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I’m not sure why I’ve started using the words levels so much in blogs

Maybe as I’ve crossed over to wrong side of 40 I’m yearning for the childhood days of Commodore 64, Amiga and Sony Megadrive and want to level up every day

This blog is on 5 Levels Of Social Media Training For Businesses, which follows our blog last month on The 5 Levels Of Engagement On Social Media

I’d be really interested in hearing your thoughts on the levels below and where you feel you currently are

Level 1 – Not Trained & Dabbling
Level 1 is a naive position to be in

It’s one with blind hope and it’s important to note that there’s a world of difference between dabbling and experimenting

We experiment all the time as we like to try something new and know that for every experiment that lands, there will be a number of experiments that fail

But dabbling is different – it stepping out into the world of social media and shooting into the dark hoping that with a little bit of luck you might hit the mark

With no training in social media, all you can do is dabble as you don’t know what is right or wrong

Level 1 is similar to the infinite monkey theorem

The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type any given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. In fact, the monkey would almost surely type every possible finite text an infinite number of times. However, the probability that monkeys filling the observable universe would type a complete work such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet is so tiny that the chance of it occurring during a period of time hundreds of thousands of orders of magnitude longer than the age of the universe is extremely low (but technically not zero).

Dabbling can pay off eventually, but it can take 2,3 or 5 years for this to happen and when the majority of businesses fail in 5 years do you really want leave the success of your business down to dabbling and chance

Level 2 – Online Learning / Reading
Level 2 is a step up from level 1, but it’s plagued with one major issue: Do you know that the person you’re taking advice from is experienced or qualified?

In social media this is a big issue particularly as everyone and their nan claims to be a social media expert. And some are so genuinely confident and plagiarisers and pilferers, who can convince people they know what they’re talking about

If this is the 1st time you’ve read this blog how do you know that we know what we’re talking about – I’d like to think 370 testimonials can convince you, but many simple don’t do due diligence on who they’re taking advice from online

That said online learning and reading is still massively important

We listen to podcasts 5 days a week, read blogs daily and read business and marketing books a few times a week. I work in marketing and every day is a school day

Level 3 – Marketing Qualifications or Previous Experience + Online Reading
Do qualifications matter or not when it comes to Social Media is a continual debate?

And I’ll answer it as briefly as I can in the context of this blog

You need to understand marketing principles to get the most out of social media and that’s why I still draw on marketing principles I learnt between 1994-1999 in formal education. But social media itself moves so fast that any formal course in social media will be out of date by the time it’s approved on the curriculum – social media changes ever day

What you need is a mix of marketing education and practical experience within the real world (as well as topping up what you know all the time with reading)

You might not know this, but before I’d delivered a single social media training session to a business I’d had 10+ years marketing experience running other businesses as well as 5+ years formal education in marketing. At the time of writing this blog I have 20 years online marketing experience

Level 4 – Training and / or Previous Marketing Experience
Level 4 is a sweet spot

Previous marketing experience which means you have the grounding of marketing principles

Along with training (be that 121 or group) on social media so that you really get the most out of social media

Social Media is often the 1st impression people get of a business, be that from the company’s corporate account or from employees social media accounts on the likes of LinkedIn

If you reach level you really are doing more than most businesses do

Doing more than the average puts you ahead of the competition

Level 5- Continual Training / Mentoring / Reading
Level 5 is one that only the ambitious businesses in the world achieve

But I want to give you realistic expectations

We’ve all seen those blogs or social media posts where an entrepreneur claims to wake up at 5am, hit the gym every single day and read 300 books a year. Trust me – that doesn’t happen

We are talking continual learning and education, but it might be as simple as listening to 2-3 podcasts a week, reading 12 books a year and dipping into one blog a day. And then training once or twice a year so you’re up to date. Manageable levels of learning and training that allow you grow your business and still have a personal life

Chat to us about Social Media Marketing for YOUR organisation , so we can better understand YOU and what will grow your organisation

We can only find out what is unique to your business by chatting with you

Look at our Social Media Training and Social Media Management services

Or Please call Alex on 07806774279 or email

7 Tips For 7 Social Networks

Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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