A current hot topic on the LinkedIn Social Media Marketing group:
I am wondering if there is anyone on here that would take a Social Media Marketing Course if it was an accredited qualification?
Great question! It seems that it’s somewhat split about whether people would do this and others who question the validity of such a program.
Personally, I might’ve fallen into the the first camp a few months ago. It would be great to say that I’m certified in this area. It would seem to give me more weight in terms of being an expert. Something that gives me that supposed edge over the next web marketing consultant/copywriter. A certification junkie, if I could be so bold.
Yet, I’d like to think that marketers and potential clients wouldn’t be so dazzled by the bright shiny object of certification. I don’t think it represents the same shortcut to authority as it once did before. But does this mean potential clients would perceive me as qualified? And at the cost of a few thousand dollars, would it all be worth it?
Some people think that having the instruction come from a well-known higher education institution like a college or university makes a difference. A few people are getting certification through San Francisco State University or the University of San Francisco. That would seem to give these programs more legitimacy. I know I’d sit up and take notice if these programs seemed to turn out bonafide social media experts.
Ultimately, I think that having solid background knowledge in social media is essential. I would definitely take the appropriate courses (online or otherwise) to gain that important knowledge. But do you really need a paper or certificate that says you have it? Social media rules are changing so fast that having a program that qualifies you as a social media marketing consultant might make your education obsolete by the time you “graduate.”
Frankly, I’m learning quite a bit just from signing up with different direct response, social media marketing and travel marketing sites. On the job training, if you will. At the moment, this kind of training just seems to suit me just fine.