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Beth Harte posted a link on Twitter this evening that prompted quite the Tweet conversation.

The link posted was to a enterprising person who is offering a Social Media Marketing Certification for a bargain price of about $1500.

Now, Beth covers a lot of what is wrong with this, and there is so much wrong with it. I guess I can cover more of a technical aspect (because that’s what I do) and throw in some of my own thoughts too.

First, the site looks truly shifty. If you’re going to offer something marketing to others you really need to make it look good. This is almost like trying to market a book on the back of a paper towel.

The domain has very little to do with the site – Marketing Community Resource? that could be much better suited for something else.

It’s online based! It has to be, being 12 weeks long. Could you teach someone to play the violin by correspondence?

I have more certifications in a variety of areas than you can shake a stick at but I agree with Beth and others when I say that I don’t think that you can certify someone to be a “Certified Social Media Marketing Coach/Consultant/Marketer”  (sounds rather vague).

There is no authority in Social Media Marketing, there is no standard. The only way to prove yourself, your methods and prowess in the field is in the outcome. Do you create exposure? do you help business? are you making a difference? the proof of the pudding is truly in the eating.

I’m no authority, I don’t claim to be, I likely never will. I do what I do and what I know. To get anywhere in Social Media Marketing you need personality. You need to be exciting, excited and excitable. You can’t teach or quantify that. You need imagination, you need to have ideas and be personable. You can’t bottle or put it in a book.

Social Media Marketing is something you need to be, it’s a tool, it’s not a cure-all but it helps.

12 weeks isn’t enough time to build a reputation, develop skills, build relationships and make contacts and more, heck people have been doing it for 12 years and are still working on it!

Another interesting, and saddening point raised is that anyone who pays for this title will certainly put it on their resume.
Enterprise (and anyone else needing SMM) isn’t versed enough to know any different. they’ll likely skip over someone with true SMM Passion for someone with $1500.

A standard will stymie growth too. Social Media and Social Media Marketing is changing so much on a daily basis. Companies are coming and going. Sites are up and down. If you set a standard it will stop those with it from pushing further.

I suggested that we create a non-certified certificate. Stating that we’re not certified in Social Media and won’t be. It makes sense in my mind.

What do you think?

Sadly this isn’t the only place claiming to offer some kind of authority in Social Media – A quick Google Search brings up a few places. (here)

See the course here

See Beth’s Post here

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