Social media is beginning to be taught in universities as a core skill that students will need in the business world. Neal Schaffer interviews two professors at NOVA Southeastern University, Jim Barry and John Gironda, on how they got started with their program, what they teach, and the challenges that they and their students face.
[02:11] Introduction of Podcast Guests
[03:27] How Jim Started in Teaching Social Media Marketing
[05:02] Why You Should Have Courses in Social Media?
[07:03] Why Students Take Courses on Social Media
[08:45] Areas You Can Get Expert On with Social Media Education
[09:55] Hudson Institute for Executive Training
[11:03] The Most Challenging Things for Students to Grasp
[12:53] The Hardest to Teach About Social Media
[14:29] Practical Business Application
[15:05] You Have to Walk the Talk
[15:23] Connect with John and Jimmy
- I would say that starts with it's, it's changed the framework for marketing. And it's a different mindset.
- I would start with the transmitted transmission we're making from outbound to inbound marketing, and the role of content in place of cold calling. So starting with it, just conceptually, I think that becomes more important than changing platform.
- I think social media marketing is one way to do that to show a tangible field that's growing and popular. And it gives them a chance that no matter what field they go into, I think you've you mentioned that earlier, as we were talking before we started recording no matter what field, you're in having social media expertise can only enhance your marketability.
- I think as far as the individual platforms that are changing, we've seen that recently, of more platforms becoming more and more popular, and other ones maybe losing popularity, it's still important to look at some sort of universal need, or universal themes that that consumers are engaging in. So it's still important, it's still very worthwhile to teach courses on social media marketing, because I don't think in general the field is it's still going to be around.
- It almost lies in the fact that students don't realize how much work actually goes into the social media marketing itself. Do you think of the actual the perspiration, we call it, where the legwork that you have to put into it and continually updating your content and be and having fresh content that you kind of just want to, you know, do it once and then walk away and not touch it again.
- It's difficult to get students to understand how platform works without purpose.
- So the challenge a lot of times is like, what do you roll out first. And we finally I think we nailed it with you kind of give them a high level overview, a very advanced information that you see over time, you're gonna get a more enriched understanding, taken out of content trail, and after all the content is done and sequenced and amplified, and we get them into right now, how do we get this out there, promoted and activate our communities to where we get a greater following, while we're rolling out our content.
Welcome to maximize your social actionable advice on how your business can maximize your social media presence. Now, the host of maximize your social, social media author, speaker, consultant, and founder of maximize social business, Neal Schaffer. Hey, everybody, this is Neal Schaffer, welcome to another episode of maximize your social do you monitor Twitter for opportunities? I love the various opportunities that I find on Twitter and recently as being an author have been able to be extremely fortunate and having people actually tweet out. I just read maximize your social great book or what have you. It's something you can only do on Twitter, because on Facebook and LinkedIn, it's hidden behind personal profiles, Google Plus, yes, some people are active, not as active as maybe on Twitter. But Twitter really is the open public forum. So whenever I see that I always want to reach out and thank those people. Now recently, I've had some professors say, congratulations, we just chose your book for our course. And serendipitously, one of those universities, and I plan on meeting all of them, for the other ones that have adopted it that are listening to this podcast. I am in Orlando, Florida this week, which you probably heard about in my earlier podcast. And one of the universities is a university called Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. If you're in Florida from the area, you probably know the university in California. In all honesty, I didn't know about it. But then I realized they have a 30,000 Students population, and they are the third largest independent University in our country, a major institution. But more surprisingly, as I'm here on campus, together with two professors of marketing that have adopted maximize your social for the course, I realize how far in their curriculum of social media marketing that they have come and it's been extremely impressive. Now you know that I teach your course records on maximize social business. We have Dr. Jessica Rogers, who teaches at Southern New Hampshire University. I know the dean of the business school at University of San Francisco, which is another famous one. But Nova Southeastern University clearly has developed a course that I am really fascinated by, and I'd say it is right now at the cutting edge of the standard of where I think university classes should be in social media. And I learned all this just spending a few hours and talking with these two gentlemen, I'm going to have them introduce themselves. Before I get to the questions. Gentlemen, start with you.Jim Barry:
