Flickr / Photo by mkhmarketing.

How to earn a free education from Facebook “University”

Social media platforms, particularly Facebook and Instagram, can be very powerful advertising vehicles if you understand how to use them strategically. To learn these best practices, businesses can now turn to Facebook themselves thanks to Facebook Blueprint. Facebook Blueprint is an online education program developed by Facebook professionals to teach advertisers how to effectively utilize Facebook’s family of apps and services to help businesses reach their goals.

The online offering, accessible via, includes 3 types of education:

1. eLearning: free, self-paced online courses offered on a variety of topics and languages. This option lets you learn at your own pace, as the courses can be accessed anytime, anywhere, on any device and you can take whichever courses are relevant to your business. There are more than 70 eLearning modules offered in the following categories: Intro to Facebook, Advertising Objectives, Best Practices, Campaign Optimization, Facebook Pages, Introduction to Instagram, Managing Ads, Purchasing Ads, Reporting and Measuring, Small & Local Businesses, Ad Targeting and Webinars.

2. Live: designed for agencies and advertisers who are already familiar with Facebook and Instagram, this case based approach to learning is an immersive day of applied learning. The session is taught by Facebook experts, and includes interactive exercises including developing a media plan for a theoretical client. Live is a hands-on opportunity that allows attendees to apply their learning and creativity in a collaborative, energizing workshop environment. The programs are available by invite only in London, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Warsaw, Rome, Milan, Toronto, NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles, Singapore, Menlo Park, Paris, Austin, Boston and Dubai.

3. Certification: the only marketing certification officially recognized by Facebook to provide valuable credentials for planning and buying professionals. Through a series of rigorous online exams, this certification measures advanced-level proficiency in Facebook’s family of products and services. There are two certifications offered: the Facebook Certified Planning Professional and the Facebook Certified Buying Professional. After successfully completing a certification, the professional is presented with a digital badge to verify their credentials. This digital badge can be embedded on a website or blog, included in email signatures, on electronic resumes, etc. and the badge includes detail about what type of certification one has received and how it was earned. To maintain a certification status, there are several options to demonstrate ongoing proficiency.

I found this to be such a valuable resource for businesses, so I was thrilled to learn about this from my Digital Social Media professor at USC, and I plan to utilize this education tool for my upcoming business launch. I found it surprising though when I couldn’t determine how or where Facebook promotes this critical toolkit, which makes me scratch my head a bit. Is it really meant to be discovered by word of mouth?  

Flickr / Photo by mkhmarketing.