Gaps and Trends: Where eLearning Fits Into the Social Media Landscape

digital marketing, eLearning, snapchat, social media strategy, social media trends

March 17, 2015 by

All of us in the marketing world like to think of ourselves as experts, but the truth is that we all have gaps in our knowledge. Many of us (myself included) learned by doing when a job required it, or by watching a coworker when the task was handed down. Last year, I walked a coworker through the basics of social media marketing, and she asked me if I studied it in college. Ha! When I was in college Facebook was still only for college students, and there wasn’t any Facebook marketing to be taught.

eLearning For Social Media Trends and Cohesion

There’s nothing wrong with knowledge gained on the fly, and there are certainly advantages to learning by doing. But the downside is that you do end up with holes to fill in later, and many haven’t found a way to do that yet. We’re busy folks without time for night classes or weeklong training courses. And we’re also busy trying to stay on top of the new trends and technology in social media, advertising and digital marketing!

That space is really where eLearning fits in, to fill in the gaps and keep us current. I, for example, manage social media as part of my arts marketing job. But when the interns who work in my office started talking about SnapChat, I didn’t even know where to start. And shortly after the kids had it, businesses started buzzing about SnapChat as part of a social marketing strategy.

Keep Up with the Kids on Social Media

OMI has their vast library of eLearning videos sorted in several different ways – by topics, levels (basic, intermediate, advanced), marketing role, business type, etc. – so it’s easy to navigate straight to what you need to fill in the gaps. For me, that meant the Trends section.

eLearning social media classes

The Trending Best Practices section is a fast track to updating your marketing know-how, divided simply into areas of focus: social, mobile, tech, search and more. I found exactly what I was looking for there – this class: Trending Social Apps: Pinterest, Vine & SnapChat. Led by search and social consultant Kelsey Jones, the class is a precise and detailed look at the new visual wave of social media marketing platforms. It’s perfect because it’s focused: it doesn’t have anything I don’t need, which is a problem with many other types of development learning, which end up vague and bland by trying to do too much.

Teach Your Team to Pull Together on Social Media

Level-setting your staff is always going to be a positive, but in social media it feels essential. Often channels are maintained by many different people at once – managers, team leaders, interns – and everyone thinks differently about best practices and new strategies. Some businesses assign each social channel to a different member of staff, so cohesion is only possible if everyone is on the same page.

The intern or entry-level staff member who updates your Facebook page and Twitter account should have the same fundamental knowledge base as the social media manager pulling the strings behind the scenes, or there will be a disconnect in day-to-day content and strategy.

OMI social media eLearning class

So what did I learn about SnapChat and all the rest? Quite a bit. Classes like this are helpful because they start with the specific fundamentals, but also include plenty of real life examples of what brands are doing and which brands are succeeding.

Related class: Visuals Storytelling on Social Media

If you’re exploring the possibility of adding a new social media channel to your list, those details and examples are essential for imagining how your brand could fit in and participate. It’s just one class, but it works at any level: a social media manager could pull together a strategic plan for using the platform, while an intern could gather examples to use for their visual content when the channel gets up and running.

Social media isn’t the only field of marketing that can benefit from eLearning to level-set team knowledge – it’s an advantage no matter where you’re working. Beyond the obvious day-to-day benefits of having everyone speaking the same language in the office, this sort of across the board learning helps create cohesive, consistent content, social media and advertising by filling in knowledge gaps within your team.

Not sure where your team stands when it comes to digital and social marketing? You can use OMI's Digital IQ assessment to test their knowledge - and see where improvements can be made. Find out more and request the assessment here.

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