Crystal King Interview | Social Media Certification

Do you have to focus on social media marketing for your business? Do you with there was a social media certification you could earn? Well, in this interview, we talk to Crystal King from the HubSpot Academy about their new social media marketing certification.

We talk about all the platforms, all the learning, and best practices when going through the social media certification.

About the Expert

Crystal King

Crystal King is a Principal Inbound Professor for HubSpot Academy with a focus on social media strategy. Crystal has led global social media and community programs for companies such as Pegasystems, Keurig Green Mountain, CA Technologies and Sybase. She has taught classes in writing, creativity and social media at Harvard Extension School, Boston University, Mass College of Art, UMass Boston and GrubStreet, one of the leading creative writing centers in the US. Crystal received her masters in critical and creative thinking from University of Massachusetts Boston. She is also a novelist, with her first book, FEAST OF SORROW, available at bookstores on and offline.


Full Transcript

George Thomas 0:02
You're not gonna believe it people today is going to be amazing. The next 15 to 20 minutes you're gonna learn so much about things that you may never have thought of and things that you might need to learn which some of you are like, I don't know, but don't. Don't stop. Let's go ahead and get into this. Are you a HubSpot user looking for fun and interactive education that helps you be better at HubSpot then. Welcome to sprocket talk. And, you know, I'm your Boy George beast from sprocket talk, aka impulse creative back with some new educational content. And today I am super super duper excited, which is, by the way very, very excited for those of you that don't know what superduper is, because we get to talk to one a person who has been killing it. And also creating lack of time for me because now I need to watch videos and learn. But crystal Why don't you explain to the viewers, the listeners who you are what you do. Who you do it for?

Crystal King 1:02
Sure. First of all, thank you for having me on. I'm just delighted to be able to have a chance to talk with you and your viewers. And I am crystal King. I am the social media professor for HubSpot Academy. And I am responsible for everything social media and digital advertising when it comes to teaching people how to understand it and use those tools. And I basically spend my day trying to help people figure all that out.

George Thomas 1:32
Yeah, and that is not an easy thing to figure out. You know, it's funny, we deal with hundreds of clients and many of them like understand some things, but fundamentally social media and being human and understanding the tactics and the tools. Not that easy, not what you would think. So here's what I want to do viewers listeners, we're going to start kind of high level we're going to dig in to the nitty gritty and the nerdy, don't worry, we're still going to keep it to where you can understand it. But I want to start Krystal with just kind of a 500,000 foot view of what is this new social media marketing, HubSpot certification that just came out. That's amazing. Like just give people a general sense of what it is.

Unknown Speaker 2:16
Yeah, so the social media certification and HubSpot Academy launched on Tuesday. It's a free course. And it basically covers everything you might want to know about social media to help you grow your business better. It's useful for all sorts of people, for people that are in small business that are students that are in companies and they you're looking for a leg up on understanding social media better. It's a great refresher course for people who've been in the world of social media for a long time. We have all sorts of universities that will be using this social media certification this fall, and so it makes Basically is a course of eight lessons. There's over 52 videos, and it will take an average person about four and a half hours to watch the videos. And then there's a 70 purse or 70, not 70 people but 70 question test, and which you have two and a half, I think two hours two or three hours to complete. And basically on once you've completed that test, hopefully, you're armed with all of the information you need from everything from how do I build a social media plan? How do I monitor? How do I create content? How do I report on that content? How do I think about social media governance and risk and developing policies for my employees? I touch upon social selling and social customer service, how to work with influencers. It's really just a soup to nuts course.

George Thomas 3:59
Yeah, buckle People because we're about to hit some of that information right here. The course is amazing and it's funny that Christopher you're like 70 people no no not 70 people but we felt like 70 people I mean and we're going to talk about this in a hot minute but you got people like Mari Smith Dennis you like it's crazy the folks that they have in here in the social media certification. The other thing I will tell you is a little pro tip hashtag hack it out. There is a Chrome extension you can get that will allow you to play the video 110 hundred 20 hundred and 30 you could download that or you could realize that the functionality is already in the HubSpot Academy section there look just just bump it up watch a little faster then it's like maybe three hours or I don't know do what you have to do anyway. I know inherently crystal that marketers are like oh yeah, of course like social media marketing. It makes sense. I should I should take this but why if there is a marketer out there, oh my gosh. If there is a marketer out there, that is is just not like, No, I don't need that one. Like what would you say to that marketer and this certification?

