Melissa Campanelli's The View From Here: Business Schools Offering Social Media Courses
I read a March 30 New York Times article that said that many national and international business schools are incorporating social media strategy courses into their curriculums.
Take that, all of you social media marketing naysayers!
To meet the demand from companies for skills around social media strategies, tony business schools — including Harvard Business School; London Business School; Insead, the international business school based in Fontainebleau, France; and the École des Hautes Études Commerciales, known as HEC, in Paris — are incorporating courses on social media into their M.B.A. curriculums.
Social media strategy courses, according to the article, "aim to build on existing skills to teach an understanding of social media, of how to build marketing strategies within social networks and of how to track their effectiveness."
While most of the students entering these programs may be adept at using social networking tools in their personal lives, that's not enough, says the article. Companies want executives that "can transfer this experience into the commercial world.”
Textbooks aren't required in many of the courses; instead, students are asked to follow industry-specific blogs to keep up with developments. They're instructed to communicate with people involved in the social media industry, listening to the issues they deal with on a strategic level.
Schools are teaching social media marketing in a variety of ways. In an upcoming course at Insead, students will work on a project for the luxury brand Hermès, generating detailed social media marketing strategy ideas for the brand. A course at London Business School required students to participate in the 2009 Google Online Marketing Challenge, where teams were given $200 of free online advertising with Google AdWords to work with companies to devise effective online marketing campaigns. Meanwhile at Harvard Business School, a second-year elective course on “competing with social networks” is being offered as part of that school’s M.B.A. program.