On Monday 29 August 2011 Fluence New Marketing, the digital advertising agency I am the CEO of will launch the first interactive online course in Social Media in South Africa. Yes we know there are other online courses and a number of them are interactive as well. However, after researching the social media education space, we found that 90% of the time people learn how to use social media from some guy standing in the front of a class explaining his touche off not knowing whether anybody actually grasps this staff. We also found that too many “experts” do 1-day and 3-day workshops and seminars on this stuff. Social media cannot be understood in a day. That’s theft. Bamboozlement of the highest order. But the cherry on the cake for me personally (and I suspect the staff at Fluence New Marketing as well) is that the companies and organisations that facilitate these courses actually issue course manuals. Ha-ha-ha-ha!!!
You see social media is THEEEE most dynamic and evolutionary of all media channels and platforms. Whatever is hip today may evolve tomorrow through the introduction of a plugin or a complementary application, rendering what you learnt today futile. And so there will always be new applications introduced. Just today I started using Twylah – a new application that creates branded pages with your tweets. Just this past Friday I had no idea Twylah existed. Such is the nature of social media dear friends.
So where was I again..? Oh yeah. On Monday 29 August 2011 we will be launching The Social Media Starter Pack. This is an interactive online course in the basics and the fundamentals of Social Media. We will start right at the beginning, l-o-o-o-n-g before you follow the first person on Twitter or make your first Facebook friend (for those fortunate enough to still have their individuality intact). We’ll start in the “Garden of Eden” of Social Media, and systematically take students through the foundations, laying your first few bricks for the walls, building and fortifying and eventually the roof, i.e how they all work together as one massive brand catalyst. What’s great about the course is that it will be facilitated using the very platforms we will teach you about. There are no physical classes or timetables that you have to adhere to. You learn at your own pace and have access to your facilitator at all times – via the social networks we will teach you about. So in essence this is a course about social media that you will learn using social media. The course is 6 months long, of which 3 months will be spent learning how the tools work and the remainder actually applying what you learnt in real world branding, marketing or promotion. There will be no tests and assignments – as you know it, however you will be scored on the Google CV you manage to put together over the duration of the course having used nothing but what you learnt in the course.
We have already signed up individuals that were close enough to the agency to know about the course. We’ve also just signed up the entire staff component of a small import/export company too.. and guess what? They’ve all paid their deposits already. So we believe there is a hunger for this information and know-how out there. We aim to sign up 50 people a week in month 1 and a further 400 by month 2. We’ll also be doing free talks and free one-day workshops on The Social Media Starter Pack, but these will merely serve as introductions to the actual course.