I did it. We did it! My teammates and I along with our class successfully completed a comprehensive and rigorous 15-week, course designed to shape and build social media skills applicable to small and large businesses and nonprofit enterprises. Each 3-hour class drilled down on the reasons for particular techniques and tools and challenged each student to develop his or her own skillset and approach in putting what we learned into practice.

Here’s a group shot of our class on graduation day!

University of Delaware Social Media Marketing Stratey Certificate Class Fall of 2014. Photo by Lori Mayhew

University of Delaware Social Media Marketing Strategy Certificate Class Fall of 2014. Our instructors, standing left are Meredith Chapman, Matthieu Plourde and Holly Norton. Yours truly standing third from right. Photo by Lori Mayhew

Here are the top 10 takeaways learned from this class:

1. Develop a Needs Assessment for each client.

2. Research what similar peer organizations/businesses are doing with social media.

3. Take a comprehensive look at all platforms available & recognize that these continue to evolve. Few can do it all. Pick the the ones that will perform for client goals.

4. Listen. Pay attention to what your client is saying.

5. Pinpoint the client’s target audience. Know that each social media platform cannot meet the goal or serve as a one size fits all.

6. Create content that matters. Understand the value of mixing it up. Create a content plan and integrate that content within platforms. Inter-connectivity, not duplication, is a must.

7. Recommend a voice or tone of communication that is consistent for the client.

8. Prepare the client for the “What ifs” that often do arise: Crisis communication. Fixing blunders, employee mistakes, responding to complaints & general legal ramifications regarding social media communication.

9. How to measure success. Fantastic tools exist. Many are free. Metrics indicate what resonated and what laid an egg. You need to know what works and what doesn’t in order to move forward! Pay attention to the charts and graphs!

10. Have fun! Be social on social media. Engage. Let a personality emerge.  Authenticity and personality are key drivers for social media success!

As mentioned earlier, this blog was created as a requirement for the class. We were given six assignments. For some of us, it is time to shut the blog down, but I plan to continue and share what I learn and encounter on this social media journey. Travel along with me if you like!