I am always craving new social media knowledge. The industry moves so quickly that there is a constant fear of missing out (fomo), I suffer from it constantly. There are dozens of blogs, podcasts, Facebook Live updates, and a million other pieces of content to consume. With so much out there, how do you find a balance?
1: Can you define what knowledge you seek?
With my current job and roster of clients I find top needs include a deep-level of social media advertising (especially Instagram’s new features) and also some pay per click in the AdWords space. But those are very task-specific and platform-specific needs. If I take a step back I have to ask how am I managing myself and the team I work with? This makes me want to pursue knowledge that’s more managerial in nature and gives a nod back to my MBA. I want to learn about project management and also corporate communication. I want to slowly start training and educating the rest of my department to create some employee advocacy.
2: What kind of content do you enjoy the most?
I completely admit I am not fond of Snapchat. The FOMO is strong, but I’m really not going to use Snapchat to follow Gary Vaynerchuk. I’d much rather wait for his #AskGaryVee show on YouTube or through Facebook Live. I also enjoy podcasts – because I can multi-task or pause and rewind if I want to rehear something. I love a weekly newsletter too, but only if it is well-designed and not jammed pack with too many articles. All of my content choices really depend on my mood and that is okay.
If you are forcing yourself to absorb content or do you actually enjoy it? We all don’t like the same types of content or information. I have a friend in the social media industry who loves Snapchat and Instagram Stories. That is her way to follow an influencer. I tend to enjoy permanent content and things I can control (pause, start, rewind). When I was commuting over an hour for my first social media job out of the MBA program, podcasts were a lifesaver in the car (some of my favorites include HashtaggedPodcast and Reply All).
Bottom line: pick the content type you like the best and find the influencers you respond to. I admit it’s important to stay up to date with key influencers and you should stretch yourself to adapt to new things – but balance is the key. You want to gain knowledge not be buried under information.
3: Let People Know You Like Knowledge!
Sharing your passion for knowledge is a great thing. It probably sounds a little awkward but I’ve found more times than not that passion for information is contagious. There is always a friend, colleague, or mentor I can e-mail when I want to learn something new. There is a new list practically everyday about the top podcasts to try, blogs to follow, or influencers to connect with.
I was very lucky to be invited to be a reader of a new set of textbooks coming out for The National Institute for Social Media. I earned my certificate from NISM a year ago and was one of the first scholarship recipients for the program. I’ve continued to be a huge advocate for the certification and its textbook; this certificate was the first real step I took into the social media world. Since the certificate I’ve stayed connected with the CEO (Jennifer Radke) and she knew about my deep hunger for social media knowledge. More than once, Jennifer has connected me to opportunities to be a reader/reviewer for various training books including a book for Google Analytics and another for Google AdWords.
My most recent opportunity involve NISM’s new 2017 textbooks! There are seven books being developed for the new certificate series. The textbooks will not be released until 2017 but I have a chance to read them now and give feedback before they are sent to the printers. Why was I chosen? The writers and CEO of the organization remembered my passion for knowledge. Now I have seven textbooks worth of knowledge at my fingertips.
I know we live in a world of short consumable content but I love textbooks. I love having a thick stack of paper where I can jot down notes in the columns, flag with sticky notes, and flip through. Textbooks have a progression to them that work well with how I learn and understand. I’m very guilty of killing trees and printing out blog posts just to file the articles into folders so I can compartmentalize what I’m learning about.
What about you? What is your favorite kind of content? Do you have a podcast recommendation for me? I’d like to know! Drop me a note in the comments below.