How to Learn Social Media Marketing the Strategic Way

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Is there a right way to learn social media marketing? Considering the way we each learn uniquely, I think there is no one correct answer. 

But with all the materials and content made available, it’s a challenge learning things most efficiently and quickly possible. 

Think about it, you may be … 

…a worker who was assigned a task in handling the social media of your boss 

…a freelancer wanting to learn how Instagram works for business 

…a businessman or entrepreneur who needs to know how to set up a Facebook page

There’s a likely chance that you need to know how things work the soonest possible time so that you can decide and take action. 

And for you to do that, you need to be able to learn and implement faster than your competition. 

And the way to do that is to learn strategically

But how do you do that? 

In this article, we’re going to introduce a framework that you can use to learn social media marketing in the most efficient and fastest way possible – strategic learning

We’re going to talk about…

  1. What Your Learning Goals Are
  2. Pre-Learning Considerations 
  3. The Meta-Skill of Meta-Learning
  4. Goalsetting using OATS

Let’s begin… 

What Are Your Learning Goals

One easy way to cut down on the time in learning a skill is to understand what and why you have to learn. Why? Because we simply cannot accommodate all materials and content in learning, knowing that we have limited resources. These resources, which could be time, money, and energy must be conserved so we can work in the best way possible. 

So let’s look at the kind of goals that we have to consider starting with … 

PROFESSIONAL

Professional goals aren’t just limited to moving up the corporate ladder or gaining a higher position in an organization. In this instance, a professional goal means building an edge by getting relevant, marketable skills. These marketable skills will put you above the rest of the professional crowd, or at the very least, get you noticed by potential clients, customers, or employers. 

When this is your goal, you have to focus on not only getting certified and recognized. You also have to work in becoming competent and being able to produce results that potential clients, customers, or customers need. 

Ultimately, your focus in learning for your professional edge is to get a skill set that shows competence. 

BUSINESS 

Alright, you’re not really learning because you want to get hired. You want to master social media marketing because it’s this newfangled thing that can get you more business. 

Social media marketing can indeed help you in making your business more well known. But you have to consider this when learning social media, ultimately your goal in using social media is to get more leads, sales, and retentions. 

What do I mean by this? Here it is…

  • Leads. These are your potential customers. So when learning about social media marketing, learn skills that will help you get more leads that will eventually become…
  • Sales. These are first-time buyers of your service or product. Sooner or later, you have to get them to become…
  • Retentions. These are your repeat customers. Social media marketing can be used to help you communicate with them.

Whatever your business goals are, look at learning through the lens of those three things. 

PERSONAL 

Of course, you are learning something (like social media marketing) not merely because of professional or business reasons. No doubt you’re learning it because to you this is something fun or enjoyable. 

In the end, there is a guaranteed satisfaction when it comes to mastering something. With that in mind, your learning for personal reasons can help you stay motivated as you go through all the learning and material. 

So know your goals. And keep these in mind when you prepare yourself using the next step… 

Pre-Learning Considerations 

It’s foolish to just get into a program without considering it first. No doubt, you are excited to follow through after reading an article, watching a video, or finishing a course. But if you just go through the material without preparation, you’re absolutely going to fail. 

So consider these three things before actually making plans…

COSTS 

The burden of living is that it has limitations on everyone. We all have limited resources that we have to use to achieve in whatever plans or goals we set out. 

Consider the following limitations when it comes to your learning in social media marketing: 

  1. Time. We all have the same number of time, although it is limited. And considering that you don’t really have all your time to spend learning, you should know how to prioritize your time. 
  2. Money. Yes, there is always a chance that the money that you have isn’t enough for learning and implementing. In which case, you have to find more affordable alternatives that will help you achieve your goals.
  3. Energy. Even if you hypothetically have the time and money to do the learning, you are limited by the power that you have in accomplishing things. As much as possible, you don’t have to strain yourself. You have to find a way to have reserves of energy to be able to do more efficiently. 

Consider counting the costs of learning because it is not only financially expensive and irresponsible to do so. If you fail in understanding and doing this, it could spell disaster for your education. 

FORECASTING

No, we can’t see the future. But we can always imagine what’s going to happen when we learn something. 

When we forecast the effect of a learning track, we get an idea of what we can potentially become when we acquire a skill. 

For example, when we learn messenger marketing (which is becoming an essential part of social media marketing), we can imagine what we can potentially achieve with it. Consider the following questions…

  • Are we going to increase the number of leads, conversions, or retentions when we become skilled in it? 
  • Are we going to have more clients? 
  • Are we going to grow our business? 

In forecasting the effects of learning a skill, you also have to consider that it affects YOU and

THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU. 

IMPLEMENTATION 

A skill is not a skill unless it gets implemented. Otherwise, it is just the concepts that you have in your head. Ultimately, if this is the case, you have wasted your time learning that skill. 