I'm Jim Barry. I'm a professor of social media marketing. I cover a variety of MBA classes in the subject, including content marketing, social networking, also for the undergraduate class where we have sort of a similar series. Awesome.Neal Schaffer:
And John,John Deronda:
John Deronda, professor of marketing at Nova Southeastern University, and I also teach some of the courses here and social media marketing as well and marketing principles, as well as some sales management courses, and marketing management courses as well.Neal Schaffer:
Alright, so if you read maximize social business, which you obviously should be reading religiously, you'll know that I just published this new Google Plus challenge with using the credit spark platform, and I created a blog post, should social media professionals be tested for their aptitude, and I talk about the need of a social media MBA? how social media is mainstream in the business world, yet, it's taught at very, very few universities. I want to ask our professors here in Nova Southeastern how they started, not only realizing there was a need to teach social media here, but how did you work about convincing others internally on that need, and obviously, say whatever you can in a public forum here,Jim Barry:
I'm gonna start. This is Jim Barry, I would say we really got into this in a big way about four years ago. And it was basically introduced as a supplement to our sales based curriculum, we started realizing that some of the technologies used in sales go further than just CRM, and should include, at minimum, the social networking experience you get through LinkedIn, that caught on fire to a point where the student population suggested that maybe we should include a broader base course and just internet marketing, but internet and social media marketing in a marketing major, is we've gotten into the marketing major, and we start seeing our students getting up to 35 to 40. In a particular class, we realized that maybe it's time for us to roll out an MBA marketing concentrate that includes social media. So that brought in two courses. And then from there, we went to offering the first specialty as part of our marketing major called social media. That includes three classes now. So John teaches the first one, which basically gives our students an overview of internet marketing, search engine, marketing and social media that moves into our second course, which is devoted strictly to content marketing. And then it wraps up into a course to use this Neil's book, which is how do you basically engage fans and build community surrounding that content? So we now stand with six classes overall, starting from just an element of a sales course. And we did that in about two and a half years.Neal Schaffer:
That's an incredible story. Let me ask you, you probably when you meet other people in yield maybe at other universities? Why should you have courses and social medias? And don't the platform's change every month? And how do you respond to that? I have my own answer. But I want to hear out, you know, how you do,Jim Barry:
I would say that starts with it's, it's changed the framework for marketing. And it's a different mindset. So I would start with the transmitted transmission we're making from outbound to inbound marketing, and the role of content in place of cold calling. So starting with it, just conceptually, I think that becomes more important than changing platform. So as we introduce new platforms like Snapchat, whisper, etc, it's easy to have that dovetail into a piece about developing content on a mobile platform. But the concept of having content on a mobile platform will probably stay constant. It turns out, I think, in general, as we go from platform to platform, or let's talk about, for example, changing from organic feeds to pay for play feeds, that doesn't necessarily change how we want our students to embrace the role of content in terms of escorting their customers, or in terms of leveraging followers and connections to spread the word about your brand story.Neal Schaffer:
And if you want to add to that jump, yeah,John Deronda:
sort of to add to what Jim was saying, I think as far as the individual platforms that are changing, we've seen that recently, of more platforms becoming more and more popular, and other ones maybe losing popularity, it's still important to look at some sort of universal need, or universal themes that that consumers are engaging in. So it's still important, it's still very worthwhile to teach courses on social media marketing, because I don't think in general the field is it's still going to be around.Neal Schaffer:
So in essence, social media now forms part of the interest part of the marketing infrastructure, corporations, and part of the infrastructure of how consumers consume information, in essence, right? Yeah, so that's why there is a need. Let me do the flip side, why do your students decide to take your classes on social media, I would startJim Barry:
out with the employment demands, especially here in South Florida, there's a huge demand for companies to step up to especially content marketing. Also, I think companies are now beginning to embrace social media outside of just marketing and sales into some of the customer service ranks. And as they start to adopt the social business, they don't have too many folks to go to, that's gonna do one more thing on the last subject. I would think one reason why social media has really been grasped in the academic field. It's just a manifestation of relationship marketing, where we didn't have a chance to really play out relationship marketing and face to face type dialogues. But you have it today. I mean, all the factors driving trust, that you hear from the practitioners in the field, is exactly what we study in the academic world. It's called benevolence, customer orientation, shared values, transparency, communications. So what it's done is it's taken a model called relationship marketing, and it's allowed us to walk the talk.Neal Schaffer:
