Social Media

5 Reasons to Learn Social Media

Have you ever noticed how many bloggers and social media marketers just tell people that they should go out try social media? How you shouldn’t worry about learning social it? That you’ll learn it on the fly and everything will be fine.

Well, I’m not one of those. It’s absolutely in your best interest to learn the basics of social media before risking your time and money.

Jumping into social media without at least learning the basics could be a major disaster. It probably won’t ruin your company. It probably won’t ruin you. But it will be a waste of time.

Why do I say that? Well an understanding of social media theory and fundamentals makes your strategy better. How, you ask? Well…

1. It Helps You Create a Starting and End Point

Taking the time to learn social media fundamentals gives you a starting point. It helps you decide where you are and hopefully where you should go.

If you don’t learn what the marketing technique is, how will you know what it’s capable of? How can you create goals and work towards them?

Taking the time to explore social media and soak up as much information as possible gives you a better understanding of what social media can do and how to create a plan.

2. Knowledge Leads to Fewer Mistakes

On social media, a misstep can spread just as fast as a good campaign and consumers can be less than forgiving. Learning how to interact and promote a business shouldn’t endanger the brand.

Start with baby steps. Minimize the likelihood of something to go wrong. Learn as much as you can about web culture and online customer service.

Online consumers expect something much different than offline customers. You should know how to deliver it.

3. Experience Comes With Time – Who Has the Time?

Remember the common phrase, “don’t reinvent the wheel?” – Well don’t do it.

Marketers have been testing and exploring social media theories and sharing them online. Why would you want to go through that powerful information and have to learn it on your own?

You can test and explore and research your content, but we know that more often than not list posts go viral. There’s no need for you to take the time to test and explore that.

Take advantage of other’s experiences to bolster your marketing. Don’t try to recreate or “re-find” what others have already shown works. Save your time for actual marketing.

4. Learning Keeps You From Getting Frustrated

Think back to your childhood. If you’re anything like me, than math class was a horror. I’d sit there trying to do a problem and just not knowing how. After a few minutes of trying, I’d get frustrated and give up. It wasn’t until someone taught me what to do and explained to me why it is that way that I began to enjoy math.

Social media is the same way. There are fundamentals and there are strategies that you should know and understand. Don’t allow frustration lead to you giving up. We know social media is a powerful marketing tool. Don’t let it go.

5. How Are You Investing In Something You Know Little About?

It all comes down to money. How are you supposed to decide how much to invest in social media if you don’t know what it can do?

Learn what you’ll need to invest, both time and money, before throwing resources at it. Have a plan and create a budget. This will help increase the likelihood of success.

Information is key. To have a positive social media strategy you need to know as much as possible. That means both in regards to social media knowledge as well as strategies and fundamentals.

How are others in your industry doing? Why did their campaigns work? How can you recreate their success without copying them verbatim? Is social media for you?

If you don’t understand these fundamentals or have this information you’re marketing with a disadvantage.

I’d love to know what you think. How are you learning social media? Where do you go for research and strategies? Are you learning from example or creating your own ideas?

Check out Samir Balwani’s new social media guide at Training Social, a resource for anyone interested in learning social media marketing.

 5 Reasons to Learn Social Media
Samir Balwani, SiteFox.com, is an online marketer that believes small businesses shouldn’t have to be frustrated with their websites. Click here to get free tips and tricks for managing your small business website.

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8 thoughts on “5 Reasons to Learn Social Media

  1. I have found your article to be most informative, precise, as well as to the point, containing great content. I have picked up some pearls of wisdom from your posts and I really thank you.

  2. Social media requires sound marketing fundamentals… and lots of listening before chasing the latest hyped-up tool, such as Twitter or Facebook.

    invest first in product/service innovation, finding out what your market wants, and messaging that appeals to your market.

    Listening first, instead of forcing your message using traditional media tactics, will pay dividends.

  3. My two favorite blogs for learning about social media are Social Media Today and Mashable. And Copyblogger for all things related to blogging and copywriting.

    I have created Google Alerts for “social media,” “social networking” and several of the bigger social media sites so I can stay on top of what’s happening. These Alerts provide tons of content for tweets, my own blog posts, articles, etc.

    But my favorite resource to learn about social media is Google. I’ve gotten into the habit of simply Googling questions on social media. It saves a ton of time hunting around for what I’m looking for. As you said, don’t reinvent the wheel.

  4. Absolutely. Otherwise you create Facebook and Twitter accounts and then ask youself “Now What?” If you don’t learn the basics and the ettiquite, it will be a waste of your time in a very dynamic media that can really help your business.

  5. I think your last question is key – many people don’t know what to expect when they “market on social media”, and they either usually don’t have a concrete plan as to the metrics they need to look out for.

    Its good that a lot of marketers are covering the topic – that really eases the learning curve!