Currently, there’s no regulation in the social media world. Anyone (and many do) can call themselves a “social media expert” without any training, any experience, or any clients. Really, all it takes is one client to bite the bait, and that person who may (or may not) have a clue about social media will suddenly be leading a campaign (possibly, directly into trouble).
A (well-established) company called Unified wants to bring certification to those who wish to use the title “social media expert.” Unified is a social media company itself, but now the company will be offering very short courses in addition to a form of certification. While the idea hasn’t taken off quite yet (it’s relatively new), Unified’s social media certification program is an interesting idea.
A Short Course
Unified offers a few different courses including Metrics and Reporting, Strategies for Success, and Tactical Approaches. These courses take approximately one day to complete, and students will gain a certification following course completion. Right now, who can sign up for the courses is somewhat unclear. Unified’s website states that only Unified Social Operating Platform customers can sign up for the courses. However, you can gain some additional information about this certification process by emailing the company.
Whether or not you can sign up for Unified’s social media certification courses has yet to be seen, but it’s really beside the point as well. What’s at the heart of this matter is whether or not social media certification will be necessary in the near future. As mentioned, right now, there’s no real certification process or schooling available for someone who wants to become a social media expert. However, there should be some kind of formal certification available in order to prevent frauds. Otherwise, a lot of companies could spend a lot of money on someone who has no clue how to run a social media campaign – but there are, of course, two sides to every story, right?
Is Social Media Certification Necessary?
Running a social media campaign for a company or individual is quite difficult. In addition, this kind of work requires many hours of head pounding work. In addition, unless you know what you are really doing, it’s easy to mess up a company’s reputation by sending out the wrong tweets or opening up a Facebook page that doesn’t convey the right message. Perhaps the answer to many social media campaigns gone wrong is to require all people who claim to be “experts” to gain some certification. Then again, there are plenty of people in the world who can run great media campaigns, and most of these people have no formal training.
What do you think about Unified’s new social media certification approach? Is some kind of certification for social media necessary? Or, can you learn how to run a social media campaign by reading books and experimenting? Let me know what you think by commenting. I tend to think Unified is onto something here, though many might disagree with this statement.