Mix that personality in with posts that include articles and blog posts about your areas of interest, and you will have a very valuable account.
  5. Rinse and repeat. Always start from that place of “I don’t know everything” and keep going through this cycle.  By doing that, you will continue learning and being that person that people miss when you are off-line.

Did you notice what all of this is?  Um, yeah, it is social media basics and um, yeah, it is how you get more followers.  I personally think the more followers thing is more of a curse than a blessing, but that is my issue and something I am sure I will address in a later post.  But if you are looking to be that person that is ahead of the game and with a bunch of people that you can call on when you need something, this is what you need to do.

Now to the discussion part of our program: Did I miss any steps?

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