Let me begin by thanking Dan for the opportunity to participate in the Personal Branding Blog. I’ll be posting on Tuesdays and thought I’d start by discussing my experience in creating the Social Media Marketing course. The goal was to develop a course syllabus that discusses a set of emerging marketing tools, targeted at professional adults and international students, that educates and informs, and above all is relevant to the business experience.
Overwhelming continuing education
I have been teaching Executive Marketing courses at the UCLA Extension since 2001. The first course I taught was a course I developed on Competitive Marketing. I had be come frustrated with some of the available continuing education for business people and decided that, given the chance, I would write a course I would take myself. I used Michael Porter’s classic book Competitive Strategy and Sun Tzu’s The Art of War as course textbooks.
That first semester was a huge success – in fact, one of the highest rated courses that fall. Fast forward to 2008 and I am pleased to say that Karl Kasca, my co-instructor, and I successfully launched Social Media Marketing on November 5.
Putting together the course materials was daunting. Presenting emerging trends, technologies, and concepts to a broad audience is no easy task. The phrase “drinking from the firehose” doesn’t begin to cover it. Not only that, the popularity of the topic attracted over 50 students right of the bat. We capped it there and actually turned away about 15 potential students.
Blogging as a teaching tool
Based on a best practice from another Extension instructor at the UCSD Extension, Karl and I developed the Teaching Social Media at UCLA blog and the rest is history. The blog became a teaching tool as well as a resource location to supplement other class materials.
The second homework assignment was for students to create a blog. For social media practitioners, this may seem elementary. But the fact is that most businesses and business people are just now warming up to social media as a serious tool in the marketing mix.
I decided to ramp up my Twitter presence at the beginning of the course as well. I think I had about 30 followers in November. I’m close to 1,000 as I write this post. I decided to use the SMMUCLA blog and Twitter as personal branding tools because my personal goals are to ensure that 2009 will see a combination of revenue from consulting, teaching, writing, and speaking.
The blogs and Twitter have helped push my profile to a wider audience and I have provided a role model to the students on the power of social media.
Gold star resources
One of the key signatures Karl and I bring to the classes we teach is a list of ‘gold star’ guest speakers. My extensive business network and Karl’s market intelligence network enable us to take our classes to a new level via the relevant experience of speakers who are living and breathing the topics we are discussing.
The Social Media course was no exception. We had Ethan Bauley from M80, Carrie Wilkerson – The Barefoot Executive, Rodney Rumford of FaceReviews, and Nic Adler to discuss The Roxy on Sunset case study. Turned out this was the best ticket in town!
The next class I teach is Global Marketing and Strategy in Spring 2009. Social Media Marketing will run the last 6 weeks of the Spring semester and Karl and I look forward to another great lineup of speakers and I’ll be posting about them here and on the Teaching Global Marketing at UCLA blog.
Beverly Macy is the Managing Partner of Y&M Partners and teaches a social media class at UCLA. Y&M just launched the “Pay it Forward 2009” project.