GC-I Social media clothespinsSocial media has become a game changer for business. It can play a major role in building a brand or promoting a product. It can enable a company to connect with millions of potential consumers at minimal cost.

Regardless of company size, an effective social media presence helps reach a greater base of customers and followers. Social media professionals who understand the impact of social media on a business’s operations are able to deliver required positive results for their company.

Social media is one of the easiest ways for a company to promote or advertise its business, brand and website online. A company’s website is just a listing in the internet address book, while its social media pages (on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and so forth) are the ones that tell the world exactly what it does and how well it does it.

Directed marketing via social media enables a company’s decision makers to understand what their customers think about their products or services and anticipate and get in front of emerging market trends.

Social media experts help companies attract new customers and hence more sales, and are able to help a company retain customers by developing a direct connection and instantly replying to their concerns. Any company that wants to remain in business must enter the social media arena.

A successful social media campaign consists of a carefully developed plan with clear and measurable goals for increasing brand awareness and customer loyalty, seeding conversations, and generating engagement around a company and its products.

One example of a very successful social media campaign was Pepsi’s 2015 #CrashThePepsiIPL. The campaign asked consumers to submit 30-second commercials, showing their love for Pepsi, that would be aired during IPL8.

Pepsi created a dedicated website for consumers to access a Pepsi Tool Kit, filled with video editing tools and sound effects to create the ads. The campaign received several thousand excellently made commercials, with the winning submissions being viewed by hundreds of millions of Indians during IPL8.

Another immensely successful social media campaign was Mahindra’s 2015 #GoGustoRides. The goal was to generate digital interest in the two-wheeler Gusto scooters. Mahindra collaborated with influential food bloggers to create “Go Gusto Rides,” a series of food themed scooter rides in Mumbai and Bangalore.

The bloggers would incorporate the scooters into their daily routines as they explored local eateries. Blogger explorations were then live-tweeted and documented on their social media profiles. The campaign also ran contests to give followers an opportunity to join a food ride.

The results were greater than expected:

  • A campaign reach of more than 4 million digital users across Facebook and Twitter
  • The hashtag #GoGustoRides was seen more than 21.5 million times on Twitter with more than 159 million timeline deliveries
  • 73 lakh engagements via shares, likes, comments and retweets, replies and clicks

Such successful examples are helping to drive the shift towards social media campaigns. This increase in social media campaigns was predicted in EY’s second annual Social Media Marketing India Trends Study report of 2014.

According to the report, 90 percent of business brands questioned stated that they spent 15 percent of their annual marketing budget on social media in 2014 — an increase of 12 percent over 2013.

Social Media Certification

This huge paradigm shift towards the use of social media by businesses has created a massive demand for trained social media professionals.  In India today there are a number of popular online digital and classroom courses focusing on social media marketing. There are also a number of social media certifications available to train social media experts.

Master Social Media Certification (CSMMM)

This certification course is offered by Digital Vidya, a well-known digital-marketing training company. Digital Vidya was the first Indian company to kick-start social media marketing workshops in 2009.

CSMMM training consists of 12 hours of instructor-led sessions. It includes different modes of training materials including videos, presentations, exercises and hands-on projects; a month-long research-based internship and, for successful candidates, job placement assistance.

Cost of the CSMMM training is approximately INR 14,900 (plus taxes).

Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing and Analytics

This professional certification course is jointly offered by the All India Management Association (AIMA) and Digital Vidya. This is a great course if you intend to work in the digital marketing industry. Participants gain knowledge and expertise about various digital strategies for utilizing social media and online advertising to help businesses gain a competitive edge.

It is a three-month-long course, consisting of 50 hours of instructor-led training, along with 12 online projects. The course is divided into different modules, including Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Web Analytics, Email Marketing and Social Media Marketing (SMM).

Apart from the module-level assessments, there is also have a one-hour final assessment exam at the end of the course.

Certification in Social Media and Mobile Marketing

This course is offered by Digital Academy India, a subsidiary of Digital Vidya. Training covers the two main areas of social media marketing and mobile marketing. The goal is to help students understand the importance and utility of of social media channels with regard to loyalty marketing, brand building, public relations, customer service, crisis management and so on.

Apart from social media marketing professionals, this course is also useful for sales experts, and professionals working in human resources and business management.

Digital and Social Media Marketing Strategies (DSMMS)

This certification is offered by the highly renowned Indian School of Business (ISB) at Hyderabad and Mohali. The objective of this course is not only to educate students about the different tools available for social media marketing, but also to make students aware of the major categories of those tools, their usage, value and potential Return on Investment (ROI).

This in-depth course can be availed for an approximate cost of around INR 100,000 (plus taxes). This is an ideal training for professionals and leaders from domains like digital marketing and strategy.

Professional Diploma in Social Media Marketing

This certification is jointly provided by NIIT Imperia and the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) and is primarily for social media marketers.  Participants are trained to understand the current trends and best practices in social media marketing and how to create innovative digital strategies to help businesses gain a competitive advantage.

The programme runs over a period of 10 weeks with a final certification exam at the end.

Professional Social Media Certification (CSMMP)

Social media certification can help you get into an exciting career.CSMMP is offered by Digital Vidya, in conjunction with Vskills (a government of India initiative).

This is an intermediate level course costing approximately INR 4,400. It is aimed at educating students to leverage social media for businesses with regard to reputation management, brand building, customer acquisition, and so forth. The final certification exam consists of a one-hour text exam.

Get a job

Any of the above mentioned certifications are excellent assets for obtaining a job as a social media marketing professional. Some of the more popular positions for certified individuals include:

  • Social Media Manager
  • Social Media Consultant
  • Social Media Marketing Manager
  • Social Media Planner

Social media marketing is the wave of the future. Companies across all industries are increasing their budgets to better connect with and serve their customers. The demand for skilled experts has never been greater. Fortunately, an excellent means of exhibiting your skills and knowledge is available thru social media certification.

Do you have any questions? Please feel free to leave your comments below and, as always, thanks for reading!