Certified HootSuite Social Media Manager
The various job titles assigned to social media managers these days have reached the "semantics" stage.
A hip human resources manager might disagree - but it probably doesn't matter - because I wouldn't want to guess at the number of freshly minted social media managers who will be hired this year.
That's not negative thought process, by the way:
- The skill sets are easy to acquire - which is the big laugh, right?
- A lot of people began synchronizing social media web sites and penning short bursts of text to attract customers with their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts with no instruction whatsoever - secretaries through business owners - because it's so easy to do.
- Everything seems to functions properly.
- Once you see it in action, you're like: "Wow, this is free?"
The lack of respect for social media management as a job title is probably similar to the ridicule often afforded writers (especially hacks, such as myself).
I once gave a copy of a 35,000-word self-published book to an acquaintance - someone I was trying to help, because I'd cracked the code on subject matter that could have assisted his career.
He came back to me with coulda, shoulda, woulda: "I could have done that (he could have written the book)."
I was more interested in his feedback on the book topic - because it involved both of our careers - but that's neither here no there. I don't know if he ever became a writer.
More to the point - if you know someone who is being paid to manage social media for a business - ask them how it's going. They'll probably giggle like I did after I self-published my first book because it was so easy to do, but not many people actually undertake the undertaking (sorry).
Companies need Social Media Managers - whether they realize it or not.
The rest of this Hub concerns my recommendation for managers to send currently employed personnel to HootSuite University to pick up a certificate:
- Send your secretary.
- Send yourself.
- Send one of your staff writers or department marketing gurus.
- Send that former journalist who's working in a different field now.
You can afford it - you're operating a business at a profit - and HootSuite isn't in Las Vegas (think of the savings in gas and hangovers alone).
Old news: Amazon Associates, Yellow Pages, AdWords.
Social media advertising as a managerial area of expertise has been around since Amazon created it's Associates Program (Amazon's version of an affiliate program).
Everyone knows what an affiliate program is and how it functions - right?
- An affiliated webmaster creates essentially free advertising for a mainstream online business by generating digital advertisements - for a percentage of sale on the items they sell for Amazon.
- The content they create - which is a form of user-generated content - costs Amazon very little in overhead because the webmaster uses her or his own home office to produce the work (a lot like freelance writing, aye).
- This advertising method generates 40 percent of Amazon's overall online sales, for example.
If you take a look at the illustration below - the little people are customers - the middle-size people are Amazon Associates - and the singularly large blue person is Amazon.com.
I normally use the graphic to illustrate how social media functions; in that, an exponentially-growing number of customers are able to see through the various social media connections directly back to the core advertiser - which is Amazon in this instance.
I wouldn't go so far as to state that Jeff Bezos created social media advertising - but you could almost say that.
In general, user-generated content of this variety dates even further back - to the 1800s - when Yellow Pages began asking businesses to pen their own advertising copy for placement in their yellow-paged phone books.
And then Google updated the Yellow Pages method with AdWords advertisements.
If you've never experimented with AdWords:
- You write the text to describe your company's ad.
- Which feeds directly into AdSense ads.
- Cool, huh?
Preface to HootSuite Pro Certification Program.
Social media management work is text heavy. It may be ultra-short text - but you definitely have to be a wordsmith to attract customers.
What else do you do? You synchronize social media web sites so when you click Send - your short bursts of text hit many sites. And you automate stuff - because you can.
Is any of the above hard to accomplish? Does it require a certificate or professional instruction? Not necessarily. It does require experience and a bit of persistence - because a lot of the sites are clunky when it comes to the synchronization part.
Which could go far in explaining why it's hard to acquire your first business as a Social Media Manager. I'm still waiting on my first business to "get back" to me so I can proceed.
Meanwhile ... (while waiting for that first business manager to comprehend how social media advertising works).
They've probably figured out how to do it on their own.
Here’s what you get with your HootSuite Pro Certificate.
You get everything that HootSuite offers with their normal $5.99 a month service, which I’m still exploring because I don’t need all available bells and whistles.
If you pay the extra $21 a month for their Certified Professional program - the instruction takes you through the bells and whistles - which you are then tested on.
Pass the tests and you are certified. Should be easy, right?
An aside on HootSuite's regular site - which comes with the Professional certificate - is that it allows you to use the site as a social media dashboard - providing you with the capability to monitor “keywords,” and manage multiple social media accounts (all the usual suspects are there - plus a few you've probably never heard of - plus some nifty RSS automation features - and a ton of other stuff that you'll have to discover on your own).
I'm using HootSuite's RSS automation to cause one of blogs to auto-post (not an RSS feed in a margin - it auto-posts blog posts down the middle all by itself (that's some fairly serious web automation for a freelance writer).
The Professional program eventually lists you in a directory with other social media managers - by location - which perfect for interacting with other social media managers in your area to check out your competition.
You will access to webinars, private forums, video resources, .pdf transcripts, audio guides, and more coursework in the HootSuite University program covering Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, and other developing systems.
Rest of the story.
In my case, the Certified Professional badge was just another gold star to pin on my various bulletin boards.
Did I learn something while certifying? Absolutely. I learn something new each and every day - and you have to pass the tests to get certified.
Smart business managers have have already taught someone in their business how to synchronize social media sites and write the text. If you haven't done that yet - you are a dummy.
Savvy business people invest in the HootSuite certification fee out of company slush funds - $26 a month is a pittance - because the social media advertising is free.
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