5 Things I Would Tell a Social Media Professor

Posted on November 30th 2009

Last week I asked the question, “Should Social Media be a College Course” and received quite a number of mixed comments. In the end, I've realized that there is an absolute need for at least an interactive marketing course at the college level for marketing majors. New graduates need the tools to succeed online and they deserve to have learned at least the fundamentals.

So if a course is going to be taught what should it cover? How do you get past the fact that so much will change during the semester? I've outlined what I would tell the professor, but I want to know what you think too. Here are my thoughts on the subject.

Click here to read the full article


I think you hit it right on the head with this one.

Whenever I'm teaching someone somthing new I always start (and cycle back to over and over again) Social Media is a TWO WAY tool. Which is something I think needs to be drilled into the Marketing Students heads because without that base understanding, they become advertisers, and highly inneffective.

They should also have to follow a handful of companies closely and take a look at their overall online pressence and follow it very closely. Have it be a brand that they really enjoy so they can see what they do right and what they would do differently. As things evolve, have them watch and see what the company does to adapt and put themselves in the "virtual marketer's position" then write a proposal using all of their learned knowledge combined with metrics they have learned from both traditional marketing classes as well as the online metrics that we've come to know and love. 

With a class like this we could create a breed of Super Marketers that will eventually bridge the gap between traditional and social media.

Here's a great post I came across earlier that details "What to look for in a social media marketer" I think it's a great read and is also spot on.


Thanks for your thoughtful post. It hit home with me since I'll be teaching a graduate course in advertising at USC's Marshall School of Business and I will be embedding the role of social media throughout the course. In m y opinion it is a game changer. You might want to see a transcript of a recent talk I delivered at the 140character conference held in Los Angeles. It covers this subject and how Social Media has changed the fundamentals of marketing communications.


Hank Wasiak


Interesting post and suggestions that I hope will be taken to heart all across academia. I also agree with Tom Hoehn that the Kodak Lessons Learned in Social Media booklet is a great starting point - go check it out.

I do teach at the college level (Rochester Institute of Technology) and I would say don't make blogging just a suggestion, make it a graded assignment for students. I am doing this for two of my three classes this Winter Quarter in the belief that once students have blogged for 10 weeks it will become part of their lives. I also think it will help them see value in blogs generally and others' blogs specifically.

Thanks for the stimulating post

Mike Johansson, Visiting Professor in Writing and PR at Rochester Institute of Technology, @mikefixs on Twitter


I would also tell professors that social media isn't just for marketing. I've written an ROI model for social media and found a huge return on investment when companies focus on fixing customer service and CRM issues - what happens is that - because the issues customer service is trying to solve, have tentacles into the rest of the organization, the whole organization gets a make-over...

 here's my slides on the ROI model!









The main message around social media is engagement.  And that would be on my list for the prof: engage the students in the event, in the conversation, in the experience.  Social media is about the collaborative social dynamic.  Lecture: D-. Immersion: A+. Loraine Antrim, Core Ideas Communication
Social media should also be taught to computer graphic technology students, as well as those in business and marketing. Understanding the impact that technology has on society and human beings in regard to how people work and play is vital. I teach a human computer interface course and include social media as a part of the course. My focus is on user satisfaction and usability. It's the people that are most important to me.

La Verne Abe Harris, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Co-Director of the IDEA Laboratory
Purdue University
WOW!!! This article juts validated the new certificate programs I am developing for a Tech College in South Carolina. It started with developing an Internet marketing program and so many businesses wanted to send their younger workers (and older) to the social media class, we are now developing a whole program around it.

College students, along with students in primary grades, will soon be learning how to use social media, just like they started learning how to use computers.

Oh by the way, the college is already talking about a one week Social Media course for high school students next summer. I guess I know what I'll be doing.

Dr. Dave Hale,The Internet Marketing Professor




Great post.  I'm involved with public policy students, and those interesting in developing their management and leadership skills.  I'm developing a hands-on workshop in a computer lab setting, but will have some follow up activities and resources as well.  Would love your suggestions on how best to prepare our next generation of leaders on how understanding and effectively using social media will give them an advantage in the professional world.  You can find me on Twitter @uppervalleymom


Passionate about Public Policy and Gov 2.0... Post Your RSS at our new site Governing People... 
Interesting round of discussion and of course great post to develop and lead the conversation.  I believe social media can be applied to several different business areas and academic disciplines.  We are looking at an incredible acceleration of user content that is driving community aggregation and fundamentally changing the way business can interact with key constituents.  Those that understand how to develop this new wave of communication and interact not only with external communities but internal employee driven communities will be leaders in the long run.  But like all rapidly expanding movements, there is always some peril.  Mining data within the communities is getting to be as difficult as mining data across the web (blogosphere).  People are retracting from providing rich demographic information with the onslaught of hackers who would like to be profiteers from people sharing information to gain value from their trusted networks.  Also, the explosion of data is causing nightmares for marketers who wish to assess it in a real-time fashion and link tag and sentiment analysis with contextual, demographic and technographic information.  I think we are already in the next wave of applying quantitative analysis to assess the merits of social media campaigns and initiatives.  Moreover the methods and processes will be specific to individual industries and particular campaigns.  I am putting together a course on this at Carnegie Mellon University http://bit.ly/3MEN1Z.  We will be working with companies and organizations in different industries to develop frameworks around measuring and analyzing the merit of specific social strategies.  By developing processes and analysis that specifically prove out the benefit associated with the investment of time and resources around social media expenditure, we will provide ample justification for companies to lead the charge in moving down the social media path. 

 Pleas feel free to e-mail me alightman@gmail.com if you would like to discuss further.

 Thanks Samir for the post...


In Singapore, harnessing social media strategies effectively is such a new paradigm. The suggestion to introduce social media as a course subject at high school level is radical but timely as I teach 13-year-olds who are already asking me how to tweet, and we discuss how racism remarks on facebook can get you into trouble with the law. Thanks to all for sharing the weblinks associated with this post.