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Perspectives Blog: Blog Posts

Why is Good Social Media Training so Hard to Find?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Catherine Roman
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Video Production. Social Media Advertising. Digital Analytics. Hands-on training on these topics can be pretty tough to find. Yet the demand for these skills keeps increasing.

 

Arik Hanson, the principal of ACH Communications and editor of Communications Conversations put it best:

 

Editor's Note: You can read the original article on Communications Conversations.

 

By Arik Hanson

 

Go ahead. Google the phrase “Social media training Minneapolis.”

 

What comes up?

 

A couple academic institutions attempting to pull it off.

 

A handful of agencies.

 

And an Eventbrite list.

 

In a nutshell, that describes my experience with social media training programs (or a lack thereof) in the Twin Cities.

 

Where are they? Why isn’t anyone doing this? Especially when there is a clear gap in the market?

 

Because, let’s be honest, there is a gap. When it comes to social media education, I see a clear gap in the following areas:

 

  • Strategy – despite the fact that almost everyone that works in the social media realm lists this competency on their resume.
  • Content development – see above.
  • Social media advertising – potentially the biggest need of them all right now. A fairly complicated process and set of tools with little to no support (outside of the platforms themselves).
  • Social analytics – another huge hole, especially when you have PR people filling it who, to a large extent, have been trained more to use the other side of their brain.
  • Social video – in other words, how to I plan, capture and edit video on and from my phone. Would probably include training on some kind of video editing program as well (i.e. GarageBand).
  • Podcasting – growing need here. Again, seems like an area and skill that VERY few people have, but I would think many would be interested in acquiring.

I know the professional organizations touch on these topics with their programming from time to time, and I think that’s great (in fact, there’s a couple really great ones coming up this summer/fall–just can’t talk about them yet!). But, I’m talking and thinking about something much deeper than a one-time event. I’m talking about real training programs designed to get very much in the weeds on the topics above. You can’t do that in an hour-long session, folks.

 

I’m thinking about something like Brainco. You’ve heard of Brainco, right? It’s a shorter, more condensed training program for creatives. It includes classes on copywriting, computer graphics and WordPress development. The idea seems to be to give students a well-rounded education in the creative field and prepare you for a job in advertising, design or brand work.

 

Exactly what we need for social media and/or digital.

 

So, maybe we should do it. Maybe we could do this together. Maybe I’m talking myself into this right now!

 

What would we need? In order:

  • A venue. Ideally somewhere downtown, in North Loop or South Minneapolis. Somewhere with small classrooms, but also a couple larger rooms or auditoriums to hold larger sessions/presentations.
  • Professors. Might be tougher than you think. For example, social advertising. I’m not sure I know a ton of people with deep experience in this area. But, collectively, we could identify the right people. We have such a vibrant digital community here in Minneapolis–I know those professors are out there somewhere!
  • Curriculum. Someone, or a team of someone’s, would need to drive our topics and subject matter. I think we could benefit by getting input from key digital leaders across our community. I think we could benefit by chatting with real professors at universities around town who are touching on this kind of stuff in the classroom (I’m looking at you, Betsy Andersen).
  • Money. We’d need funding to get it up and running. Maybe we employ a BrandLab model, which seems to be based on a combo-platter of corporate and individual donors. I mean, developing social/digital talent would definitely benefit corporations and agencies around town–why wouldn’t they support something like this?

I don’t know–what do you think? Could we do this? I’m thinking it might be worth a shot. The need is clearly there. The work would benefit us all.

 

Are you interested in developing your digital skills? Join Minnesota PRSA at our first-ever Digital Skills Workshop on Thursday, August 10. Register today!

 




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