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Sitting in my college classroom years ago, I was given the assignment to create a Twitter account and tweet for a week. As a communications student, my reaction wasn?t normal. I had no desire to do this assignment?actually I had no desire to create a Twitter account. Even being in a communications classroom where learning these things should be natural, it wasn?t.

I didn?t see the purpose.
I didn?t see the value.
I didn?t see the potential.

Embracing this new platform just wasn?t for me.

Fast-forward five years, I find out that I am responsible for all online marketing and communications for my organization. Interestingly enough, I never thought this role would be a sweet spot for me. This new reality meant that I would be facing new platforms daily. Entering into this role, I had to face the hesitations I had:

I was overwhelmed.
I was intimidated.
I was prideful.

These were barriers and they needed to be recognized and worked through before moving forward.[quote]My job as a communicator is to identify potential in new mediums.[/quote]

My job as a communicator was to identify potentials in these new mediums. And ultimately, I had to be willing to embrace a new medium when the right one presented itself. I couldn?t let the barriers stop me.

Once I understood my barriers, I identified three filters that helped me embrace new mediums when they didn?t come naturally.

1. Establish what and why.

When approaching a new medium, you have to establish what you are trying to do and why you are trying to do it. With a variety of platforms available, I had to figure out how to simplify and bring things to a realistic level. Once my what and why were defined they were set as foundational drivers for how to approach the strategies I created.

2. Change your expectation.

In July I attended a gathering called The Best of SMS. There were 30-40 people who attended, representing some of the top non-profits and mega church organizations in the nation. One of the greatest things I learned was that ?You can never be a social media expert.? Everyone agreed. None of us were. We were learners. I had to change my expectation of being an expert to simply being a constant learner. This decreased my intimidation level and increased my perspective and opportunity to learn.[quote]You can never be a social media expert.[/quote]

3. Tap into your tribe.

Seth Godin says, ?A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.? When you embrace a new medium, don?t let pride get in the way and don?t go in it alone. Tap into the knowledge of your tribe. Ask questions, learn from their failures, and learn what worked. Your tribe can be your most valuable source.

When I applied these filters toward the new mediums I was working with, the campaigns and strategies I needed to create came naturally and the results were astounding. Within 9 months I was able to increase interactions by 253% compared to the previous year. And I?m still learning.

Recognize your barriers.
Establish what and why.
Change your expectation.
Tap into your tribe.

Identify these filters and apply them to your work. You?ll see the potential of what you can accomplish when embracing a new medium.

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