Week 17

Throughout the course of this class, I really enjoyed the opportunity to mesh my personal life, as a student finishing my degree, with my professional life, as a business owner using social media to grow my company. Mid-way through the semester, my incorporation documents cleared and I officially became an S Corp, which was a really cool thing! However, it also added an extra layer of pressure to my business. Now that it's "real," I need to start treating my social media profiles like a "real" business, too! Luckily, this class had so much helpful information to help me better understand building a business online. I'm leaving this semester feeling very informed on the ins and outs of using social media for business.

The main difference I noticed in my use of social media for my business during this class was on Facebook. I was already actively using Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube to reach my audience, so my use didn't change much on those platforms. On Facebook, however, I had pretty much given up on investing time onto the platform. About a year ago, I decided that my target demographic was on Instagram and Twitter more than Facebook, so I stopped allocating time and resources to that platform. During this class was the first time I had used it much at all since then. It was definitely good for me to brush up on my Facebook knowledge, however I still don't think it's the right platform to reach my audience. I aim for a younger, millennial female audience, and Facebook's audience skews older so I prefer to allocate my time to other platforms.

In terms of impact on my business, I actually noticed a slightly negative impact on my business through the course of this class. Prior to the semester beginning, I had already been posting daily on Twitter, 5 times a week on Instagram, and twice weekly on Youtube, so my social media use was pretty high. During the semester, I struggled to keep up with my workload for the business, while also keeping up with the workload for this class. I tended to use Instagram less, down to about 3 posts per week, and had less time to workshop video concepts for my Youtube channel, leading to a decrease in viewership by about 28%. Sales of my merchandise also dipped by 29%. While I definitely enjoyed the content of the class, balancing my business and the class did have a negative impact on my business.

With this course concluding, I feel I have a better understanding of how to use social media to successfully develop my business. Analyzing the content and profiles of other real-world businesses helped me to take a more critical look at my own profiles and focus on my areas of weakness. I also gained alot of knowledge from analyzing my competitors and pulling from their successes and mistakes. I realized I could be investing so much more time into Twitter and am already working with my content producer to create a new strategy around Twitter content.

My viewpoint of social media is pretty much the same as when I started. It's an amazing tool to create a business or grow a business, and is vastly underused by many corporations across varying industries. It was great to see so many of my classmates create and grow their business ideas, and I hope they continue to invest their time and energy into growing their businesses. Social media presents endless opportunities for those who are willing to work hard and think innovatively, and I am grateful that education institutions like Mira Costa are beginning to create classes around this new frontier.