In this post, I cover what we covered in class on Monday, October 6, 2014. In light of the groans last week when I broached the subject of the podcast assignment, I was prepared for a less-than-enthusiastic class.
We started the class with two “lightning nugget” presentations.
After that, I had the teams present their content examples from the in-class content strategy brainstorm activity we did in the previous Friday’s class.
I followed that up with something rare for me in social media practices: A quiz. I asked the class to take out a sheet of paper and write down three things they learned from listening to the two podcast episodes assigned a few days earlier.
[On a positive note: When I graded the “quizzes,” it was clear that most students had, in fact, listened to at least some each episode. Yay!]
After the quiz, we talked about some of the takeaways from each episode. A few examples:
- The importance of knowing your audience (YES!)
- Long is not a bad thing (a key point made in the Social Pros Podcast)
- It’s OK to re-share the same content on Twitter
Although it was clear that most students learned something from listening to the podcasts, it was also clear that I hadn’t sold them on the value of knowing how to create a podcast.
Maybe podcasting is a bit too advanced for the beginning social media marketer.
I believe that knowing how to use podcasting as part of a content marketing strategic plan coupled with the exercise of actually creating a podcast will give my students an advantage in the job market.
That said, I also realize that they just aren’t into podcasting. Rather than force the matter, I opened the door to an alternative assignment: Content curation.
A few classes back I asked the students to set up an account with Storify. I reminded them of that. And explained, briefly, how Storify can be used to curate social content.
I also showed them my Scoop.it pages and asked that they create a Scoop.it account and create one Scoop.it page on a topic of interest. Any topic. It doesn’t have to be social media.
We ended the class by evaluating 3 Twitter profiles. We’ve previously talked about Twitter profiles in class (quite generally) and one of the course requirements is to create social media profiles.
Since the Mastering Social Business podcast episode referenced here had a great segment on the changes to Twitter’s profile pages earlier in 2014 I thought we could review some Twitter profiles to connect-the-dots between the podcast content and our social media profile project.
I spent some time before class looking for profiles that seemed to cover all the bases: Good profile picture, good use of new Twitter custom header space, etc. Fairly quickly I found what I thought were 3 great examples—all men.
Because I didn’t want to include men only, I spent 30 minutes specifically looking at profiles of women I admire and respect in the social media marketing arena in the hopes of finding a couple of examples from the ladies. I didn’t find any who had an updated Twitter header that included some type of marketing message.
Most of the women (myself included) simply use a photo of a landscape or a conceptual image, with no added text. This may be a good thing. In any event, it’s an interesting question to explore in a future study.
So here are the three we evaluated in class:
Jay Baer’s Twitter profile was the first we reviewed and it turned out to be the resounding favorite of all 16 students in the class. The students found it to be the right blend of understated promotion and personality.
Behind Door #2, I offered up Neal Schaffer:
The students weren’t too thrilled by Neal, unfortunately. They found his header image to be “too promotional.”
Behind Door #3, @ProBlogger Darren Rowse
I’ve used Darren as an example in the past, pointing out his use of a custom landing page for Twitter traffic.
Students found Darren’s Twitter profile to be much too text-heavy.
What do you think about these Twitter profiles? And can you suggest a great Twitter profile for all of us ladies? I’ve had “update Twitter header image” on my to-do list for a while. I think I might get to work on it now!