Do you hate social media? A recent study conducted by iContact found that one in four small businesses hate social media. Reasons cited, according to iContact, included the perceived time commitment required as well as a perceived irrelevance to a business’s bottom line.
Love it or hate it though, social media is now imperative to a business’s marketing strategy. Most big businesses have embraced social media as an inexpensive way to reach targeted demographics and small businesses are expected to keep up in order to compete. Because of this importance, two of those big businesses are joining forces to offer social media classes to small businesses.
Hosted by American Express’s Open Forum and Veri, Crash Courses provide businesses with a new way to learn. The courses allow you to move on only if you answer a question correctly. Incorrect answers allow you the option of learning more about a topic before moving on to the next step.
Including classes like “Facebook for Your Business” and “YouTube Marketing”, Crash Courses educates small businesses on social media basics. Students will learn how to use each social media site’s features to create engaging content that will draw visitors in. Not only will the courses teach the technical aspects of using the site, but the business marketing aspects as well, showing small business owners the benefits of communicating with customers via social networking.
Crash Courses will use IQ Points that will be displayed next to that user’s Open Forum profile. If a user chooses, those points can also attach to his or her Facebook profile. Throughout the test, when a user gets a question right, Open Forum will display other users who answered that particular question correctly. Open Forum also awards levels, with users rising up levels as courses are successfully completed.
According to Gaebler.com, “Using social media can help small businesses reach new customers, increase sales, and effectively brand their company.” The first step to doing this, says Gaebler.com, is grasping the technology behind the sites. Once a small business has a firm understanding of that, it will be equipped to customize a social media marketing plan that meets its particular needs.
According to Gaebler.com, FedEx is also offering learning opportunities to small businesses, with recent Twitter conferences in three parts that explored various marketing issues affecting small businesses. Transcripts from all three conferences are available on FedEx’s website.
Social media courses aren’t the only Open Forum offerings. According to Gaebler.com, Open Forum will be offering classes on leadership and recruiting. Currently, the site has courses in website conversion, local marketing, and perfecting your elevator pitch, among others.
With social media becoming such a huge part of consumers’ daily lives, small businesses can no longer deny its importance. These courses will allow small business owners to learn the technology behind participating in social networking, removing a barrier for many small businesses.