Unknown Speaker 5:08
I think that there is a lot of really good information in there that and good advice from all sorts of people that have been in the business for a while or who really understand key parts of the world of social media in a very specific kind of way. So for example, Dennis, you who runs on Blitz metrics, really talks about understanding reporting. If you are stuck on getting the basics and just understanding digital advertising, we have a whole lesson just on on you know, just how do I how do I think about it? There's Mari Smith, who is a Facebook expert. We also have people like Laurie Meachem who is the social global social media person for JetBlue and Carmen Collins at Cisco. So you get to hear from other companies and find out what they think about what works for them. And so there's all sorts of really interesting tidbits in there. And I really tried to draw upon a wide variety of different resources to get the best of the best. So even if you've been doing social media for a while, and there's many people who have taken the certification already, who are social media practitioners, and they've all said that, yes, this course has actually taught me a lot of things I wasn't really thinking about or it validated some of the things I've been thinking and wasn't entirely sure if it was right. So it was it's really rewarding to hear that it's it's valuable for someone who's also been in the social media field for a while.

George Thomas 6:46
Yeah, and what I'll tell you viewers, listeners is a you should always be learning and be you should go through this certification. If you're like, Oh, I'm a social media marketing ninja. You should go through this like, yep, I sure am. Yep. Whoo. And then you find the nugget you unpack it, and you become better than you were 510 20 minutes ago, you know, I do want to dive in a little bit deeper crystal, because you've mentioned something about two questions back. And you said that we even talk about social selling cha that's some ninja moves right there. And so it made me think about like sales and if sales should actually take this certification, maybe give us a couple reasons why the sales professionals out there should tune into the social media marketing certification by HubSpot.

Unknown Speaker 7:34
So I think that there's certain parts of the certification that will probably be more relevant for salespeople than others. But there's definitely a lot to be learned all the way through. In fact, the part of the reason I ended up getting into social media in my career is that I was in PR and marketing, but I worked very closely with salespeople, and they're trying to figure out better ways to get their prospects and customers to pay attention to them just like ours. I was trying to get PR people and journalists and reporters to pay attention to me. And the tactics are very much the same. It's really about building relationships and engaging with people in a human holistic way. And there's all sorts of really great information on how you do that. And I do have one, there's one video that's in the certification that's very specific to social selling, and how to think about selling through social media in a way that's not spammy and not annoying. Because no one wants an annoying salesperson in their direct messages. They just don't. So there I talk about that in that particular video. But there's also all sorts of really great information all along the way. It will help you also understand better how maybe some of your marketing counterparts work and the kinds of things that they need. And so I find that when organizations have sales and marketing working really closely together, it's always better. So I think there's a lot of good information in there for salespeople.

George Thomas 9:00
Yeah, and I look at it in this way, if you want to dip your toes into that the world has changed. And you are looking at it from a sales perspective of I really don't know how I would do that with social and what we sell because we sell like, I don't know, printers or copiers or cash automation machines and that's not sexy. There's ways that you can do it. Plus, it might be just kind of the dipping of the toe into HubSpot Academy that you need that then you go on to inbound sales and other things that are more specific to the sales professional crystal. I know that we mentioned a couple folks that are in this course but I really want you to take some time. Talk to the viewers and listeners of like yeah, you're gonna learn from HubSpot authors who are awesome, like you know, Crystal King and Eric Peters and other folks but also like who else is in this course of people realize like, Oh my gosh, like this is this is amazing.

