Facebook and Twitter users can put their social media addictions to job-friendly use with the social media marketing minor.
“We’re trying to give students a strong marketing and promotions background, and the tools they’ll need to provide social media context to a job,” marketing professor Heidi Rottier said. “It’s a pretty special program. When we were trying to put it in place, I looked at other schools to see if they had a program, and there were none. There were grad programs, but no undergrad.”
Rottier said companies are beginning to see the interaction between students and social media.
“Jobs may be looking for marketing students with social media experience,” she said. “I have a student who went into event planning in marketing, and she uses social media for support for events they’re doing.”
Rottier was recently quoted in “The Atlantic” about social media becoming a larger part of college education.
“[Freelance writer for the Atlantic] Josh Sternberg is looking at the bigger picture, and how we can expect social media to show up in education,” she said. “I did a lot of research and found out social media touches a lot of mediums. Some colleges have a class in journalism, some in sociology. Ours is one of the few doing it as a whole program or concentration in marketing.”
Rottier said the social media marketing class she teaches is extremely interactive.
“At Bradley there’s already a lot of student/professor interaction in class, but this was a whole new level, in a good way,” she said. “The first class [last semester] was the most interactive experience I’ve ever had. The whole cohort of the group is special because of that. It’s just cool.”
Rottier said this class is unique to others she has taught before.
“This class is different in that it requires students to use social media, but not like they usually do,” she said. “I had a lot of people who do this for a living speak to the class either in class or via Skype so students could see how people are actually using [social media marketing]. We also talked a lot about what was going on in social media at the time. The class is very free-flowing, but still structured.”
Rottier said it is amazing how quickly information spread from one person to another through social media.
“Gilbert Gottfried made his infamous Japan jokes during class, and bin Laden’s death happened during class too,” she said. “We all found out about those things and talked about it via Twitter. We all got the information and were able to communicate with each other so quickly. Twitter’s just so fast.”