Have you heard of Hootsuite Academy? I recently discovered the software company’s array of educational offerings—including both free and paid social media courses.
Hootsuite Academy offers social media training for teams and individuals. The training regimens appear to be a smart brand extension and a deep dive into brand utility (that flawlessly connects back to the company’s core product).
Standards Matter, In Social As In Life
Hootsuite also offers professional certifications, in conjunction with the Mayo Clinic and Syracuse University. These partnerships sweeten the deal from the student’s point of view. Education is an investment of time and money; a bit of academic prestige can be a helpful motivator, and upon completion, a badge of honor.
I’m interested in hearing from you on this.
- Do you personally feel the need for social media training?
- Do you believe that better work for brands will result from this training?
- Will a certificate from Hootsuite lead to bigger and better career opportunities?
A Brand’s Duty: Solve Problems for People
From the brand-building perspective, I feel like Hootsuite’s leadership in this area may inspire others to consider introducing brand-sponsored training.
What starts off as a basic webinar has the potential to blossom into much larger content plays, with more significant payouts. Based on the marketplace need for a company’s educational offerings, it could make sense to focus on serial content formats like a podcast or YouTube show. Or in select cases like Hootsuite’s, where the need is great, an entire academy full of classes.
Hootsuite’s approach is intensely customer-focused. Hootsuite’s executive team clearly asked the right questions. Like, “What does our customer need to succeed?” The obvious answer for the majority of companies is, “Our product!” Content marketers tend to think bigger than that.
The key question to ask when developing a content plan is: Where does the company’s interest in promoting its products or services intersect with the audience’s desire for information, tools, and community? To answer it correctly, you first need to walk a mile in the customer’s shoes.
If you can’t see the problem from the customer’s vantage point, you’re off to a bad start. Developing personas is not enough. The insights that inform winning content strategies come from real customers. It’s not a guessing game, it’s a listening exercise.