Unknown Speaker 9:59
Yeah. So, we have actually Daria marmar, who is the product person for HubSpot social media. She's one of the people that actually is in the course. And let me also mention to this course this course is not about HubSpot software at all really. And of course, we'd be happy if people wanted to use HubSpot software but that's not the the course is actually very vendor agnostic. We mentioned a million different tools and possibilities for customers that are looking for solutions because not a one size fits all. And so, so I do want to mention that but like Daria Marmor is part of it. We also have Laura Fitton, who's some people who've been on Twitter for a really long time. She was one of the earliest Twitter influencers and she wrote the book twitter for dummies, and she's at pistachio on Twitter. We also have, we have a couple people in the academic community. And so, Professor Karen freeburg She is a At the University of Louisville, and she has a course on a lesson on governance and risk and social media policies and, and advocacy and employee advocacy and things like that. And that is pretty amazing, actually. And we also have a workbook that goes along with this social media course, that was developed by I Addison sang, who is a professor, and that is based in Seoul. But she is just put together this insane workbook that if somebody's really wanting to figure out, Okay, how do I apply all this to me? How do I think about what I'm learning in this course, and actually use it to work for me. So the workbook actually walks you through the course as well. Those are some possibilities. We I'm trying to think of everybody. There's so many people Disha Veronica, she actually was the person that was responsible for a lot of the BuzzFeed viral videos that you've seen over the years. And she actually has her own company now for video and it's called yes queen. And so she's part of it. And there's so many really fantastic people with 18 people in total that are in the social circle. Oh Carrie Kirpan from likeable media. And she's somebody who's been in the social space for quite some time, and heads up a company that helps develop creative solutions for people that are looking to get ahead in their advertising and social media from a content perspective. So we've got just great content, great people in the cert.

George Thomas 12:36
Yeah, and viewers, listeners, I want you to pump the brakes for a hot second and think to yourself, if you had to pay all of those people for consulting time, to be able to stand or sit at their feet and learn the things that they know, because they're thought leaders and experts, how much would you pay for that? And then realize this certification is 100% hashtag free Now I'm curious crystal, one of the things that I always kind of nerd out on is I understand that these certifications, these courses, these lessons, these tracks, there's all sorts of names for the things that you can find in the goodness that is HubSpot Academy. It's really for us kind of folks on the outside to learn a lot and run businesses better sell better market better. But when you put together a course like this, a certification like, like, you have to learn some things as well. So I'm super curious, like, What is one thing that you learned? That was kind of unexpected when you were putting this cert together?

Unknown Speaker 13:42
Um, well, so I did a lot of research before I put the certification together to really understand who the audience is. And we talked a lot about understanding your audience at HubSpot, that you know we talk about buyer personas and, and really getting a sense of who your audience is. And I went into The course with a very different idea of who the audience was then when I did the research. And once I did the research and realized, Oh, the people that are really interested in this course, are actually people that might only be one person in an organization managing social or not even one person, it might be a couple people that have to share the resources in social media, or I'm a student, I need to figure out how to put some really great information on my resume that's going to show that I have some skills in this. And I was really surprised to see that the average number of people in an organization that are looking to take a course like this really have one in one person or less on their social media team. So that shaped a lot of what I had to think about. I had to actually take it a step back and I'm I'm actually a small business owner in a sense on myself because I'm an author I write novels. And I have to figure out how to promote myself. And so a lot of the tactics that I need are the same ones that a lot of these people in, in all sorts of industries need. How do we, how do we manage talking to individuals in social media? How do we think about that? How do we think about the best way to develop content when we don't have a lot of money? How do we think about reporting? And so all along the way, I was able to think, Okay, well, what would I need? What do I need to help me figure this out? So I was able to switch my approach quite a bit. And I learned so many things along the way, and especially from a lot of the people that I spoke with. And so it's hard for me to really pinpoint one thing, but I would say, I was surprised to find out my audience was a lot different than I expected.

George Thomas 15:56
Ah, snap. Yeah. So and then It's funny because we always assume things and you know, like, for instance, writer novels, really like I never knew this. This is amazing. See, these are the little tidbits that I love when we extract out of these interviews because I start to know people at a higher or deeper level. And here's the thing crystal I think that for you is the thing too, is that you started to understand your audience and the people that would need this tool, this certification, this education better. And I'm sure I'm sure that so many people will come to you at inbound and be like, thank you. This was awesome. By the way people. Have you stopped by the HubSpot Academy like booth and said thank you for everything that they do for you because you should. I know I did. I think maybe back in 2015. Anyway, Crystal back I digress back on track with what we want to talk about today. What are two to three social media marketing tips that you would give the viewers or the listeners so they could up their social game.

