You Ask, I Answer: Teaching Advanced Topics in Social Media Strategy?

Dhariana asks, “I have to teach a 3 hour class on advanced social media strategies, but I’m having some trouble. What would you guys consider as ‘Advanced’?”

There is no such thing as advanced. One person’s advanced is another person’s basics. Audit/ask for specific skills. I think using machine learning to do long-term time series forecasting of when topics will be popular for social posts is intermediate, whereas using LSTMs and feedforward neural networks is advanced. The average social media marketer would think both topics impossibly advanced. Watch the video for the answer to this question.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode, Ariana asks, I have to teach a three hour class on advanced social media strategy, but I’m having some trouble, what would you guys consider as advanced? Oh, I feel your pain I have, I have run into this problem so many times over the years as a as a keynote speaker, as a workshop leader, there is no such thing as advanced or intermediate, or beginner.

Because one person’s advances another person’s basics, right? I may think, for example, setting up Google Analytics to track your social media traffic, that to me is basic, to another social media marketer, that’s advanced right there.

They’re thinking about like, what should I put in my photos on Instagram.

And, and so what I think is, for example, I think intermediate is using, using advanced statistics and machine learning based machine learning to do time series forecasting, predicting when certain topics are going to be of interest to your audience.

So you can create a social media calendar around those topics.

If you know that in 14 weeks, that left handed smoke shifters are going to be the most searched for thing in your industry, then you want to make sure that in the two to three weeks leading up to that, that you have content ready to share, that you have ads ready to run and so on and so forth that are reflective of what the audience is interested in.

To me that’s intermediate.

Whereas using something like a LSTM, or feed forward neural network, those to do the same kind prediction that to me is advanced, because it’s stuff that I’m working on stuff that I have trouble with, and stuff that I would like to learn.

Ask the average social media marketer.

And what I just said even and the average social media market be like that, that may as well be Greek, right, baby, what is a feed forward neural network? What does it LSTM? What is what is predictive analytics, even? These are topics that they wouldn’t necessarily view as part of social media.

But these are techniques and tactics and strategies that can be used to make social media more effective.

So the cure for this is to be very specific about the the skills that you’re presenting the techniques that you’re presenting the technologies that you’re presenting, and to be even more specific about asking people where they are in their journey.

So if you take for example, strategy, social media strategy, you want to get a sense of your audience, what size businesses have they worked in? How long have they been working in business.

So you know, someone who has someone who’s 20 has very different points of view, about social media and someone who’s 40, someone who’s 20 has different perspectives on what a company’s overall goals should be than someone who’s 40 or 60, or 80.

And so you need to have a detailed audit as best as you can, of where your your class students are, and where it is that they want to go.

What are the things that are on their minds, asking them for the broad topics first, and then digging down? So real simple example.

Someone could say analytics they want? They want to learn analytics as part of the social media strategy? Well, that’s a big bucket analytics of what do you want social platform analytics? And and how to work with that data? Like how do you make the make sense of Instagram’s? various types of reporting? Do you want mid funnel data? Like how do you connect a social network to web analytics software or to a marketing automation platform? Do you want full funnel analytics? Do you want to be able to see the ROI of social media all the way down to the CRM? Those are different types topics, those are different classes, I would even argue those are parts of a different profession in a lot of ways.

Because if you’re going to be very rigorous about your use of analytics, you’re less doing social media and more doing data science at that point, if you if you want the best possible answers.

So what I would consider advanced is probably not even on some people’s radar, what I would consider basic as some people’s advanced where other people consider advanced in their as their part of social media would be would they consider basic I would consider advanced, you know, there are some people who are so good at things like digital ethnography being able to decompose and audiences psycho graphics.

And that’s not an area of specialty for me, that to me, that would be a novice topic would be what even is digital ethnography? And and how does it apply to social media? whereas an ethnography would be like, Oh, my God, I have to teach that again, like, okay, just follow the framework is who, what, where, when, why and how.

So it’s, it’s difficult.

Assessing by the actual skills and how people use those skills, is the only true way you’re going to get a benchmark of what people want to learn what people are ready to learn, and how far you can push them out of their comfort zone.

If you send someone a survey and say, tell me about solving business problems very strategically, and they say, well, you don’t offer coupons, right to solve a very thorny problem that gives you a sense of where that person is in their journey.

And you know, they’re not ready to deal with, say, like a multi year multi prong strategy.

I remember I was at in a CEO Roundtable, and there was this one gentleman who was a retired CEO is in the late 70s.

And we were all going around.

And so asking about difficult, interesting solutions to problems.

And this one problem his company ran into, they had to close a factory to refit it for environmental reasons.

And they were, you know, looking at at 12 to 18 months shut down.

And so his solution to that problem was to offer existing customers a massive incentive by two years of inventory now, and you won’t be impacted by the the shutdown, and will give you a real sweetheart deal on the on the purchase price.

Customers lined up, they bought, they they bought and bought and bought, so much so that they didn’t even have to take a loan out to refit, the factory for the proceeds from that alone was enough to pay for the renovation.

And so they were able to conquer two business problems all at once.

That’s sort of the advanced business strategy, which again, that requires life experience and a lot of ways.

So that’s advanced to some people.

So benchmark where people are asked them to tell their stories, ask them to bring their problems, and you have a much better benchmark of what it is you need to teach in your class.

Good luck.

It is difficult.

It should be difficult because if it’s not, then you’re not delivering exactly what the audience needs.

As always, please leave your comments below.

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