As social networks and their potential value to business are becoming apparent, marketing professionals should have a solid knowledge of social media and more importantly social media marketing. Simply having a grasp on how to post on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or another platform is not sufficient. Marketing professionals need to understand how to integrate social into marketing strategies.
The term “Social Media” should not be confused with “Social Media Marketing”, there is a distinction to be made between the two. Social media is an evolving and changing assortment of platforms and tools that enable businesses and consumers to share dialogue, information, and interact on a one-to-one basis or on a one-to-many basis. Understanding how to combine the traditional principles of marketing with the use of a “tool” (such as Twitter, Google+, or a company blog) to meet an organizations objectives and goals is social media marketing.
It is unfortunate that many business schools are not recognizing the potential of new technology by offering courses in social marketing. Addressing it as a whole in one week of a semester is not sufficient. Briefly covering the leading sites, how many users sign on daily, how they are used by the typical user, and when each site was created does little to educate students on the significant part social media plays in business. While these facts are interesting and some of the numbers downright staggering, they do not benefit the student long term. Meaning, the brief overview of social does little to encourage the use of social media for more than keeping in touch with friends.
Offerings should include entire courses designed to not simply teach students to use social media, but to create it. Students should learn to use social marketing techniques to conduct market research and create more effective campaigns, improve products, and generate leads. Students must be able to understand people’s behavior in social media to better target audiences as well as know how social media relates to inbound marketing. Not to mention the benefits of blogging and of course the importance of SEO (search engine optimization). University students should at the very least have the opportunity to develop a tailored social media marketing strategy for their own personal brand to further enhance their attractiveness to future employers. Those universities not offering such courses are doing a disservice to both their students and the students’ future employers.
Alas, not all is lost! Do not fret, there are a few universities who have taken the initiative to offer social media programs! For example…
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