Awesome. So getting back to the students. So the the the job situation has been one driver, and the other drivers you see about their interest in social media or social media marketing? Well, IJohn Deronda:
think as far as the students in general, sort of, like Jim was saying, it does boil down to jobs and employment and kind of their own. You know, we as companies and firms, we talk about return on investment, I think the students want to get a return on their educational investment. And so I think social media marketing is one way is one way to do that to show a tangible field that's growing and popular. And it's gives them a chance that no matter what field they go into, I think you've you mentioned that earlier, as we were talking before we started recording of no matter what field, you're in having social media expertise can only enhance your marketability,Neal Schaffer:
right, right, IJim Barry:
think you've seen three disciplines really get subsumed under social media, let's start with public relations. So I think many students are finding that a minimum, you better have a social media background, and to qualify for today's job description for public relations. And that will take the next one to sales. I mean, more of sales are being driven by content coming out of the marketing group to where they probably have more of the lion's share of dollars, taking a customer down the sales funnel than what you saw traditionally. I think your third area really falls more under publishing. A lot of people are coming up empty and getting jobs as journalists, but what they don't realize is there's brand publishing, so companies are actually hiring their own internal publishers where they want marketing people to be more like journalists. That really is a tribute a lot to social media and mindset.Neal Schaffer:
Awesome. So you know, there's a need for the social media education. It's a natural and there's a natural reason why your students are taking these courses. Now, obviously, a lot of undergraduates have grad programs. If I'm a working professional, I know that you offer some online programs do you actually offer some sort of course that I can take, if I'm one of the listeners of this podcast, and I want to brush up on my social media.Jim Barry:
Currently, we don't really offer a standalone course we are considering over time the possibility of it certificate type course. But we do have what's called the Hudson Institute for executive training, where we have a number of modules. One is more of a bootcamp 3d overview of social media, that's one avenue. But I think it will take a little time before we have like a standalone course most of the demand we have right now is towards a bachelor's or an MBA marketing concentrate.John Deronda:
But the courses for that concentrate, they go back and forth as far as the availability of online, but they are offered online from time to time. So.Neal Schaffer:
So you know, there you go. If you have a child that's about to enter college, if you're thinking about grad school, definitely or you know, someone that has definitely, you know, such as social media centric education in three different courses, when most colleges or universities don't even have one single course, and they make it part of one course. And you can see just how far ahead Nova Southeastern here is. So I hope you'll consider them. I guess a final question, what is the most challenging of all the different social media things that you teach? What is the most challenging thing for your students to grasp?Jim Barry:
I would start with what we were talking about earlier, storytelling, I think the students really grasp a lot of the technicalities of the social sales funnel, embracing social networks in terms of fan engagement, distributing your content, those fall more in the area of what I would call tactics. The challenge is twofold. One an overarching strategy. How am I using social media slash content marketing and search engine optimization to just get more business from a strategic perspective. The other thing is we have talked about there are some concepts to improve an emotional connection with our customers, that is difficult to teach edutainment, storytelling, for example, it doesn't fit the typical exercise of a template or graph. And some students really don't grasp it as easily as classes were, either that light bulb went on or didn't go on. This is one where they have to understand there's a cultural mindset that taps more into emotion. And it's not very tangible.John Deronda:
either. I think some of the difficulty lies in not necessarily the concepts but and we've kind of Jim and I have talked about this earlier, and it almost lies in the fact that students don't realize how much work actually goes into the social media marketing itself. Do you think of the actual the perspiration, we call it, where the legwork that you have to put into it and continually updating your content and be and having fresh content that you kind of just want to, you know, do it once and then walk away and not touch it again, and I think that probably is the same, you know, for a lot of practitioners of social media marketing toNeal Schaffer:
