Would I class myself as a Technophobe? Probably not. When I was 15, I studied Computer Science at school. However, in those days, computers were very new, so Computer Science as we know it today, was taught very differently. And the computer programs were very different to today's. Much more basic in comparison. When I then left school and went to the College of Business Studies in Belfast to study a legal secretaries course (I know, who'd have thought!), I learned to touch type on an electric typewriter and to 'word-process' on an Amstrad computer. I have always considered myself to pretty knowledgeable and good at technology. I've kept myself up-to-date on the latest Microsoft programs; I can do spreadsheets, a Powerpoint presentation and can even do formulas - granted, with some difficulty and the occasional swear word - in Excel - but I can do it. I had a My Space profile about 15 years ago. So, taking all this into consideration, I must be a techno-geek, mustn't I?
Apparently not! Technology has progressed at a huge rate over the past 10 years, and more so in the last 5 years. My daughter who is nearly 18, is in the generation that take techno gadgets for granted. I have always been very anti them. I resisted her numerous requests for a Nintendo but her dad very naughtily bought her one for Christmas one year. To be fair, it was very useful on day's out when she got bored of adult company - she's an only child - it stopped the incessant whinging of 'when can we leave?' She had her first 'mobile' phone when she was 10 - although this wasn't a phone of today's standards. It was a phone that she could only ring her dad and me. We moved to England when she was 11, and as I was working in London I needed to keep in contact with her, so she got her first 'Blackberry' and her introduction to BBM. She has grown up with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and numerous other social media platforms that I haven't heard of (blimey, I sound like a dinosaur) and hasn't needed tutoring or coaching in how to 'market' herself. Unlike her ancient old mother - the techno dinosaur.
I have had a Facebook profile for probably 10 - 12 years. For me, it's been a way of keeping in contact with friends and family who live in other parts of the world. I set up a business page about 4 years ago and I have a LinkedIn profile. I thought I understood how LinkedIn worked as a marketing platform. I thought that by being active I would get my name known. I joined various groups and starting discussions. One discussion I started in a Plastic Surgery group asking surgeons what they though about Manual Lymphatic Drainage/Lymphatic Massage in the postoperative period, got me an introduction to the owner of London Bridge Plastic Surgery in Wimpole Street, London. From that introduction and subsequent meeting, I joined the clinic and integrated MLD/Lymphatic Massage into his clinic and into the post surgical care package. So, in that sense, LinkedIn worked for me. My business Facebook page was OK. I posted occasionally, I shared pictures. However, I didn't really understand the concept of 'Social Media Marketing' and to how it is seen as a normal way of promoting and growing your business.
In the past 6 months a I have learned about Social Media marketing. It has been an interesting process. I previously thought that by contacting the 'referrer' and organising meetings with GP's, Consultants, Personal Trainers, etc., that my business would grow. I didn't understand the power and importance, of Social Media. I knew I had to post things occasionally but didn't know that I should post certain things like videos, slideshows and 'borrow' content from other people like various articles in online magazines. I didn't know that I should post EVERY day - although I don't do it every day. I find it difficult to do a genuine post daily. So, I do try to do one every second day. I didn't really understand the importance of doing a regular blog. I've learned new words like funnel, reach, algorithms and embed. I have no clue about algorithms and embedding but I do understand now which posts work and which ones don't; what's the best time of day to post; the difference between the various platforms i.e.: Facebook and LinkedIn suit my business best and so I don't do Twitter and Instagram. Apart from anything else, I simply don't have time to add in other platforms. Social Media marketing is sooo time consuming but maybe that's because I'm a slow old dinosaur (I'm not THAT old yet - I'm only 47) and perhaps practice makes perfect. I still have my own money earning work to do as well as admin before I can take time to do my Facebook posts, blog and LinkedIn. I can totally understand why some businesses employ people to manage their social media marketing. It really could be a full time job!
So, am I a technophobe? I don't really have a phobia for today's technology, I just don't really have the time to completely understand it. I have been lucky enough to have had some great coaching from some amazing people who DO understand it. It's their specialty. I have watched my business grow because of my social media marketing. I recently congratulated myself on working out how MailChimp works and when I organised an automated reply when someone signs up to my mailing list. Another thing I've recently had to get my head around was linking my website to MailChimp. Admittedly, there were many hours spent working it out. Many unsavory words escaped my lips. But, I conquered it. Am I a technophobe? No, I can categorically say that I am not a technophobe. Are you?
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