For example, learning about Facebook marketing involves creating an optimized Facebook Business Page. It’s great knowing that you need to make sure to include essential details and a clear call to action. But if you don’t actually create your own business page, it will just be useless to you. 

Active skill learning always involves you being able to use it in your professional, business, and personal life. Always keep this in mind when choosing and learning a skill. 

Learn Quickly when you DiSSS or Tim Ferriss’ Meta-Learning Process   

Now that you’ve counted the cost, forecasted, and have a plan to implement, you now need a process to learn. 

Fortunately for you, Tim Ferriss created a process from his book “The 4 Hour Chef” that you can use to learn a skill the soonest possible. 

Here it goes… 

DECONSTRUCTION

The first thing you have to do is to deconstruct a skill. This means that you need to know its inner workings or processes. 

Take, for example, Content Creation in social media marketing. You need to understand that its process includes 

  • setting goals 
  • market research 
  • content planning 
  • content creation publishing 
  • gathering feedback 

To know this, you need to be able to observe and see how each step works. 

Once you know this, it becomes easier for you to go through the process of learning. 

Suffice to say, deconstruction is the first step you have to take to master any skill.  

SELECTION 

You can’t just use any material or content in learning. It has to be directed to the goals you have. 

Also, in selecting, you can consider the following things: 

  • Cost
  • Length of Time
  • Availability of Mentorship 

Think about it if you want to learn how to use Instagram for your fashion business. It would be more prudent if you purchased a course entitled “Instagram for Your Fashion Business” instead of just buying “Instagram for Dummies.” So you have to select the right material for studying for your goals. 

SEQUENCING

Learning a skill involves a logical progression. This means that you can’t advance in something without learning prerequisite skills. It’s like a karate black belt. He or she won’t be able to develop to the highest level without understanding the basics and continuing. 

The same thing happens through the learning process. When we skip ahead and miss out on critical processes and skills, we fall in danger of not learning a skill or skill set. 

For example, if you want to be able to use Facebook Ads effectively, you don’t just go boosting your post. You need to be able to understand your offer, your market, and the details of how Facebook ads work. Otherwise, you run into the failure of your ad getting disapproved or not even converting. 

Always remember that you have to follow a logical progression when learning. 

STAKES 

A lot of people who take courses or vow to learn, fail to follow through. They always make the excuse that they lack the motivation to learn. 

But that can be remedied by considering one thing – STAKES. 

When we undertake a goal without any stakes, then we fail to keep up our motivation. 

Consider learning Visual Branding; if we lose or gain nothing out of learning how to create a compelling visual brand, then we don’t really advance at anything. We just learn concepts and fail to implement them. 

In using stakes, we have to consider the following kinds of it and use them: 

  1. Positive Stake. What do we gain if we learn a skill or finish a task? Think of this is a reward when we become successful.
  2. Negative Stake. What do we lose when we fail in our learning or task? This is more effective since we are all risk-averse. 

Remember to have stakes, otherwise learning will not matter as much. 

Now that we have an idea of how to learn let’s now look at an actionable process of goalsetting for learning. 

What A Healthy Breakfast Taught Me About Goalsetting and Learning or the OATS Method 

I’ll never forget breakfast with my dad. He taught me a powerful lesson while we enjoyed a hearty bowl of oatmeal. 

He told me that in goalsetting and learning, we need to have OATS. 

What does he mean by that? Well, it stands for…

  • OBJECTIVES 
  • ACTIVITIES
  • TIME-FRAME 
  • SYSTEMATIC EVALUATION 

Let me break it down to you… 

Imagine if you are learning how to use Pinterest for your business. You have to start with your …

OBJECTIVES 

This means you have to know what your end goal is. In this case, it could be increasing the number of followers. 

Then you need to know what you are going to do to achieve that. That would be the …

ACTIVITIES

These are the actions that you have to commit to. You need to do these things so that you can achieve what you have set your mind to do. 

So you list them down and prioritize according to a timeline. It could be creating content and also connecting to other users. It depends on what you think is essential to you. 

You then have to consider that the activities you do must fit a …

TIME-FRAME

Never forget that time is a limitation that we all have. That is why you have to consider and also allocate the timing of the activities that are set out. 

If you fail to do this, not only will you be wasting time but also energy and money. 

Do everything you commit to doing because, in the end, you have to do … 

SYSTEMATIC EVALUATION 

Goals aren’t goals unless they are measurable. That is why you have to check your progress consistently. You also have to check if you have achieved what you have set for. 

If you don’t systematically evaluate your process, then you will never know if what you did worked. 

Now learning social media marketing might be a challenging task. But if you have a strategic framework in learning it, just like the one here, then you will have a better chance of learning it quickly and more efficiently. 

Bo Moldez

Bo is a copywriter and digital marketing professional working as a staff of Social Media Academy. He likes long walks in the mountains and sleeping like a baby.

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