Looking for a future in social media, but don’t know where to start from? Confused about taking an online or regular social media marketing course? In the earlier section I mentioned a list of social media institutes in India. But With the growing number of institutes leaves many aspirants in a major query of which institute to choose and on what grounds? I have been receiving emails from our readers asking which institutes to choose for social media. Thus we decided to get at the bottom of this!
We Spoke to Mr. Pradeep Chopra about the importance of choosing the right institutes and other things you need to know before getting into all this. Mr. Chopra is among the pioneers of Digital Marketing, and has been a part of the Internet Industry since 2000. A great person with clear thoughts on what he wants to achieve and how to deliver value. He has been a serial entrepreneur for the last 13 years and is currently the Co-founder & CEO of Digital Vidya. Let’s take a look at what we discussed with him-
Q1. How important is Social Media training in India? Why there is a need?
Pradeep: India has over 100 million users on Social Media, actually on Facebook alone now. This represents customer base for almost every business in rural India. Given this number is already big and is growing, every business would like to leverage this medium. In order to do that, organizations require skilled people and in absence of formal avenues of Social Media education, Social Media training is critical.
Q2. As a student what should they focus more on? Way to drive the engagement or knowing the platform better or something else?
Pradeep: For a student to be successful on this medium, they need to appreciate that Social Media is fundamentally a mode of communication and is a powerful medium for organizations to reach out to and engage with their target audience. While there’s no substitute for practical experience, knowing basic principles of marketing along with specific functionality of various Social Media channels is minimum requirement for anyone to be successful in leveraging this medium. Surely, knowing the art of engagement on this medium is integral to the skills required to grow in this industry.
3. While selecting a Training Institute, what facilities students should look forward?
Pradeep: Like for any other training, people who’ve created the curriculum and trainers who are delivering the training are most important parameters for selecting a training institute. Structure of the course, it being hands-on exposure, case studies used are also important criteria’s to look at.
Q4. Is an online course/program sufficient enough? Or they should enrol for full time (if available)
Pradeep: It’s been over 4 years for us at Digital Vidya. We have tried almost every possible delivery structure & format (e.g. offline/online, workshop/course, instructor-led/self-study). While there are always pros and cons of each choice, our experience says that course format delivers higher value over other formats such as workshop since it allows participants to learn as well as apply the concepts.
Online medium of delivery allows the institute to make available best trainers and offers significant time & cost saving for participants. We’ve experienced this over 3 years of running instructor-led, online courses. In reality, it’s far more engaging medium and it allows better support structure to stay connected with fellow participants and course leaders. Finally, in case someone misses a session, recording of the session is available to cover up for the absence.
Q5. Like we have AICTE for MBA courses in India, is there a governing body for these social/digital media courses?
Pradeep: Frankly speaking No.
Q6. We receive few requests about people asking whether to go for a Indian training Institute or a foreign Institute, somewhere in London or California? Would be great to know your thoughts on this.
Pradeep: As far as education in social media/digital marketing is concerned, we are at a nascent stage in India. Even globally, it’s still far from maturity and thus there is no true global leader in this space. Top universities such as Stanford offers social media/digital marketing course but it’s offered as part of their main curriculum.
At the same time, while it’s great to learn and adapt from international experiences especially in US, but localization in this industry is the key.
Q7. What is that one thing that stands out Digital Vidya from rest of the social media institutes in india?
Pradeep: The learning impact and opportunity for career growth offered through our training programs because of our unique course structure, course content and experience of course leaders is what we are really proud of. That’s the reason why we’ve been able to serve over 4500 participants across more than 195 (we are soon going to announce our 200th training program) training programs since Jan 2010.
Social media is the way to go, and joining institutes to help train you before you enter this digital space is a good move. But at the same time it is important to choose an institute which adds value to you! With keeping the above parameters in mind will help you make more informed decisions.
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