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September 27, 2010
Getting Coached on Social Media

Here's somebody to talk to about learning social media. Michelle Gilbert of Verizon Wireless in Michigan is profiled on Crain's Detroit Business as someone who is both self-taught and coached in using Twitter and other forms of social media to advance her business goals. It's definitely not just for youngsters.  

"Tweet-ups are to me what chamber meetings were 20 years ago," she says. "Five years down the road, and maybe not even that long, the hyperlocal connection will be that much more important. I want to extend that to other markets and improve the overall customer experience."

Social media, Crain's says, is becoming as important to a marketing strategy as television or print campaigns: “It's gotten to the point that we don't do a pitch that doesn't have a social media component or a digital or online component. That's where marketing is heading. If you're not doing it, you're missing out on a lot of where your consumers are.” 

Encountering customers where they are increasingly means using social media for connections. Yet social media aren't likely to be learned in a classroom setting. Too much is changing and needs to be experience with the help of knowledgeable coaches. Where to find them? Look around your company or organization. See who's been using whom to learn the techniques of social media. There are a lot of pretenders out there, so it's best to proceed carefully, building and reading on whom you know about and come upon. 

If you're older, joining in the social media learning quest can have the added benefit of bringing you into dialogue with younger people, because they tend to know the ropes. They've grown up twirling them.  

There are a lot of insights in this Crain's piece. Give it a read. 

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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