From public relations in social media to the potential marketing power of “mommy bloggers,” colleges and universities are offering graduate-level certificates focusing on the business side of Twitter, Facebook, and a host of other sites that draw Americans from every demographic.
Social media courses have sprung up on college campuses as social media web sites—once seen as a virtual playground for bored college students—have become central to marketing campaigns, branding items, and communication with customers, group members, and alumni, for example.
Drury University in Springfield, Miss., announced this month that it would join a handful of schools nationwide offering social media certificates geared for graduate students and business professionals hoping to learn the latest in Facebook and Twitter-based marketing and how search engine optimization can bring more web users to a company’s web site.
Drury’s Social Media Certification Program will run from June 5-20 with 11-hour sessions on six of those days and shorter workshops during the rest of the two-week class. The certification also will be offered via webinar. Deltina Hay, author of A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization, will run the web-based courses, according to the university’s announcement.
“Social media classes are a whole heck of a lot more than understanding how Facebook functions,” said Curt Gilstrap, director of Drury University’s social media certification program. “A while back, some people might have thought it’s just a fresh technology and it will be gone tomorrow … but I think most people know that’s not the case now.”