The days of social media being seen as just social media are over. You’d be surprised at how many people don’t see social media as a genuine communications tool, but as a mere “fun thing to do” that has some marketing “stuff” attached to it. Wrong. Wake up and smell the tweets. Social media can enable a voice, a personality and most of all, an activation. But another purpose social has is education, and not just “education.” Social media is a user seeking out knowledge he or she wants – it is a direct connection to the knowledge someone thirsts for. Hard to beat, huh? Here are some reasons below of why social media is a great catalyst for education:

1. Knowledge is a click-through away: social networks are swimming with brands, organizations and users who are chock-full of information. I, along with many other learning addicts, know what I want, thus I am going to be clicking through to exactly what I want to learn. It’s that simple. I click. I engage. I learn. Just make sure your sources are who they say they are.

2. Peer-to-peer has never been so great: like I always say, the first word in all of this is “social.” So what’s learning without convening with your peers? Nothing! Social back and forth between like-minded peers builds great knowledge (and connections) over time. Go ahead, talk to someone!

3. Timing is everything: my days are jam-packed. So when do I fit in my social education time? I dedicate one hour every morning and thirty minutes every evening to educating myself with this industry. Social media is always going to be there. Take your time. Learn in your off hours (oh, and if you don’t feel like learning in your off hours then check yourself at the door. No room for non-passionates around here).

4. Teacher (author) student interaction made easy: simple. Everyone, in some fashion in this industry, is both a teacher and a student, thus we are always receptive to lending a hand or learning from someone wiser. It is cyclical. Not many industries have that dynamic. Take advantage young Padawan.

5. Questions are more honest from behind a screen: now this is not the same for everyone, but I have always been a blunt person, but I found myself to be 100% articulate when interacting via social media. Not to say I am not articulate in-person, I am. But my thoughts tend to come through clearer when writing. If this is the case for you, then by all means express yourself…but express with respect.