When I was asked in Social With It to tell my experiences in Argentina – says Cecilia – I thought, why not? It is a great opportunity to let others know about how are we living this social media boom on this side of the pond.

To my disappointment and that of others there’s very little information; people very rarely speak of the management of social networks. It’s not that often that you can hear about social media or community management and people ask me, what’s that about? What is it for? Anybody can do that, I manage my Facebook everyday! I wouldn’t blame them really, not that long ago I thought the same thing.

I actually started because the son of my husband’s friend recommended it… Sounds complicated? Well, I started thanks to a kid that works on systems. I remember how he told me that the advertising and promotion in social networks were hot at the tie and, with the scarce information about the topic on the internet finding what was that wasn’t easy. That was my goal during 2010.

Two years went by and, like Phoenix awakening from the ashes the conversation was reborn and this time I embraced it, I changed the way I looked at it, I learned how to listen, how to search for the right information. And that who searches, finds. I didn’t know back then what it meant to be a CM, or work in Social Media, 2.0 cultures and to evangelize… I would ask myself, what does this have to do with religion? That’s the sort of thing that could fly over my head at the time. Long story short, I didn’t get it.

After some time and already well versed I told my colleague that discovery I made, the novelty, I actually needed to tell the whole world that it’s not only Facebook and Twitter, that there are other social networks. I was so hip!

I read and read. I remember using SlideShare to download a number of documents, how I started to follow certain blogs, to search people that would want to share the same way as I did.

Twitter was not longer a tool I didn’t know how to use, it had meaning and it had a purpose. Without a hint of a doubt I knew I wanted to be a Community Manager.

I chose then to be the administrator of a Fan Page or a Facebook Like, I felt I knew everything. I had the concepts and I knew how to put them in practice, what could possibly go wrong? I do this every day… Everything is under control.

That first experience was a disaster and it didn’t last much more than five hours.

That’s when I understood that I didn’t have enough knowledge to carry on. I stopped everything immediately. Any mistake could be very costly and cause some irreversible damage in the reputation of the company that trusted me with their social presence.

And it was decided, time to hit the books, this is my passion. The first question that came to mind was, where can I find a school or university to learn about this? I soon realized that there weren’t any. There are just courses and they came from everywhere, I even found a few in Argentina.

Among the many I found there was this one in the Tecnológica Nacional University (UTN), a  Community Manager course. This is “The Opportunity”, I said to myself. A well respected university in Argentina and I wasn’t wrong, I ended where I needed to be.

I found there that of course I didn’t even have half the knowledge required to be a community manager. I am half way there and I still feel there’s a lot to learn.

You learn something every day on this job, every minute of every one of the 24 hours of the 365 days of the years. You learn from everything and everyone!

You have to invest some time though and note that this is not wasted for the investment will produce benefits.

I would recommend that you keep researching, stay curious and creative. Don’t be ashamed and ask; nobody was born knowing.

And if you have the time, study. Put whatever you have learned into practice; manage your own social media profiles in a professional way. Share interesting content with your followers and be empathic with comments and critics, be open to dialogue with your target, all this will help you grow as a professional in this field.

Be patient, success will come!

We would very much to thank Cecilia Arrieta these words, a shared experience that will probably help us all in any way. Do you have any doubt? Ask Cecilia on our fanpage or leave a comment below!

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