Everywhere you look online, there are ads for social media training. Courses, certificates, designations, diplomas...even degrees! You can study online, on-campus, blended learning, full time, part time: there are seemingly endless options.
But for most people, all this choice just adds to the confusion. If you're looking for help with digital marketing, your goal is simplification—you want to cut through all the variables and options, and figure out a training and professional strategy that works for your needs.
What's the mantra of social media marketing? Personalization. You've got to take all the zillions of tools, tech, and platforms, and figure out which ones to focus on, for your particular audience and goals.
Sorting through all the training options just makes it harder to get started.
Who is the ideal candidate for this program? What skills will you walk away with? How does the online format work?
Check out this interview, and know exactly whether this Kompass course is right for you. Done and done!
Javier, who is your social media course aimed at? What professional backgrounds do your students come from?
Actually, there is amazing diversity in each cohort. We have small business owners, people transitioning into marketing careers, and individuals who are currently managing the online presence of a business or organization.
The full name of the program is Social Media, Digital Content, and Online Marketing Certificate. This class spans generations and so many different backgrounds. I think it's a plus for anyone choosing to take the program. We all learn from each other.
If some of your students are beginners, and others are more advanced, how do you meet everyone's needs?
Yes, this is really important, and something we've worked hard to achieve. The Kompass social media training is totally unique, because we tailor the program to each student.
Because each class is so diverse, we have total novices and very seasoned marketing and communications professionals taking the course. So, we individualize the program based on each student's needs and expectations, so everyone can benefit.
Each student brings their learning goals and current social media challenges to class. And then we ensure the assignments and personal projects address those needs, so everyone gets what they want out of the training.
Whatever digital marketing issue you're grappling with at work, we want you to bring it to class, and we'll find a solution together. When students don't have a specific challenge to tackle, we present case studies to develop their skills. This is not a "one size fits all" program...it's totally customizable.
What are some common social media challenges your students bring to class?
Many students are struggling to make their social media and online marketing work. How do you grow your followers? How do you make your pages relevant? How do you maximize your website to generate more sales? What kind of content should you be sharing? These are typical issues we tackle in class.
Can you share an example of a social media challenge you helped a student overcome during training?
Absolutely! One particularly impressive example is an Edmonton-based firm, which was having a very hard time with their social media activity, because they are in the heavily regulated financial services sector.
After completing all the course modules and finishing the capstone project, the student was able to quadruple the company's online leads—and they are now helping other independent brokers do the same.
From a large jewellery chain to car dealerships to young professionals entering the digital marketing field...we've had a lot of success stories. Helping students put their new skills into action, and solve real challenges they're facing at work, is what it's all about.
Overall, what new skills do students tend to value most, once they've completed the social media training?
One of the biggest takeaways is truly understanding the way social media platforms work as communities—and not just as advertising vehicles.
I have so many students who start out thinking of social media as just another advertising platform. But by the time they finish the certificate, they've made a major shift. Now they're focussing on building meaningful relationships with their current and potential customers...which is what success on social is really all about.
One of your courses is called "Unlocking the Secrets of Social Media." Can you tell us a bit about those secrets, and what you call the "secret sauce" of social marketing?
Well, you need to take the course to see my secret recipe...but I can give you a hint. We live in a world with information overload, and too many options to choose from.
The way to cut through the clutter is by engaging your audience with messages that are highly relevant to them, and finding the right voice to be authentic and not appear ‘fake’.
This sounds simple, but can actually be quite challenging, if you don't know where to begin, or what tone to use with your audience.We work through this process, step-by-step, helping each student find the right voice and content strategy for their social media marketing.
What are the top 3 trends in social media right now—things every marketer should know or learn about?
It's hard to list just three, but here's what I think is most relevant today:
1) Videos, stories and live streaming are super-important for any social media strategy. Algorithms measure how frequently your followers engage with your page— and videos, stories and live streams all generate above-average engagement (if done properly).
2) Messaging, bots, and groups are, in my opinion, the future of most social media platforms, from Twitter to Facebook to Instagram to LinkedIn to Reddit. The notion of community remains strong, and will get even stronger.
3) Mobile devices now account for over 50% of all online traffic. Optimizing content, views and interactions to make it easy for someone on a smartphone is crucial.
I know the challenge was to mention 3, but here is a bonus one: it is becoming increasingly difficult to grow your audience organically—without buying paid advertising or “boosting” your posts. This is something all marketers need to work at.
What advice would you give someone who is feeling overwhelmed by all the new digital marketing tools and techniques out there? How can we keep up?
This is the starting point for many of our students. The feeling of being overwhelmed and not knowing where to begin.
My advice: You start where your customers are. Do they prefer Facebook? Or Instagram? Or LinkedIn? Pick no more than 2 or 3 platforms, and do content management and engagement really well, on those platforms.
Being laser-focused is critical, especially when your company or organization doesn't have the resources to build a 5-10 person social media and online marketing team.
You need to be strategic about where you put your energy, what new skills you learn, and how you evaluate your success.
What doubts or concerns do students have, when they first start the online social media course?
Some students are nervous about the technical side of digital marketing—especially when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which can be quite daunting. Others are worried that the online format won't be easy to follow, or keep them engaged.
But, because we tailor the modules to what each student needs, both with live sessions and guided content, in a few weeks students go from fear to excitement. I am always accessible to students throughout the online training. I am your personal coach from start to finish.
And students end up loving the combination of live sessions, downloadable content (they can browse at their own pace), and personal support. And that makes me very happy!
A big thank-you to Javier for breaking down the content of his online social media course. We're hoping this clarified what this certificate is all about, and whether it's the right fit for you. Still have questions? Check out the links below to request free information, or browse the program page. We're here to help!
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