Daytona State College is among a burgeoning number of institutions across the country that are offering students college-credit instruction on how to tap the power of social media technologies in business.
Social Media Marketing is a college-credit, stand-alone course that launches this spring semester, along with a parallel course, Advertising. Both courses will be offered online.
While each three-credit-hour course can be taken by anyone wanting to gain new skills, they also can be incorporated into a new certificate in sales entrepreneurship started this fall in the college’s School of Applied Business. Additionally, credits can be applied toward a number of one- and two-year business-related programs already offered at Daytona State, as well as for an associate of arts degree elective.
“Social media is one of the newest growth fields for marketing professionals,” said John Weiss, assistant chair of the college’s School of Business. “Corporations are just now realizing how they can advance their bottom lines through the variety of communication channels social media provides them, and colleges and universities, by and large, are just beginning to incorporate teaching social media technologies in their curricula.”
The power of that growth is evident in Flagler County through the pervasive presence of Marketing 2 Go, the 3-year-old firm launched by Cindy Dalecki that’s become a go-to place for companies looking to broaden their presence online. Most companies’ executives are online illiterates. Firms like Marketing 2 Go bridge the divide, often by assuming social media responsibilities for the companies by becoming their surrogate electronic voice.
“I’m excited to see Daytona State offering courses that prepare young people for careers that weren’t even in existence a few years ago,” Dalecki said. “When entering the workforce, job candidates with specialized social media skills will certainly be of greater value to employers than those without. While more than 11 million businesses have Facebook pages, the ability to maintain even one social media site can be a challenge. With social media marketing skills, an employee would be an invaluable asset to a company.”
Dalecki’s on-the-ground strategies dovetail with Daytona State’s aims for students.
“The key to seeing success in business by effectively using social media is having the right strategy and being able to accurately measure results,” said course professor Joy Colarusso. “This course will compare and contrast the existing social media plans of Fortune 500 companies and allow students to explore and develop strategic approaches to marketing using social media.”
The advertising course will focus on consumer behavior, relationship marketing, advertising planning and media selection.
A study completed this year by the McKinsey Global Institute, one of the nation’s largest global management consulting firms, suggests that the improved marketing, communication and collaboration through social media in four major business sectors could add $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in value to the economy. (That full report is available here.)
In September, CNN reported that corporations are scrambling to build new customer relationships through various social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, 4Square, wikis and blogs, noting that job postings requiring social media skills rose 87 percent from 2011 to 2012.
“The beauty of having social media marketing skills is that they can be applied across the spectrum of business and industry,” Weiss said.
For more information, call (386) 506-3467 or email [email protected].