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Guest Post - Angela Maiers blog

Marquina M. Iliev is the Founder of Bandillero LLC. Bandillero LLC represents companies and brands in the social media space. The company has worked with marketing major fashion brands like Cole Haan, Henry Winston, and Henri Bendel. In addition, they also work with small businesses, individuals and non-profits.

Social Media marketing is primarily about engagement and finding unique ways to interact with your current and potential customers. They build quizzes, hold contests and create iPhone apps to further extend their clients’ brand(s). They go far beyond the static Facebook Update and bring a brand to life! Their goal is to educate customers about the company/brand, and also to let them interact and have fun with their applications. They combine social media with instructional learning practices to encourage interaction, increase customer satisfaction, and boost their clients’ ROI in the social media space. For more information, visit www.bandillero.com or email bandillero@gmail.com for specific case studies.

Q. Has performance and productivity changed in any way with 21st century technologies?

Current technologies have enabled us to collaborate more quickly and effectively. By nature, social media is incredibly fast-paced. We track all our campaigns to find out what works and what doesn’t work for our clients. Using current collaboration and cloud computing tools, Bandillero LLC has been able to streamline our costs and effectively market ourselves as well as our clients. For many companies/brands, social media is a new frontier. It is important to be aware of trends, but not get distracted by them.

To be sure we’re on the pulse of current trends for our clients, we use Twitter to follow appropriate related-brands, blogs & competitors. Yet, we aggregate the updates and find those that are most ‘on brand’ before acting. If applicable to our customer, we may RT (retweet) or respond to some new information. Since Bandillero LLC is a startup ourselves, we are cost-conscious. We utilize cloud computing (SaaS) applications such as Salesforce.com to track our annual sales goals and budgets. For our clients, we use these same applications and tailor them to their particular needs.

Google Docs (including the most recent update this month) have helped us as well. Using Google docs, we can post new updates and information quickly and send this to our clients. We help our clients make decisions quickly and find a measurable way to execute new ideas. In addition, we use Prezi.com when presenting new ideas. Prezi is an online presentation tool that is extremely user-friendly and makes instructional learning interactive and engaging. The tool is much like Powerpoint, but web-based, and more flexible. We are able to easily embed photos, links and video. The presentations can be done remotely by sending our clients to a URL or we can upload them to a Company Intranet (or even YouTube) and use Prezi to create training modules for internal staff.

Q. Have any of these 21st century technologies created more difficulties for you?

It is important to be able to discern a technology fad from a useful technology. At Bandillero LLC, it is our job to know about current social media and industry trends and only pass along only those 21st century technologies that we feel will benefit our client. We are able to distill the hype and make sure that our clients are not burdened with updating their profiles and instead can concentrate on their core business. We understand that social media is ever-evolving, so Bandillero LLC must evolve too. If something isn’t working, we examine why and adapt our strategy to achieve our clients’ goals.

Q. How might the look of organizational learning differ 5-10 years from now?

This is an excellent question! As employees become more accustomed to using online, collaborative technologies, organizational learning will become more effective. Currently, we are still in the early stages of using corporate wikis and collaborative intranets. In many large companies today, organizational learning still means classroom instruction. In the next 5-10 years this will not be the case. More learning will be self-lead and web-based. Part of the reason for this shift is economical. It is more cost effective to administer a web-based training than it is to send your staff to another location for a week/weekend. Also, in-person instruction requires that groups are at the same place at the same time – eLearning can be done at any time and at the students’ leisure.

It will take a few years for effective eLearning courses to be built, tested and administered. eLearning has been around for a long time, but now the general public has a higher expectation for what an online class should look like and provide. Effective online learning modules must be built to achieve particular organizational goals and educational objectives. In my graduate studies at Columbia University, we were equipped with many of the strategies to create an effective instructional learning program. Working with Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) is key to having the proper content, then it is important that the proper multimedia elements are incorporated to effectively achieve the learning goals. Bandillero LLC is especially effective at incorporating learning elements and educational games into the social media space. In 5-10 years, most organizations will have incorporated online training to achieve their learning objectives.

Q. One of the buzzwords we have been hearing is “informal learning.” Readers are asking, “Are trainers and designers responsible for the informal learning process?” What would you tell them?

Trainers and designers should be aware of, but not responsible for “Informal learning.” This is learning that can happen at home or just from shared interpersonal relationships. This type of learning is difficult to predict and control. The students that come to a classroom or e-learning session have their own unique attributes that cannot always be predicted. In general, informal learning can be viewed as an added bonus to the instructional design and educational process.

Q. What would you recommend for our readers if they’d like to learn more about your area of work?

There are a ton! Here are some of my faves:

  • Anchored Instruction: Why we need it and how technology can help. in D. Nix & R. Spiro (Eds.), “Cognition, education, and multi-media: Exploring ideas in high technology”:http://www.amazon.com/Cognition-Education-Multimedia-Exploring-Technology/dp/0805800360 (pp. 115-141). Hillsdale, NJ: Larence Erlbabum Associates. http://thorndike.tc.columbia.edu/~david/MTSU4083/Readings/Anchored%20Instruction/Bransford%201990%20Anchored%20Instruction.pdf

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