Posted by My Life in 'The Hills'
Last week our Social Media in Public Relations class had the opportunity to here from Sean Dixon, Interactive Media Manager for Springfield, Missouri’s Convention and Visitors Bureau. Here are my reaction essay from that night.
Before Sean Dixon began to speak I was already impressed by his unique Halloween costume. Pee Wee Herman was a classic Saturday morning children’s TV show and favorite of mine while growing up. I didn’t really care what he had to say after seeing him with the confidence to pull that wardrobe off, but fortunately he was also a good speaker.
Social media seems pretty simple for people like you and me. But for the average American it can seem supernatural and foreign. As Interactive Media Manager for the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sean Dixon’s job is to educate the average American in the benefits of using social media.
I am a visual learner, so as soon as I saw the chart tying it all together, a light bulb went off in my head. This continuous chart was what I found the most interesting, because it was so simple. Publish a message. Share your message with your audience. Discuss your message with your audience. Review and Report your efforts. Then simply repeat.
The first three steps are nothing new. From the beginning of the term “social media,” society has been writing their thoughts, sharing with others and then commenting or responding to posts. Social media has from it’s beginning been a forum for mainly personal use. It has only in recent years been transformed into a marketing tool. That’s why the fourth step in the CVB’s approach to social media is something that is new and being demanded more and more, but few know how to go about getting the results.
I do not get paid for my social media efforts, but I do manage a couple Facebook pages and Twitter accounts for family businesses. Over the summer my father-in-law asked about the farms Facebook page and I quickly showed him how it all worked and explained the Insights. He got really excited to be able to view what posts got more interest then other, etc. Since then I have found myself more dedicated to using these stat pages to help me got more marketing from these free social media sites. I was thrilled to see that the CVB was educating others how to benefit from them too.
Another aspect to Sean’s message I found interesting was the CVB’s social media stack. It is easy for us to want to jump right in utilizing all forms of social media. Sean reminded us to figure out what our goals were and then decide which forms would be best for the business. There is no need in using them all if they aren’t all used to their full potential.
Does this build on everything we have discussed this semester? For me it is an easy yes. Reading something in a book doesn’t mean I believe it will work for me. Hearing how it has worked from others and seeing the results is what sells me. We have talked about writing, sharing, discussing and reporting each week in class. Now, I am not saying I wasn’t already sold on using social media as a public relations tool, but I enjoy hearing real-life application of it’s success right here in Southwest Missouri.