Want to learn the fundamental skills of social media marketing? If you’re interested, I’ll be teaching “Social Media Marketing Boot Camp” in Campbell, California on Friday, August 26th in conjunction with our friends at the 280 Group.
For the first several years Twitter existed, I was a skeptic because I mostly saw friends commenting about what they had for breakfast or where they were. Who has time for reading that? It seemed like a huge waste of time.
But once I began writing this blog, Twitter turned out to be a great way to raise awareness of the blog. Then I discovered that Twitter was a great way to engage with the product and project management community as a whole, to identify authorities in the space, to make new professional connections, and to learn from others. Twitter’s power for listening and learning, not just speaking, is greatly underestimated.
In my copious spare time, I’d already been using video for HIV/AIDS prevention education for the last five years through my not-for-profit AIDSvideos.org and its YouTube channel AIDSvideos. Through that process, I learned how simple but educational videos could gain hundreds of thousands of views over time. Beyond that, I discovered that the questions people asked in response to the videos became our guide on what new videos we should create going forward. Listening to and engaging with the community of people watching the videos, answering their questions, and moderating their comments enabled an Agile approach to content creation. We did not plan the current list of 110 videos up-front. We created a few videos, watched the view counts, the questions, and the comments, created more videos in response, and iterated. Watching the number of views for each video became a heuristic to guide new content creation going forward. Using social media in an Agile and iterative fashion lets you engage with your customers, whoever they may be, learn more about their needs and interests, and serve them better. Agile project management isn’t just for software development by any means!
Also in my copious spare time, I learned that two people had been imprisoned in Afghanistan for their choice of faith, so I experimented with using Twitter and Facebook pages together to generate awareness of the problem and create pressure through multiple channels (tweets, emails, phone calls, and letters) for their release. Did my modest tweets cause their ultimate release? Hardly; I would argue that sustained behind-the-scenes diplomatic efforts for the preceding year by five nations that are supporting Afghanistan had a lot more to do with it. But I realized that social media marketing provides a low-cost way to raise awareness about an issue and make it clear to a government that the attention and concern won’t go away until the issue is resolved. Someday, I’d like to create a step-by-step “prisoner of conscience campaign in a box” so that anyone can do the same for a prisoner of conscience of their choice somewhere in the world.
Based on what I learned, I created the “Social Media Marketing for the Lean Startup” presentation at Silicon Valley Product Camp in the spring of this year, and now I’m happy to offer this four-hour hands-on course for those who are interested in learning quickly the fundamental skills that I learned over years of time. This course has a $95 introductory rate and limited attendance, so sign up now if you’re interested! Thanks to everyone in the social media community for everything you’ve taught me over the years!