now you almost maybe answered the final question I wanted to ask you, sorry, which is no, no, no, no. And, you know, I like to keep these podcasts, you know, down and dirty, short and sweet. Here is that was you know, what, what you think the students find hardest to grasp? What do you as professors find hardest teach about social media? And it may be one of the same as what you just said, but I'm interested to hear if there's any difference,Jim Barry:
the sequence of topics? Where do you start? You know, I used to start with trying to give them platform understanding. But it's, it's difficult to get students to understand how platform works without purpose. So then I went to purpose first, kind of telling them that bear with me, as we roll out conceptually, how you get customers to embrace this inbound marketing concept. And that doesn't work either, because you're kind of holding them at bay, the nuggets of using social media until the end of the course. So the challenge a lot of times is like, what do you roll out first. And we finally I think we nailed it with you kind of give them a high level overview, a very advanced information that you see over time, you're gonna get a more enriched understanding, taken out of content trail, and after all the content is done and sequenced and amplified, and we get them into right now, how do we get this out there, promoted and activate our communities to where we get a greater following, while we're rolling out our content. So I think just a sequencing is a major challenge.Neal Schaffer:
And Jimmy had mentioned that one thing he tried this year was throwing out the top trends of 2014. And just throwing it out there in the very first day so that they have it somewhere in their mind that you know, big data, video, and all thatJim Barry:
native advertising and shortform. And so we kind of give it to them with a fire hose up front so that at least they have the latest snapshot, they're going to be highly confused might be over their head. But then it makes it easier for us to teach the rest of the course. So I don't have to get into the background of why everything is going mobile, for example.Neal Schaffer:
Very true. John me,John Deronda:
I think most difficult sometimes is transitioning students from sort of the entertainment value of what they've previously used social media for, you know, as a consumer and just using it for the entertainment purpose to kind of think of it and almost put the business hat on to try so that from myself from perspective of teaching the course, I have to make sure to kind of try to emphasize and always bring it back to a practical business application. So I think thatNeal Schaffer:
and I'd say that the same challenge that I have as a consultant that's exact same challenges that people get it from a personal Oh, yeah, why should I follow people back on Twitter? Well, you're a business you want to get noticed. Right? Exactly, IJim Barry:
was gonna add one more thing, you also have to walk the talk. So a big challenge we have is, we have to have a lot of Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections. And you know, we have to have a pretty high Klout score. If we don't have content that really shows results, you lose a lot of credibility. So there's a lot of time we spent walking the talk.Neal Schaffer:
Now, I'm gonna finish up just by having you introduce, you know, your blogs, Twitter handles where people can find your gym. So you had one blog post of building a holistic social media strategy with this intense, you know, visual that I shared on Google Plus and Twitter and in my LinkedIn group, and I know that a lot of people shared that. So hopefully, it gave you some traffic it was it was a brilliant piece. But um, tell us about your blog, and where we can find you on Twitter so that we can add to some of those followers and it will say for those listening the podcast, that part of what they do as part of their class exercises, a lot of controlled experiments. So we're talking about actually doing one together Twitter chat together with their classes and students based on maximize your social so hopefully, if we do it, I'll let y'all know and leave it open to the public and we'll see how far we can get with the experiment. But let's end it with Yeah, definitely. Tell us where where we can find you.Jim Barry:
Well, my Twitter handle is at Jim bury ba ry Jr. and I have a blog at blog dot social content. marketing.comNeal Schaffer:
Awesome. That was Jim Barry and Jahangir on that. It'sJohn Deronda:
John's Rhonda. It's my Twitter handle is at John's Rhonda, which is spelled varandas Giron da, John, I'm also on LinkedIn as well.Neal Schaffer:
Awesome. Thank you very much. I appreciate the time. It's really been incredible coming here and learning how far they get with with their education is really fascinating conversation. I wish I'd recorded all three hours of it. But anyway, if you are in education, you know at a university and kind of figure out how to work social media into your curriculum. I highly recommend that you connect with these two gentlemen and ask them about their experience. That's it for today. Wherever you are on the world, as I always say make it a great day. Bye bye, everybody. Thanks for listening to maximize your social. We appreciate your iTunes subscriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on the show or recommend content, please contact Neal Schaffer at Neal at maximize your social.com Thanks for listening and have a great day.