I will be teaching an adult education class called Social Networking for Professionals and Business Owners in the Red Lodge High School computer lab starting later this month. It will be on Monday nights from 7:00 to 9:00, beginning March 5 and running through April 9 — a total of six sessions.
This is not a class for teenagers! Attendees will learn about social networking for professionals and business owners, covering today’s three biggest networks: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Subjects will include building profiles, advertising, building business pages, customizing the look of your pages, and more.
WEEK 1: Social Networking — not just for wasting time
Social networking websites are a great place to waste time, post pictures of your cat, share what you had for dinner, and keep track of what your kids are up to. But they serve a much more important function for professionals and business owners. Using Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn, you can market yourself and your business, find jobs, promote events, and do business online. In the first session, we’ll go over the most-used networks, explore how they differ, and set up a profile on Facebook using the new Timeline format, complete with photos and events.
WEEK 2: Facebook — the 500 pound gorilla
This session will center around Facebook for businesses. We will set up a business page, examine the difference between “friends,” “likes,” and “subscriptions,” and build an online presence. You will learn how to set up administrators for pages, adjust privacy settings, upload photos and videos, and tag images. We will then look at metrics and analysis tools and set up a Facebook advertising campaign from scratch: building an ad, setting a budget, fine-tuning the target audience, and evaluating results. We’ll have a couple of real-life case studies, including a look at how I used Facebook for all of my interviews for a magazine article.
WEEK 3: Twitter — short, sweet, and powerful
Twitter is amazingly powerful, yet surprisingly easy to use. In the third session, we will set up a Twitter account, build the profile, customize its look, find people to follow, and look at the structure of a tweet. You will learn to use hashtags, send direct messages, retweet, respond, and include links and photos. Once all of the basics are covered, we’ll move into more advanced subjects like setting up TweetDeck and managing Twitter campaigns.
WEEK 4: LinkedIn — serious networking for professionals
Facebook and Twitter are great places to publicize your business, but what about promoting yourself as a professional? LinkedIn is all business: no photos of the family or discussion of last night’s party. When you are looking for work, establishing new business connections, or negotiating a deal, professionals will look for your profile on LinkedIn. In this session, we will set up a LinkedIn profile, looking at all of the different components. We’ll then examine how “connections” on LinkedIn differ from “friends” on Facebook or “followers” on Twitter.
WEEK 5: Using social media to promote events
Whether it’s an open house, a big sale, a concert, or a grand opening, you need to get the word out to people about your event. In this session, we’ll create an event on Facebook and look at the different ways to promote it. We will also build a calendar on Google, load it with some events, and share it through social networking.
WEEK 6: Tying it all together
The course will wrap up with a look at how to make social networking effective and efficient across the board. We’ll look at ways to make your presence consistent online, how to post to multiple networks simultaneously, and talk about some of the other social networks that you might want to use, like Google+, WordPress, Constant Contact, and MySpace.
I like to keep my classes very informal, very hands-on, and highly customized. Feel free to bring in real-life examples of social networking questions and problems and I’ll do my best to help you solve them. To sign up for classes, contact Red Lodge High School at 406/446-1903. The cost is a paltry $15.00 for the entire six-week program. See you there!