Whenever I see a social-media expert, I bow.
Little do they know I'm doing it in the hope they don't recognize me. Otherwise, they'll regale me with their latest homilies -- I'm sorry, I mean theories -- about how to get more of, oh, something on social networks.
Social-media experts are today's witch doctors. They promise they have the requisite potion. All you have to do is believe.
The problem for many of them is that they are self-proclaimed experts/gurus/visionaries. Usually because they've bought themselves 10,000 Twitter followers from an Australian broker called Bill.
However, now they can achieve what many believe they have always deserved. Yes, they can be certified.
For Hootsuite has clubbed together with Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Communication to offer, no, really, an Advanced Social Media Strategy Certificate.
Naturally, being social-media educators, these folks aren't actually going to make you turn up anywhere to listen to anyone. Instead, this certificate is earned entirely online.
Still, you'll be able to learn (in your own time and pajamas) about Situation and Environment Analysis, the Strategic Planning Process, Content Strategy, and Information Management and Threats.
More Technically Incorrect
It all brings to mind last year's SNL skit in which alleged social-media expert Kourtney Barnes offered her take on "expression."
"One of the problems that has existed is that there've not been a lot of ways for people to learn how to make use of this new way of communicating," Lorraine Branham, dean of the Newhouse School, said in a video on the school's site.
This seems quite an odd view, given that young people would rather post nonsense on social networks than, say, walk these days.
Still, corporate America does love a certificate. It looks so good on a resume. So they'll send their best and brightest to be certified in the thing they do all day anyway.
And once you have been certified as a social-media expert, you'll never again make the mistake of posting: "I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f***ing drive" on the Chrysler Twitter account.