I get a lot of questions about learning social media, digital, and breaking into the industry. With more universities offering diplomas, certifications, and courses for social and digital media, the question is whether it’s worth your money.
My advice is always to use extreme caution.
The nature of the digital space is such that its in a constant state of change. Social is new; Facebook is nine years old and Twitter six. What’s the next disruptive social platform?
The point is social and digital evolves quicker than any industry – formal education doesn’t mesh with this space.
Professors develop curriculum long before courses take place. It goes against the real-time nature which makes digital and social so unique and exciting. Any course becomes outdated before it is taught.
While formal education isn’t a perfect fit for the industry, there are specific use cases. I’ll rattle off a few examples.
Skill Acquisition: If you’re looking to add specific skills, ie photoshop, illustrator… etc, formal courses make a decent fit. The important thing here is utility. Ensure you are learning tangible skills that transfer and are directly applicable to your goals.
Networking: Professional network development. As much as I hate networking, it is necessary. You have to ‘play the game’ no matter how fake and phony it makes you feel. This is something i’ve personally struggled with before because I find it exhausting.
The beauty of formal education is how it provides a rolodex of connections for the future. This is probably the only reason i would consider an grad school down the line.
Keep in mind building these relationships takes effort and is only worth it if you attend a globally recognized grad-school program.
Learn yourself. I personally take pride in self learning… you should too, but how does one do this?
Expose yourself to the social space, experiment on different social networks and research who is influential and innovative on these subjects. These are who you should learn from.
An easy example is by making a Twitter list with digital “thought leaders.” Read not just what they write, but what they read as well.
Everyone knows the spiel about how everything is free on the internets, i’ll save it and instead, point you to some resources i’m using to continually learn. Same knowledge, but without the fancy piece of paper.
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With Movember winding down, I’m stroking my glorious moustache and pondering Movembers role in the greater context of mens health awareness. The last two years skyrocketed Movember’s status into mainstream.
With that comes mainstream media exposure and thus, Movember business opportunities.
Brands had this popular global event to explore. It screamed opportunity for Movember related promotions. Local brand and businesses particularly had an easy chance to inject themselves into Movember through deals and promos.
I kept thinking to myself all month how easy it would be. I’m still shocked that i didn’t see any friendly or creative promos.
In short, slap a ‘Movember savings deal’ in your store, shop, or business.
Here’s a thought.
Say i’m strolling around downtown on a Saturday, and I happen upon a coffee shop offering ‘Movember Discounts.’ It could be as easy as X amount off your brew if you’re sporting a moustache.
Not only would I gladly welcome a discount for my mo’, I would be inclined to share this info. In short, I would blast this over Twitter, Facebook and other social networks… “Hey I just got a discount for having a moustache!!!”
Last updated by Connor Meakin at .