Importance of Continued Education on Social Media

Importance of Continued Education on Twitter - #TwitterSmarter chat with Karen Freberg - December 5, 2019

People often say that it’s tough to be a medical professional because you have to keep yourself updated about all the new developments in the industry. However, when you think about it, that’s true of all professions. Just as a doctor should be aware of all the latest treatment facilities available across the globe, a hat salesperson should also know the latest styles and the older trends making a comeback.

Business and social media aren’t any different. Whether you’re an individual business owner or a marketing professional, you have to keep learning if you want to stay relevant. That’s why we invited Karen Freberg to our weekly #TwitterSmarter chat. As a consultant and social media professor at various institutions, including the University of Tennessee and USC Annenberg, we figured Karen would be the ideal person to ask about continued education on social media.

Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Karen Freberg
Topic: Importance of Continued Education on Social Media
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share their ideas.

Q1: What do you mean by continued education on social media?

As our guest mentioned, learning is a lifelong endeavor.

And so, continued education on social media refers to being open to new ideas, adapting to changing trends and growing with everyone else. It’s progressing in a way that benefits all.

However, it’s important to remember that continued education also means that you invest in knowledge and learning in the long run. For example, in addition to experimenting new practices, you also should be open minded to adopt them and evolve in future, as necessary. Learning begins with mindset.

There’re many ways to learn on social media. Twitter chats, in particular, help keep up with changing trends and embrace new features. But if chats aren’t your thing, or if you’re in an awkward time zone for chats, you can always turn to podcasts, as Jeremy mentioned. They’re so versatile that they don’t demand time out of your schedule—you can listen to them while commuting or in the shower.

Q2: How important is continued education for social media marketers?

So important that it should become mandatory.

Karen pointed out that professional development and training should be a part of a social media marketer’s job description. If you don’t have an allowance at work for continued education, you should think about asking your supervisors for it.

Social media is a changing beast. There are thousands of updates and improvements every day and every moment that it’s hard to know everything at once. You’ll be fine to miss one or two updates, but if you’re not making any effort to teach yourself what’s happening in your industry, then you’re slowly fading out. As Gene said, regardless of industry, social media professionals can’t afford to be unaware of what’s happening around them.

Q3: How can you use Twitter for continued education?

By participating in Twitter chats, of course. That’s one of the major ways of learning for myself and most others in our community. Even if you don’t actively contribute, you can still learn a lot by observing, listening, and interacting with others in your niche. Twitter is also an effective way identify influencers and experts in your field and collect articles and other resources you can refer to later. Now that Twitter has introduced the bookmark feature on the web, it’s easier than ever to take notes.

Rafael shared an excellent idea: List out the topics you’re keen to learn about and create a column for each one on TweetDeck. Explore Twitter’s default analytics—filter your audience by location, interest, and topics. There’s a ton of great information in there for you to work with—use it.

Q4: What should an ideal continued education program contain?

When you’re looking for an education program, there’re a few things you need to look out for. Here are the most important things that Karen includes in her classes.

  • Reading material and best practices.
  • A list of people, influencers, industry experts to follow.
  • Case studies and example use cases.
  • Speeches, articles, and videos of industry experts discussing important topics.
  • Certifications and course materials.

Of course, in addition to all these, it’s important to create a thriving learning environment. Most people learn fine on their own, but almost everyone learns best when they have a chance to ask and clarify each other’s questions. That’s why you should always engage in a community online. Look at #TwitterSmarter, for example. Everyone in the chat is welcome to voice their thoughts and learn from each other. If Twitter’s not your thing, you can also create that community on Facebook or LinkedIn groups.

As Dr. Hecht reminded us, one of the most important things in an education program is making sure that everyone has the freedom to speak out and share their ideas. Freedom of speech and creating a safe space for conversations are the primary requirement for any continued education program.

Q5: Who are the leading voices in continued education on Twitter?

Obviously,Karen herself is an excellent resource for continued education on Twitter. You can rely on her to teach and help you when you need it.

Here’re a few of Karen’s recommendations. Definitely check them out:

If you’re in the healthcare industry, Matthew suggested following Mayo Clinic. They have a diverse group of active users who discuss the latest developments in healthcare and about conferences around the industry.

Here are a few more social media professionals to check out:

For certification programs, take a look at HubSpot Academy, Hootsuite, Meltwater, and Facebook.

Q6: How can continued education help grow your personal brand?

Continued education is a two-way street. While you learn, you also get to teach others and share what you learn. That’s the beauty of social media—you can never take without giving something back to the community.

What’s more, as both Sabrina and John pointed out, continued education also makes you as an expert in the industry and helps establish your credibility among your peers. That way, you’ll also develop the necessary skills required to serve your clients better. Your personal brand grows when you enhance your expertise and share it with others.

Q7: Share your top resources for continued education.

Karen shared her top resources, saying that all of them invest a lot in education. Now that’s the kind of commitment you need from a brand. Hootsuite is an excellent resource for learning about Twitter and other social media best practices. They also host a regular Twitter chat that you can join in and learn from.

HubSpot Academy has a ton of great blog posts and certifications. They also have step-by-step guidance programs for their certifications so you can learn whenever you’re comfortable. Madalyn also vouches for Hootsuite and HubSpot.

Similarly, Facebook Blueprint and Stukent are also useful to look at.

Here are a few favorites from our community members:

And some Twitter chats like,

  • #CMWorld
  • #ContentWritingChat
  • #TwitterSmarter
  • #BrandChat
  • #ContentChat

Q8: What is the role of certification programs like Facebook Blueprint, HubSpot, and Hootsuite in continued education?

The best part is that all three certification programs have officially been included in university education curricula. That’s a great achievement—it means that we’ll soon have a host of graduates who know the importance of continued education even before they get a job in the real world.

Karen also plans to include these certifications in her classes, so that more people can easily access these knowledge banks.

Besides, these certifications not only teach you new skills, but also add weight to your resume, boosting your employability. Continued education is the way of the future.

Well, folks, that’s all from me this week. Check out this Twitter Moment that our team member Joana put together for more insights from our chat with Karen. And if you’ve got some time to spare on Thursday, join us for our next #TwitterSmarter chat at 1pm ET.

About me, Narmadhaa:

I’m a writer of all things—technical and marketing copy to fill the pocket; haiku and short stories to fill the soul. A social media enthusiast, I’m a member of the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and always happy to take on writing gigs.

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