The following is a guest blog post from Susan Roberts. Susan is an E-Recruiter and began working at Lethbridge College in September 2010. She graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and a Bachelor of Management in Marketing , both from the University of Lethbridge. When Susan is not tweeting or crunching recruitment stats, she enjoys travelling, whether it’s jet-setting or travelling to her hometown to play in the dirt.
Social Media Unplugged 2011
A mere eight months ago I discovered Twitter. This was not an exercise that happened by chance. Lethbridge College had an opening for an E-Recruiter and although I wasn’t entirely sure was I what getting myself into, the job did sound interesting. In addition to the traditional ways that recruiters connect with students, I was tasked to connect with them in the online realm. My first thought was, “Awesome, Facebook at work!” I was comfortable with this channel, as it had been my favorite partner in procrastination while I was in university. Twitter though, I will admit, scared me. Sure I had heard of this tool, as it was leading headlines on popular culture television shows, but I never used it. I remember a guest lecturer in my university Consulting class told us that, if we were a marketing student, we should be on Twitter. My immediate reaction to that was, “Ya… I’ll get right on that and Ashton Kutcher and I will soon be swapping tweets on our favorite places to eat in LA.” At that time, I didn’t see that there was more to the conversations and that I would soon have an iPhone attached to my hand.
When I graduated from university one year ago, I hadn’t taken any classes to prepare me to enter the social media arena. My classes did acknowledge that social media was growing and my Advertising and Promotions textbook (that was published that year) had less than a page devoted to social media. When I began using social media, I had conversations with my manager (@nbuis) and Mike McCready and I attended a “Social Media Bootcamp.” I took advantage of all of these opportunities to learn and I listened. I also listened to the social media channels that I was about to become a part of.
I jumped at the chance to attend “Social Media Unplugged” when Mike offered to help me get there. I found that many of the presenters and the organizer were like me – any of them too had only discovered Twitter about six months ago. They all presented excellent case studies of ways they had used social media as a tool to achieve their business objectives. They did it well! I heard many of the presenters (some modest) express that they are not experts. This concept resonated with me, as I think we are all learning. Social media is ever-changing and it is difficult to be “all knowing” about such a vast medium. The nature of social media does allow us to collaborate – and that is a thing of beauty. While the presenters at “Social Media Unplugged” imparted their knowledge, attendees shared, interacted, and discussed via Twitter (#smuplugged). I could have stayed in Lethbridge and read numerous articles on social media, but I think I learned so much more by attending this conference. The presenters spurred a conversation where each participant listened, synthesized and contributed. I will continue to search out all opportunities to learn about social media, but I know that I enjoyed the opportunity to learn in this interactive way.