Unknown Speaker 17:11
The number one thing that anyone can do in social is just talk to other people make small touchpoints along the way. And in my mind, social media has a lot of Quick Hits, you might get a lot of wins from those small engagements. But the bigger engagement especially if you are an organization, that or if you're a salesperson that it has a product that has a long sales cycle. Social media is really perfect for you to have small touch points along the way, in particular, engagements with individuals, maybe not necessarily at all about your product or your company. But just to get your name familiar just so that you create affinity with individuals. As an example of this. I do this With press and with book bloggers, as somebody who's trying to promote my books, I have conversations I just, you know, cotton when they post a photo of their cat eye all over it just like, you know, they want they're looking for people want to have connections with other people. And so if you create lots of little connections along the way, and when you do have something that you really want them to pay attention to, they're going to be much more inclined to do so. So I would say that's the first thing that people should do. Also, too, there's, there's no one way to do things. So experiment and try different things. If you aren't sure if your contents working and do some testing, you know, create a post that has some content in one certain way in one image, but then maybe change the image up and posted a day or two later. do testing on your content, and on your photos. See if your see video works. better for you then then emit static images, like do testing and then do more of what's really working. So I would say those are two top things I would recommend.

George Thomas 19:11
Yeah, I love this a be more human, make people feel special and give 32 likes to the one like that you might be expecting from somebody that that's baller moves right there. I'm just saying and, you know, here's the thing. I have to throw this in there. It's worked for me if you just be a happy, helpful human. Yeah, like it pays in spades. It just really does people remember that if you don't remember anything else. Remember to be happy, helpful, human, sometimes humble. That's the hard one for me, but I'm working on it people I'm working on it. So crystal if people want to get started, like, how do they get started? Where do we send them what are the details?

Unknown Speaker 19:53
So if they already are a HubSpot customer, they are probably familiar with a Learning Center. It's available on On the top right menu, under your account, you just go to the Learning Center and look for the certifications. There is, if you just do a search actually, for social media certification from HubSpot Academy, it will probably be the first thing in Google. And I believe it's forward slash social serve cert, but don't quote me on that. I actually don't have it in front of me. But if you just do a Google search, you'll find it in a heartbeat. But you can also go to HubSpot Academy on Facebook, on Twitter, you know, LinkedIn, we're certainly talking about it because we're so excited about it. This is been a really popular certification that we've launched and so we're, we're still going to be really shouting from the rooftops for a while.

George Thomas 20:47
Well, the good thing is, I don't mind doing work for you people. Some of find that link. I'm gonna put it in the description wherever you're watching this. It's going to be in the description or the comments below. So make sure you click on that. Go over and check Get out. It's amazing. Crystal, if people want to connect with you, they might have questions they might want to learn more, they might want to just meet you and buy you a brand new card inbound. I don't know if that last one's gonna happen. But hey, I'm just throwing it out into the universe. If people want to connect with you, where do you want to send them?

Unknown Speaker 21:15
So the best way to connect with me, quite honestly, is on Twitter. That's the channel where I just I just really love talking to people who just send me an at, you know, note in Twitter. And, you know, I'm happy to have a conversation there. LinkedIn, for me is not always the best place to reach me. So a lot of people are following me on LinkedIn. And for me, LinkedIn is a very, very particular channel where I want to connect with I want to stay connected with people that I've that I've worked with very closely so that I can be a better reference for people and and provide better better information for people in my network. So so that LinkedIn is not the best way although some people might assume that way. The case I would say Twitter, you can always reach me through the HubSpot Academy on social media or HubSpot Academy social media channels as well. And you can go ahead and just ask any way not the best way to get a hold of me there. And they can also refer me to and I'm also often behind the scenes there and paying attention.

George Thomas 22:18
Did you hear that people by the way, even if you just rewind that last part, like each of those were like strategy, like there's a reason that crystal is on each platform. Anyway, if you like this interview, if you like the sprocket talk content, make sure you head over to sprocket talk comm forward slash FB that will take you to our private Facebook group. Also, you can check out our sprocket talk page, and of course Hey, you know, it's like 2018 we do have a sprocket talk YouTube channel, you can go over there, you can subscribe, hit the bell for instant notifications. If you're one of our amazing listeners, listening to the podcast, then make sure you head over to iTunes, leave us a rating and review but hey, you know who it is, you know what time it is? Oh, I'm your Boy George B. From sprocket talk aka impose creative st go out into the world and do that thing that is happy hub spotting