Office of Continuing Education

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Christa Sterling

August 9th, 2016

There are many sports parallels that can be made with business, or even life in general. One of most accurate when it comes to learning social media is the sport of ping pong. Both are fast-moving, skill-based and time-sensitive activities that are all about optimizing your opportunities when they are presented.

As with any sport, education and preparation are key to living up to expectations. Considering there are over 2 billion active social media users in the world, it’s safe to say you want to train hard and smart for a long and successful social media experience. Learning social media skills has many of the same phases as acquiring a sport, with continuing education as a keystone of your social media success. Let’s take a look at the phases and how you can learn to stay ahead of the curve.

Time to start the social media match! Let’s play!

The Mental Phase: Learning Your Game and Opponent

To thrive at a sport such as ping pong, you have to have an intimate understanding of the game fundamentals. The same rules apply for social media. Despite the simple sounding nature of this phase, there are some inherent challenges here.

The first to consider is that we have to change our natural method for interaction. Before social media became integrated into our lives, we were limited to the number of interactions we could hold at any given time. Social media allows you to reach countless people on the internet at a moment’s notice.

Also, take into consideration the method by which you communicate to these masses. There is almost a “virtual vernacular” for successful social media communication. Less formal, more direct and, most certainly, less censored.

Interaction has become more face-to-device instead of face-to-face.

Your opponent will be going for the same goal as you: to win customers (or points in ping pong). By learning your game well, you not only know what you need to do to succeed, but also can begin to predict how your competitors will be upping their social media game. This allows you to be mentally prepared before the real game begins.

The Physical Phase: Rapid Reactions to Win Points

Now that you are in the mental state to conquer your game, you need to be able to physically execute what you know needs to be done. Ping pong is all about quick reflexes to stay ahead of your opponent, be on the defense, and position yourself to win points.

With social media, the rapid reflexes come down to the speed at which you share information and respond to questions and comments from your followers. One of the best ways to become a leader on social media is by consistently posting timely topics and being responsive. This does require quick fingers and a clear mind; much like ping pong. Time is of the essence in our modern world!

With endless social media available to potential customers at the touch of a finger, you need to be faster than the rest of your competition to keep at the forefront.

The Improvement Phase: Continuing to Educate and Build on Established Skills

With the mental and physical aspects mastered, you need to continue to grow and excel at your social media game to stay on top. This is crucial, considering the fast-pace at which social media trends continue to evolve. You trained hard to win at social media, so keep your knowledge and skills on point!

Continuing education is a must for this phase. Adult education classes can be the backbone of your training program. A well-structured class allows you to keep current on social media trends and new platforms. Not only are you receiving instruction from qualified “coaches”, but you also do not have to waste precious time looking for these answers on your own when you could be winning on social media.

We bet you never realized that adult education classes could be applicable to so many different areas of everyday life. Want to see how many different options you have to deepen your skills and knowledge? Attend our social media boot camp or learn more about our Certificate in Online Management & Digital Strategy. View open courses today!