by Holly A. Phillips

Last Wednesday, I was really excited to get to attend a social media seminar — “Making the Hashtag Your BFF” — hosted by a local creative firm, Dezins Interactive.

I’ve seen DI advertise for these seminars before, but I’ve never been able to make it, due to my hectic retail schedule. Well, I guess no one shops during the summer, because they cut hours big time. So, not only am I writing more and helping clients, but I’m also just doing things I’ve been wanting to do for the past six months, but have had to put off.

Since I left corporate world, I’ve had this giant fear that all of the sudden, I’ll lose all of the knowledge I gained over my seven years of work. I’m not really sure where this fear came from; I think it’s because I spend a lot of hours working from my dining table (or from my bed) and most of the conversations I have are with Blanche, and they’ve got nothing to do with style rules, social media, or Google Analytics.

So, I’ve made it a priority of mine to keep up with the outside world. I watch the news every morning (HLN with Robin Meade at 6am, and TODAY at 7am), keep up with any tech news via Twitter, am teaching myself the ins and outs of SnapChat (@OrangeJulius7), attend networking events, and go to seminars where I can meet people and learn a few things.

I went to a networking event about a month ago, and I came equipped with a fresh stack of business cards. I met lots of people and it seemed to be a successful event — I walked away having several potential clients.

But one in particular threw me for a loop when she started spouting off statistics regarding social media visibility. I hadn’t heard any of these numbers she was mentioning; and a lot of her social media “rules” were ones I didn’t think were correct. Was I losing my knowledge?

So, I was excited when I had a morning off at the same time DI was hosting a seminar on hashtags. Now, I’m pretty familiar with the hashtag, as I use it all the time for personal use — Instagram, Twitter, blogs, etc. — and I’ve helped businesses and brands build campaigns around it. But it’s always good to have a refresher course.

I did learn a few things about hashtag etiquette and how I can promote my personal hashtags (#TheBitterLemon, #CatLady) more online. I want to use these hashtags to spark an open dialogue with my readers, so if you’ve got a question, comment, or something to share, use one of the hashtags!

It was also cool to see so many individuals from different businesses and companies around Baton Rouge embracing social media and learning the tricks of the trade in order to promote their brands to the world.

Special thanks to Holly for this awesome blog about our DI Education Series!