Ah, there’s nothing like a sense of community. But, while we await Joel McHale’s next project (fingers crossed on the Community movie), it’s time to explore a new community that’s emerged from the Social Media Examiner. That’s right, if you haven’t heard,  Social Media Examiner has launched the Social Media Marketing Society, an exclusive community for marketers to get education, share ideas, and chat online.
If you’re not a member already, you’ll have to wait until 2016 to register and gain access. They started building the community almost a year ago and it currently has more than 1,200 members, but unfortunately for you, they’re growing it in phases. So in the meantime, I’ll do my best to give you the rundown.
Cost to join is $40 a month. Is it worth it? Well, I’ve only been using it for a couple weeks, but what I found is promising. The training section has great videos on topics such as driving website traffic with YouTube, optimizing WordPress for organic traffic, increasing Facebook exposure with native video, how to create social proof for a website, etc. I hope as it progresses these topics bridge the gap into some hardcore backend training for integrating social campaigns with CMS and maybe some Google Analytics hacks.
The forums are also very active with folks hashing through real-world problems and getting community feedback to solve them. Questions range from using platforms like Periscope and AdStage, to queries from podcasters on topics, and others drumming up new campaign ideas. I was also intrigued by the community’s virtual events and hangouts they host monthly. I haven’t been able to attend one yet, but they look promising. And, they archive them so if you miss the topic, you can still consume the content. If you thrive on brainstorming, these events could be gold.
The community is easy to navigate. It follows the Facebook model of offering a profile and connecting with friends, seeing information in a dumb-down feed (which is sort of hokie), but the real gems here are the training and forums. While there are a lot of quote-unquote experts in this community, there’s also a lot of folks just starting out and learning. For those wanting to get better educated on the topics and trends, this community appears to be a friendly spot. And, there appears to be enough to also keep the experts entertained.
Net, net, Social Media Marketing Society is worth my $40. We all struggle and face challenges in marketing. Sometimes it’s good to know others are facing the same issues. Having this lifeline can help accelerate problem solving.
I’m not super familiar with MarketingProfs training, but have plans to jump in there as well. Once I do, I’ll offer up a comparison.
Are you in the Social Media Marketing Society? If so, what do you think so far?