Social Media Marketing Courses are everywhere, but is accreditation for a fast moving technology any better than a free course?

The Actual question was “I am wondering if there is anyone on here that would take a Social Media Marketing Course if it was an accredited qualification?” – Posted on Linkedin

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Obviously you are here to answer the SAME Question or a similar one of just how do you Make Money on the Internet with Social Media Marketing.  The Attraction of Social Media Marketing and a Course on it, is rather simple to understand.  You have the desire to make an income on the Internet, you have a product or service that’s yours or someone elses (through affiliates) that you wish to market or sell to accomplish your goal of making money on the Internet.

However the complexity of learning Social Media Marketing is…well in depth. Many people quickly get discouraged with Social Media Marketing, because they FAIL to understand one KEY element, BUILD THE RELATIONSHIP.  Sure EVERY Media channel out there is viewed or can be seen as an electronic Bill Board like on the side of the road, possibly even annoying spam in your email box when it is done incorrectly, when it is done without seeing the human being and the need to solve a problem.

People research on Logic and the WEB is full of… well not logic, but opinions.  However because there are so MANY Opinions, you can find what “Logic” you are searching or researching for a given product….. BUT THEN People, when they are ready, buy on emotion.  So it could be a color on your website, it could be a phrase, it could be a video, pretty much any number of marketing techniques could be employed to evoke an emotional reaction to buy.

But will they buy from you?  People will only buy from those they Know, Like or Trust.

I thought this would be a GREAT Introductory post for my Social Media Marketing Category, here on WilliamBurdine.com.  Let’s use Wikipedia to establish a base definition before we get started

“Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites. Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself. Hence, this form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth, meaning it results in earned media rather than paid media.” – WikiPedia

So in other words, Social Media Marketing is a huge general category of traditional marketing plus engagement through the use of current known social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin, etc…

What is Accreditation?

image accreditation_stampAccreditation in a simple nut shell is the policy governing a standardized method of education in a consistent manor with defined measurable outcomes…. So Keep this Question in your mind… How many times have you seen your FAVORITE Social Media Site Change without Notice?

As it is defined in the United States (see This Page for the Full Details on Accreditation), the government does not give accreditation, it only recognizes agencies that do have a policy of accreditation and grants the school or institution their accreditation.  However there are several types of accreditation, which you can read more on at BacktoSchool.com, eLearners.com, and WASCSenior.org.  Looking further in to Accreditation, a school or institute often goes through a 6 month to 2 year or longer process to be recognized by an authority accreditation agency.

What is Marketing?

marketingMarketing is very different from Selling.  In Selling a customer already knows what they want or need and they are on a journey to find it or the best price or service.  However Marketing answers the question of “What does my customer need or what that they don’t know they need or want yet?”

Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers. It is a critical business function for attracting customers.” – WikiPedia

Marketing degrees often take 2 years of a specialized training of a bachelor degree.  Some of the specifications of a marketing degree include how to write compelling content, may include graphic art creation or understanding, specific trigger words to instill emotional buying habits and a lot more.  To add to this the ability to do market research and create a marketing campaign which would include, branding, communication methods, and then be able to measure and track effective portals of this communication and cross reference it with analytics, specifically those tied to the bottom line outcome of profit.

Putting it all together in some obvious questions of who you should trust to learn your social media marketing training from.

On the Internet that are offerings for Social Media Marketing Training for 1-4 week boot camps, 8-16 week courses, even year long courses.  But with Social Media Changing so much and so often How do you place an accreditation on it, when it takes a long time to go through the accreditation procedure and the social media platform in question changes as often as twice a year?  Let’s ask some more questions, or at least have them on your MIND before you PART with your CASH on some one’s Program.

image Questions PeopleWho is the agency that gives the accreditation?
Is the accreditation body known and accepted worldwide?
What’s the benefit to me and to my clients?
What courses are included? What do they cover?
Specifically, what does this course offer to my company and to our clients?
How does it make my services more valuable and attract new business?
Who teaches the course, and what qualifications does he/her/they have?
– What do they (instructor, course, institution) have as proof of their knowledge?
– What Value do they have over other courses?
How much does it cost?

RECOMMENDATIONS of Social Media Marketing Courses

As I learn of quality courses, from FREE to ??? I will post a link here with a possible review.  If you HAVE BEEN THROUGH a course, please post your comments below.

What about Mastermind or Social Media Marketing Groups

These are FANTASTIC Places to learn.  Many are FREE, some have a monthly cost, but most quality ones have an on going mentorship.  In these groups you often will find people who specialize in various places of Social Media Marketing.  They could also specialize in Various other areas of marketing or Tracking.  For example Magazine or Article Marketing, Video Marketing, Pay Per Click, event Classified Ads like Craigslist.  Example of Tracking might be tracking links, Google Analytics, Bing Analytics, Ad Campaign Windows.  Higher end training could include Search Engine Optimization.

I belong to a Group called the Internet Marketing Mastermind Alliance, where we cover all of the examples, but much more, including how to do affiliate marketing, trust building, finding capital for ventures and places to market and how to do review marketing to develop trust.

image Internet Marketing Mastermind Alliance 4000+ Facebook Members

Internet Marketing Mastermind Alliance 4000+ Facebook Members

By the Way the Answer I gave to the Linkedin Post can be read HERE or seen below

There are Many Great Responses here to the question of an interest in a Social Media Marketing accreditation. The reality questions should be, who is the accreditation from, who creates the content, who updates the content, is it the basics or scaled training to advanced implementation? Social Media Changes so much, but when you add Marketing to the mix, it has its own criteria. Most Accreditation programs, refer to college level transferable credits, application, standardized training and more. Social Media is anything but standardized. When it looks standardized, a new application comes online and either refocuses the intent or redesigns it (think Facebook domination over MySpace). Marketing has many elements from persuasion to tracking with profit being the bottom line. Social Media is all about engagement and has transformed the engagement of marketing and the measured results online. There are also so many areas of specialization in Social Media Marketing, for example Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, Keyword/KeyPhrase research and more. Many places out there offer a 4 week boot camp, 8 – 16 week course, some even a year, but the question is, with so much to learn, what do you expect to learn in that short of time…. for instance, how long did it take you to learn algebra, physics, or your specialize courses of education for your degree? I bet it was longer than 1 or 2 semesters. Also its about the mindset, do you consider your education an investment in you or a way to learn a skill to hopefully make money…because a college degree did not come with a guaranteed career. To Learn All Aspects of Social Media Marketing is a huge challenge, it can be done, but it will always be changing. Accreditation, I believe is not possible or realistic, its a trigger word to get you to purchase something of perceived value. My suggestion is find a group of successful people who market online using social media, a mastermind, who work together, each focused on a part of Social Media Marketing and learn all you can and then focus on the area that you truly enjoy and that’s when you’ll make money. I have truly found just such a group where I meet 3-4 times per week online and in person to get what I need…and I’ve been doing this for many years, first as a hobby now as secondary income.

To Your Success & Happiness,

3-william-burdine

“Always treat others as if their potential has been realized, watch them grow in to their happiness.” ~ William Burdine

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William Burdine is a Relationship Marketer in person and cyberspace and a Real Estate Investor providing solutions for Internet Marketing Training & Real Estate Investor education as well as Website Consultations. Did you find the content in this post Helpful? IF you did, Please Share it with the Social Icons and LEAVE your Comments Below.Thank You.