Social Media Training: What the Best Classes and Courses Offer

By Maria Peagler

Oct 09

social media training: what the best classes should offer

Maria Peagler, professional instructional designer & trainer

As a long-time instructional designer and technology trainer, I’m extremely picky about how I deliver and develop my classes.  I know what works, keep it simple for you to log in, find what you need, figure out what to do, and then get on with being successful in applying it.

What I have found, however, is that most of my members don’t realize how much more they get here at until they’re actually inside.  It’s not unusual to hear “the interaction and advice from you is the best part!”

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by too many social networks, if you have no idea where to start, or if you’re not seeing ROI from your social media, here’s a guide to evaluating your best social media training options for classes and courses:

What classes are offered and when?


First look at the breadth of classes offered, and you’ll instantly get a good idea of what the training emphasis is: how many social networks are covered?  What about Search Engine Optimization? Email Marketing?  When are the classes available?  Do you have to wait to take the class or are they available 24/7?

Can I take the class on any device?


Always ask if their video training is available on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.  Many social media training classes are available on desktop or laptop only: the videos won’t play on tablets or smartphones.  All SMOC classes, videos, and resources are available on any device.  Switch back and forth no matter where you are.

How often are classes updated?


Social media changes so often, that traditional online learning environments simply can’t keep up. offers excellent training classes, but they’re more suited to software that updates with versions, like Windows 8, Moodle 2.5, etc.

Do you get access to the instructor?


Online learning can be a lonely endeavor:  just you in front of the computer.  No classmates.  No feedback.  No help.

That’s also no way to learn effectively.  You need the ability to ask questions, clarify concepts, and get individual advice based on your business.  You get that here at SMOC in both the Private Forum and Virtual Office Hours, where you can chat one-on-one with Maria.

Is there a forum for peer networking & instructor questions?


A lively forum with member networking, Q & A, and focused help is an asset that few online training companies offer.  Here at SMOC you get not only a Private Forum, but a live chat wall too, so you can instantly chat with other members and Maria.

How are the classes priced?


Here at SMOC you get simple pricing:  one fee for EVERYTHING.  All memberships get all classes, monthly webinars, infographics, case studies, private forum, and virtual office hours.  Annual memberships also get every webinar in the library.  No extra fees, no hidden costs.

Is there help available when you get stuck?


We all hit the brick wall of frustration at some point:  Facebook photos, business vs. personal page, etc.  Who’s there to help you when you have a problem?  Here at SMOC, you can get help in the Forum, via the Chat Wall, or during Virtual Office Hours.

Who developed the curriculum?


Don’t fall for outsourced classes developed by freelancers.  That’s a cheap way to offer training, but the members lose out.  Professional classes require professional instructional designers and trainers.  It’s not something you think about until you get into a class and realize only too late that the classes are outdated, incoherent, and worst of all, a huge waste of your time and money.

What is the curriculum?  Is it hours of video to sit & watch?


Even if the course is developed by an “expert”, how is the material delivered?  Is it all video, and how long are they?  One of my members told me “I can’t sit through an hour-long class!  I want to get in and get started right away!”

That’s why you’ll get a multimedia curriculum here at SMOC:

  • Ten-minute lessons to get trained, get informed & go do it!
  • Brief videos to show how exactly how to do it
  • Screenshots you can download & print so you can refer to it later
  • Infographics & Checklists to download & print to keep you on track
  • The WHY behind a lesson (remember in high school asking “when will I ever use this?”).  Only the most relevant topics for members here.

Is there any way to customize your learning track or is it a one-size-fits-all solution?


Your business, staff, and style are unique:  what works for someone else’s business won’t work for yours.  Is it possible to customize your learning so you can focus on the tactics that offer the best ROI for your business?  Here at SMOC you get a Social Media Assessment Quiz and a Social Media Strategy Template.  Both customize your learning and your focus so you can get results and get them sooner.

Are there any infographics or checklists to help reinforce concepts?


Learning can be overwhelming, especially in social media where there are so many networks to choose from and they change weekly.  How can you keep it all straight without  it taking too much time?

Infographics – actionable ones – that offer specific tactics for results, all one one printable page.  Checklists that tell you the bottom line effort you need to be effective.

Simple. Clear. Strategic.

What have you found in searching for online training?  Leave a question in the Comments or use our Live Chat — I’d be happy to help!



About the Author

Founder of, Benjamin Franklin award-winner for independent publishing, award winning author of eight books, wife, mom, quilter and watercolor artist.

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(3) comments

Terry Atkinson October 14, 2013

Hi Maria,
The links in your emails take me to the page where you are trying to sign people up instead of to the content. How do I find the content that you talk about in the email?

Maria Peagler October 14, 2013

Terry – sorry to hear you’re experience issues with the email links. Make sure you’re logged in when you click on them, or you won’t be able to view the Members-Only content. Let me know if you need help!

Maria Peagler October 15, 2013

Terry – I’ve added a link to the “Protecting Training” page so you can login immediately anytime you can’t access members-only content. This should make it much easier. 🙂

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