Social Media Marketing (SMM) is the fastest growing trend in digital marketing. In the world of digital technologies, you will hardly find a person who hasn’t signed up to at least one social network. Statistically, there are about 3.5 billion active social media users across the world, and another 360 new members join every hour.
The times when SM-networks served only for personal communication are long gone. Nowadays, different social media platforms are a huge field for business promotion, and over 80% of small to large companies use them for their benefit.
Social media is the fastest and most effective way to reach your pertinent customer. For a young writer Mandy Blake, it proved to be a powerful tool for increasing her business publicity and visibility. “A friend of my friend was asking for advice with her graduate school admission essay on Facebook. I saw the post and offered help. That’s how my writing business started,” says she. Social media marketing has many benefits. It allows to expose businesses to a wider range of audience and greatly improve a customer conversion in exchange for relatively low money and time spending, to name a few.
Social networks have taken digital marketing to a new level. Today, customers find out about the latest trends and offerings from their news feeds. At the same time, no two social media are identical. For instance, a marketing campaign that performs strongly on Instagram may show no visible result on Twitter. That’s why it is essential to know how each network functions to successfully manage promotion campaigns on each platform.
Luckily, learning the SMM basics doesn’t require a college degree. There is plenty of reading and video materials on this issue, let alone an ocean of tailored courses from hands-on experts.
How to obtain SMM skills?
First and foremost, define which area of social networks can be the most beneficial for your business. The field of SMM management is huge. You can focus on writing content, community engagement, or strategy building for paid marketing campaigns. Ask yourself, where your forte lies and focus on enhancing your strengths.
There is plenty of budget-friendly and free materials online, but the most meaningful experience is right in front of you. It may sound too cliché, but the best SMM learning tool is the social media platform itself. The learning materials are available in abundance. Monitor and analyze the activity of other brands. Pay special attention to their viral content and try to understand what led to such exposure. Stay aware of the latest in-platform updates and of how they influence the content.
Where else can you get SMM training?
On the internet, there are multiple educative resources on this topic. For example, the Social Media Marketer website offers several articles and video content about the latest trends, events, news, and changes in the industry. It is also a good idea, to skim and study SM white papers now and then.
Make a research on the seminars, e-learning courses, and workshops that can help you grow as a social media marketer. Although the offerings are plenty, it may take some time to distinguish worthy materials from phony.
For example, HubSpot Academy, Google Analytics Academy, and Facebook Advertising Blueprint contain a lot of good educational information and tools for beginner marketers, let alone that having a certificate from any of them would be a great plus for your resume.
Also, consider the following online learning resources to upgrade your theory and skills. Some of them are paid, but anyway, the cost will be much more affordable compared to college studies.
Created by the LinkedIn geniuses, the learning platform contains numerous video content from practicing experts. The platform is user-friendly and compatible with any device. The basic membership package costs $19,99 a month and offers unlimited access to over 16,000 courses in various niches, from basic to advanced level. New users have a free month trial opportunity.
As a MOOC platform, it offers a huge array of online courses in various fields. As a rule, course creators provide well-structured content, communication with peers, as well as teacher support. A lot of courses are self-paced. However, those limited in time can be accessed and allow working with their content even after the end date. Membership is free but most of the course certificates are paid. Here, learners should consider the SMM course by Boston University.
The platform offers a good number of massive open online courses from such top universities as Yale or Stanford. In general, membership is free. However, some courses require payment or pay only for a certificate option. SMM Specialization course from Northeastern University is worth your attention.
Akin to Linda, the course creators of Udemy are the niche leaders with real-life experience rather than theorists. Although the platform doesn’t allow membership and every course has its cost, it offers more relevant and targeted content. A great deal of good social media marketing courses costs less than $20.
In contrast to the above-mentioned platforms, Skillshare allows anyone to upload the course on the site. With such policy in mind, it offers a more optimized content, like Brian Peters’ course “Introduction to SMM”, for instance. In it, a digital marketing strategist shares his experience and valuable insights that may be quite useful for beginners. Most of the content is available for free, except some that can be accessed only with a premium membership. Its monthly cost is $15.
Nevertheless, the digital world doesn’t stay put and makes it harder to keep up with it. In the SMM industry, therefore, employers tend to hire experienced individuals with non-standard solutions in mind rather than those with lots of certificates. So don’t be content with niche knowledge only, but make sure you are no less focused on building your creativity and communication charisma.