By: Eric Gladstone
Those of us who work in social media take for granted what a necessity it is today for virtually any business. So when the opportunity arose to help educate a group of professionals about social media, we took the task as an interesting project. While two-thirds of adults in the U.S. may be on Facebook regularly (to cite one recent statistic), there still remains a significant learning curve about how to best utilize that and other popular SM platforms, including-Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc. from a business perspective.
Acknowledging one7 as a leading social media team in Las Vegas, the AAOMS (American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons) approached us about creating and staffing a pop-up education center for 9,000 members at their annual convention at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
While that might not sound like a profession in great need of social media, in fact, the organization informed us they had made social media a priority in their member support strategy for the unique opportunities to educate the public, connect with patients and communicate amongst professionals. This was only part of the battle, however. Many older, busy doctors do not have the time or inclination to educate themselves in the best social media practices, even if they acknowledge the value. So we were tasked with demystifying social media for business and introducing important strategies in limited time frames.
Time would be tight during the three-day convention when most participants’ schedules might fill up with meetings and presentations, so it was important that our services be flexible and succinct if possible. We had to be prepared to meet with every imaginable level of a user, from those who were already competent and accomplished on the major platforms, to some completely intimidated by the concept.
So, we conceived an Apple-store style set up with a Social Media Bar as well as a series of brief group seminars called “Learning Labs” to be scheduled throughout the event.
Our Learning Lab topics:
- Facebook for Business 101
- Instagram 101
- Twitter 101
- Facebook Advanced Strategies
- Snapchat, Pinterest and more
We also prepared social media messaging and on-site marketing pieces (door tags, powerpoint slides) to promote the project, and created a sign-up survey to invite members to pre-register for the free services.
When the first day arrived, there were only a few advance sign ups, so we did not know what to expect. As it turns out, we were well prepared. Although the numbers of participants were modest relative to the event size, we did face a broad range of experience, from people who needed to have pages set up–and even needed some convincing that it was worth the effort–to very savvy users looking for new tips and shortcuts.
The amount of positive feedback was very rewarding, whether from someone who just stopped by for 10 minutes or from one participant who attended nearly every one of the Learning Labs, and the client AAOMS planned to continue using our services for future meetings and possibly with their members throughout the year.
Our own take away was to be reminded that despite the proliferance of social media everywhere, there are still many of all walks who are early on the learning curve. Bringing them along without intimidation or an excess of technobabble we believe is an effective way to raise the level of education.