11 Effective Ways to Learn About Social Media Marketing

kindergarten graduate in cap and gownYou need to learn how to market your event or business using social media and you need to learn quickly. Fortunately, the age of the internet offers social media education in a variety of forms. You can learn in the way that best suits you. The only thing you really need is an hour or two a day to make use of the following tools.

1. Search Google

When in doubt Google it! This is a response that our younger generations don't even think twice about. Google has become an extension of their brains. As a member of the baby boomer club, I understand how this takes a while to become a habit. But once it does, you'll be surprised at what you can accomplish.

2. Search Twitter

Twitter is an amazing tool for finding conversations and links on all kinds of topics. By using the Twitter search function you may also discover a whole community with the answers to all of your questions. For info on social media keep a special eye out for Twitter chats that provide an opportunity for you to get your specific questions answered by others who have been doing it for a while.

3. Search Facebook

Facebook can put you in touch with experts, groups and even apps related to the things you need to learn. Again, all you have to do is make use of that search tool

4. LinkedIn Answers & Discussion Groups

You can find a ton of great information in the various discussion groups on LinkedIn. Just make use of that search function and be sure you have pointed it toward "Groups." And don't forget about "Answers." Just type your question in the search box.

5. Quora

Quora is a great resource for finding answers to just about ANY question. It was specifically designed as a community for crowd-sourcing information. Like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, it is a social media platform.

6. Click on Links

Personally, I found most of my social media education came from clicking links on Twitter. Information is the grease that keeps Twitter running smoothly and bloggers and their friends make ample use of it to promote valuable yet mercifully brief blog posts. Bloggers know how to write with scanners in mind. They will give you bite sized info that you can quickly act upon, thereby solidifying the learning without overwhelming or taking too much time.

7. Follow RSS Feeds

When I find a particularly useful blog, I subscribe to the RSS (real simple syndication) feed. You can do this with a feed reader like Google Reader. That way, I am updated whenever my favorite bloggers have posted something new.

8. Make It a Habit

Set aside at least 30 minutes to an hour a day in which to learn about and practice what you learn on social media. New media marketing strategy takes time to implement. Get a jump on it by taking a few baby steps as you learn online every day. The time you take with this can make a huge difference for all of your future business and career endeavors.

9. Make It a Game

A good way to get hooked is to make it a game. Set a goal of gaining a certain number of quality followers or friends by a certain time. Or plan to learn how to do one new thing ever day or at least once a week. Or set a traffic ranking goal that you would like to achieve for your website. The possibilities are endless. Turning social media marketing into a game certainly made a big difference for me.

10. Attend an Online Class or Webinar

As you conduct searches, attend discussions and click on links, you are bound to run across webinars offering more education on social media marketing. These can be great opportunities to get a lot of valuable information at once. Just make sure that you are dealing with someone who truly knows the topic. Google the name of the presenter or his company. If there are many search results that link the presenter to the topic in what looks like a credible way, then he or she is probably the real deal. Beware of social media "experts" who lack a strong presence on social media.

11. Find a Mentor or Coach

You're likely to meet a number of friendly and helpful people on any social media platform. If you hit it off with someone, don't be shy about asking questions. You may even be able to answer a few questions yourself after a while.

Download our eBook on Social Media for Event Marketing.

(Photo by wrightbrosfan)

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