3 SM Habits Cultivated & to be Continued

In reflecting back on this semester, there are many things I could pluck out and discuss, but I’ve chosen to highlight 3 habits that this class has pushed me to develop:

Consistency, Consciousness, Collaboration

In this way,  the end of the semester isn’t really the “end,” as a good habit isn’t something I’d want to break.

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1. Consistency

There are many ways to practice consistency (I’d love your interpretations) but one place this class has made me consistent is in my Twitter behavior. As a digital marketer, we always hear about the importance of consistent postings, even going as far as optimizing time of day and week, number of times a day, etc. Though this is common knowledge and practice for brands (including my company), I never really concerned myself with my own personal behavior.

The requirement to tweet 4 times a week forced me into a habit, though, admittedly, it took a while for me to pick it up. Especially as I wasn’t a real Twitter user before (Snapchat and Facebook being my primary SM platforms). I had created a professional Twitter account last semester for my TechTrek class but used it minimally, mostly to thank our hosts. My personal account was from freshman year and essentially a time-sink that I abandoned. This semester really opened my eyes to Twitter’s power and the great use-cases as a professional, especially to access industry and world news. My tweets have been building in consistency and frequency, and it’s been awesome to actually build out my professional account with comments and articles relevant to my interests and experiences.

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I’ve found myself more aware of current events than I was before (or at least more quickly informed) and definitely look to keep using Twitter consistently in a professional capacity.

 

2. Consciousness

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Especially when we discuss the darker sides of social media, such as potential biases or falsehoods inherent in or propagated by social media, being a conscious consumer and producer of information is critical. Just last week we discussed the human elements that go into forming  search algorithms and the value-judgements that are often inseparable, such as reliance on number of views and popularity. We have discussed the real impact on people’s lives or on businesses from false accusations or viral videos as well as the reprisal from posts poorly phrased or in bad taste. We have also assessed and dissected the brand marketing on various sites, looking at the congruence of posts and promotions with brand values and the success of brand storytelling.

I think this accumulates into the idea of being conscious and critical viewers and producers. We have been trained to be more careful in what we post, more discerning in trusting information, and more strategic in how to craft a narrative.

 

3. Collaboration

I feel like this always comes up but I think it is, nonetheless, true that collaboration is an essential ability and a hallmark habit of successful companies and people. In this instance, it applies in two spheres. One, in the classroom and digitally with classmates and, two, in general from a more high-level perspective.

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Regarding one, this class has been one of the most inclusive and collaborative classes I’ve taken– all without one group project! The discussion-based nature of the class has formed an open dialogue that has continued digitally on the blog and on Twitter. The continued discussion and crowdsourcing of topics and articles has created, in my opinion, a richer, more interesting, and relevant accumulation of information. Re: two, this just touches upon the sharing economy we discuss in depth in class and read about in various articles. The sharing we do in class only underlines that.

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What habits do you believe you have formed during the span of our course? Are they to be continued…

7 comments

  1. rebeccajin06 · ·

    Alexandra, I can definitely relate to your point on consistency. I never would have realized how important it is for businesses to respond to social media posts from consumers without this class. Even something as silly as following Professor Kane’s airline experiences through Twitter showed how much consumers really are paying attention to social media and a company’s brand, personality, and engagement through its use. And of course, becoming aware of the biases that exist in social media was an extremely important takeaway as well. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for your post, Alexandra! Like @rebeccaj619, the consistency lessons stood out to me as well. I understood the importance of timely brand responses and engagement coming into the class but I was definitely underestimating my own potential to be a consistent consumer and producer of information online. I really enjoyed being able to share ideas and opinions and see others directly engage with me – particularly when it was folks not in our class with an interest in the topics we explore. And collaboration definitely made this class special – our discussions were rich and filled with lessons. Thank you for your contributions!

  3. Great post, Alexandra! I loved reading about the three habits you have developed in this course, as well as your desire to maintain these habits. I also really liked your use of images – they tied in nicely with your points! I would agree that I have also developed the habit of “consciousness.” I have noticed that before posting a Facebook status or writing a tweet/other type of online content, I really take a step back and look at what I wrote before simply pressing submit/send/etc. I remember growing up and my parents always saying, “think before you speak;” which is something I have struggled with because I am honest to a fault and sometimes have no filter. This class, however, has really taught me the impact I can make by thinking before I speak/tweet/post. Everything that I submit online reflects my personal brand, and I would not want to harm that by choosing words that could be misinterpreted by others (my least favorite part of social media/texting is that there can be a lack of tone, so misunderstandings occur often).Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  4. Nice post! I do agree that habits are perhaps the most important aspect of successful social media use, both as individuals and as companies.

  5. This is a great post, Alex. I liked the reference to Aristotle in your featured image and the focus on the habits that this course has helped you develop. The purpose of courses should be to provide information and skills that will be useful in the future, which is definitely the case with this class. I also found that the Twitter requirement took time to get used to, as I had used the platform in the past mostly to consume content, rather than share my own. It takes time to find interesting and relevant articles and write concise tweets, but by posting each week, it became more of a habit. I think the class structure in general, with similar deliverables and activities in class each week, helped create consistency and a better learning experience. The class emphasized the importance of looking at social media from multiple perspectives and thinking critically about our use of these platforms. By becoming more aware, I think we can maximize the power of these tools, while minimizing their deficiencies. There has been some debate about whether collaboration or time alone is the key to creativity and innovation. In Quiet, Susan Cain talks about how the Internet can be used as a tool to help facilitate collaboration, with potentially better results than in person. After taking this class, I believe that a combination of in person and online interactions produces the best results, as individuals have the ability to collaborate both when they are with others and alone.

  6. Awesome post Alex! I couldn’t agree more with all three of the points you made above, but your thoughts on consciousness really stood out to me. Out of the three I think Consciousness is the one I needed to constantly remind myself about before taking this class. Even now I need to more skeptical about the information I consume on social media, and I could be a more critical producer as well. Your quote, “We have been trained to be more careful in what we post, more discerning in trusting information, and more strategic in how to craft a narrative,” really sums up the skills we can take away for this class to be more conscious on social media. For many of us, I think there is still a lot of room for improvement in this area both on the personal and professional level, mostly because it is one of those things you need to be constantly aware of. On another note, I definitely agree that this course was the most collaborative class experience I have ever had, and it is especially impressive that we feel this level of interconnectivity without the classic group project approach. Thanks for a great post and semester of SM insights!

  7. Great post! Consistency as a habit for companies using SM is crucial. Putting out information on a regular basis creates constant engagement with the consumer. I also struggled with consistently putting out Tweets, but towards the end of semester my twitter activity came naturally. Being able to make content look organic that your company puts online helps create an authentic engagement with the consumer. Putting out information just to tweet does not accomplish anything, but the content needs to have a distinct purpose. I really enjoyed learning about the sharing economy, which is an example of how collaboration can be used in SM. One habit I have developed through this class is constantly checking Twitter for news updates. I never sit down to read the newspaper, so reading through Twitter updates is the next best thing. My Twitter feed allows me to stay updated with the trending news. Lastly, this class has taught me to be aware of changing and emerging social media. If I do not make an effort to stay updated on the latest SM updates, I will eventually fall behind.

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