Business schools respond to demand for use of social media

As companies turn to social media to engage customers on a personal level, several top business schools are incorporating courses on social networks into their curricula, reports the New York Times. These include Harvard Business School, London Business School, and Insead, the international business school based in Fontainebleau, France. Social networking courses aim to build on students’ existing skills to teach an understanding of social media, how to build marketing strategies within social networks, and how to track their effectiveness. “When it comes to interviewing younger graduates for social media-focused roles,” said Mark Begley, who is head of creative and design recruitment at Major Players, a London-based recruitment company, “they might live and breathe this way of communicating in their personal lives, but the problem is that they can’t transfer this experience into the commercial world.” Professor Andrew Stephen, an assistant professor of marketing at Insead, offers an “advertising and social media strategy” M.B.A. elective. Student enthusiasm is so high that the course is offered three times a year. Because of the relative newness of social media and their rapid evolution, there is no assigned textbook for the course. Students are expected to follow industry-specific blogs such as Mashable and Groundswell to keep up with developments, and they are required to participate in a team project in which they develop and implement social media marketing strategies for real-world clients…

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