Nancy MyrlandAll Posts, Career Development & Education, Social Media 1 Comment

Social Media: Never Stop ExploringI’m in the midst of researching and gathering posts that deal with predictions for 2013 in all areas of marketing and communication. As you might guess, the ones that are written about the most have to do with digital and social media.

I’ll curate and publish this ever-growing list of predictions for you in the days to come, but today we will talk about the need for exploration, and how you might want to think about it as it pertains to your job.

Changes in digital communication are rapid and abundant, so it makes sense that those of us who write about impending changes in marketing focus on digital media, and the social networking that takes place within these media.

As Olof Schybergson, Co-Founder and CEO of Fjord, a global service design consultancy that works with top clients including BBC, Citibank, ESPN, Flickr, Foursquare, Nokia, and Qualcomm wrote in his article on Fast Company today…

“The constant presence of “new” in our work feeds our curiosity, and makes exploration a necessity.”

Indeed, Olof!

Because there are numerous daily changes in these spaces, to sit back for very long means we miss discovering amazing advancements, progress, warnings, nuances, challenges, new approaches and connections that help us do our jobs better. They help us do our jobs better because we stay informed, connected and in touch with how we might better serve our clients.

This isn’t to say that every one of you has the time to take a deep dive into Social every day of your life. That’s not realistic. You have your own practice areas of expertise that you have to stay on top of, to explore and to strive to perfect so you can best take care of your clients.

Exploration is a necessity.

I take the time, which is NEVER enough for what I want to explore, because it is my responsibility to help my clients stay in touch with marketing, strategy and implementation, and because I love doing so. Exploring these spaces comes easy to me because I have a natural desire to learn, to serve and to connect, which is easier these days because of Social Media.

Exploration is a necessity.

That is no different than what you have chosen to do for a living. Hopefully, you have a hunger to constantly explore your area of expertise because you love it, and because you know you can better serve your clients if you do so. They look to you to become their experts, their guides, their counselors and, sometimes, their conscience when it comes to making wise decisions.

Exploration is a necessity.

To break the cycle of exploration, or your desire to learn as much as you are able, whether in Social and Digital, or in any other space, is doing a disservice to your clients. It is also shortchanging you because you aren’t growing, and that typically doesn’t make people feel good for very long.

If you don’t have time to explore, ask for help. That is still exploring. When I have an area I need to learn, or perhaps isn’t at the core of what I do, I often go about tapping into other resources to get up to speed. That’s still exploring.

So, yes, to take Olof’s quote even further, the world around us doesn’t stop.

Our clients’ needs don’t stop.

…and he’s right:

“The constant presence of “new” in our work feeds our curiosity, and makes exploration a necessity.”

Don’t ever stop exploring, okay?

Don’t become complacent, or overwhelmed to the point of advancement-paralysis.

I don’t plan to, and I hope you don’t, either.