Instructor Highlight: Mary Ellen Merrigan


Mary Ellen Merrigan has been teaching classes at UNM Continuing Education for more than seven years. Her most recent classes have focused on marketing through social media. In these classes, students learn how to make tactical plans to use social media effectively. Mary Ellen encourages her students to start by liking UNM’s social media and commenting on a couple posts. Because it is a small community, those actions come back and grow. She then has her students post on different channels in order to find what works best for them. Everyone uses social media for something that is important to them; she believes people should begin by focusing on that. Her social media classes are not about attracting millions of followers, but rather experimenting with social media to make it more efficient for each individual.

Mary Ellen MerriganBecause social media is always changing, Mary Ellen continuously takes new classes and tries new methods of using different social media platforms. She recently went through the Social Media University, a program on that focused on looking at different social media channels in an in-depth way. They offered new methods explained by real experts in the field. The program featured a number of different videos, and the viewer could chose whether or not to watch each one. After taking a new class, Mary Ellen experiments with the methods in order to figure out how to incorporate them into her work.

Social Media Tips

  1. Think about what you want to accomplish and then take a step forward. Twitter is an immediate thought stream, and rather than posting a picture of what you wore or what you are craving, ask yourself: How can I make it meaningful to my business?
  2. You don’t have to do everything. It’s okay to do only one channel and do it well and then add another channel along the line.
  3. Stay up to date and experiment often. Social media is constantly changing, so experimenting new methods is the most effective way to stay relevant.
  4. Be consistent.
  5. If you’re using social media for a business, don’t be afraid to use a module. It can make the process easier and prevent you from always making the same kinds of posts.
  6. Social media can be a great listening tool. You could follow the top ten graphic designers on twitter and look at what they have to say or get a Facebook to see what people in your community have on their minds.
  7. Whatever is online, assume it is public. BE FOREWARNED.


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