Social media is easy, right? You just set up an account on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and all the other social media platforms, start posting and you’re away – wrong!
You can’t simply read a few articles about being a lawyer, accountant or business professional and become an expert, so why is social media any different? So many people think that gaining certificates or learning social media courses isn’t necessary – well, that’s a slap in the face for the social media industry and the professionals within. In fact, it’s an insult to the entire concept of education.
Let’s explore why learning social media helps to complement on-the-job experience.
Whether you’re a marketing professional or business owner, you must avoid making mistakes at all costs. While it’s true that people learn by making mistakes, it should be noted that making mistakes on social media negatively impacts your customers and business. Why would you risk gambling with your clients’ businesses by refusing to learn about social media? That’s just arrogant and dangerous.
Mistakes can be prevented and decision-making improved if people take the time to learn about social media from accrediting bodies and companies. Trial and error isn’t an effective or advisable method of decision-making.
Timeless Fundamentals of Social Media
Social media isn’t a stand-alone discipline; it incorporates SEO, content marketing, lead generation, sales, HR, customer service, advertising, marketing integration and so much more. To understand the multi-functional use of social media, one must first learn the fundamentals.
The most common complaint about learning social media is that the design of courses can’t keep up with the rapidly changing pace of social media. Yes, platforms change, new ones appear and older ones evolve, but there remains a set of fundamentals that can stand the test of time.
Social media is a place to connect and engage with human beings. Building relationships and being social is the key to success on social media. Once you’ve formed relationships with your target audience, the concept of sharing relevant and useful information will always be an area of importance regardless of how fast social media changes.
Analyzing your social media activity and customer responses requires the use of on-site or third-party tools, making the concept of testing and measuring timeless. New tools and apps are constantly being created; you don’t need to know them all – simply how they should be used and the benefits they reap.
The fact that social media changes so frequently should encourage educators to provide fresh material so they can’t be accused of being static or out of date.
I spent the first 30 years of my life with a somewhat anti-academic approach to work and my career until I realized that I couldn’t gain the experience I needed without the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed. It’s a classic example of the chicken and egg – how can you gain experience unless your skills are in demand?
Of course, you need experience to prove you can apply what you’ve learned, but you need to learn first.