Recently I read an interesting discussion on LinkedIn based on a question from Stacia Rubinovich: “What/who would you recommend for a "crash course" in social media marketing?
Answers varied from attending certain internet classes or online universities to the idea of learning all a person needs to know on his own. Another suggested a college while others cautioned against experts and universities. In other words, advice as diverse as the stars in the sky….
Some of the courses suggested were HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing University and Constant Contact’s three-part Webinar with Brian Solis. Schools included Drury University and Social Media for CEO Bootcamps offered all over the country. Others mentioned Online Marketing Summit and University of San Francisco.
Some of the best advice was to keep track of the thought leaders in social media. Names came up like Seth Godin’s Blog, again HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing University, Brian Solis, Guy Kawasaki, and Jeremiah Owyang. You can learn most of what you need to know if you follow these guys and read their books, papers and posts.
Other sources to consider are: Mashable, Techcrunch, Inside Facebook, Social Media Examiner, Alltop, iMedia Connection, ClickZ, Marketing Profs, Marketing Sherpa, AAF Smartbrief on Social Media and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).
Jessica Simpson added, “I learned social media through newsletters like Mashable, Social Media Examiner and Search Engine Land, I also read a ton of Jay Baer, Chris Brogan and Amber Naslund. There are so many resources out there.”
One of the most often repeated ideas was just to get out there, make mistakes and learn for oneself. Ray McKenzie reiterated what others said, “The best way is to just jump in and get started. Set up your own accounts, look around, follow folks, etc. etc.”
In summary, whether a person wants to learn in a crash course, webinars, more formal education or on his or her own, there are more than enough resources for you to become conversant in the use of social media.
In fact, there are so many resources it can become confusing. Identify your specific needs and what goals you want to achieve. Then, put together your own social media development program. Follow a few of the “masters” and benchmarking against the best out there while consistently applying what you’ve learned and soon your repertoire of Social Media skills will qualify you to be an expert.
Who are the experts that you have learned about social media marketing from?
Jaco Grobbelaar is the owner of BroadVision Marketing. BroadVision Marketing works with business owners to put in place inbound and outbound marketing strategies that consistently secure new clients. The BroadVision Marketing Training Center is located in Petaluma, CA and primarily serves companies in the San Francisco Bay area.