Help: The Perfect Social Media Marketing Course

This course will debut at Radford U in January. In the planning and proposal stage the course has benefited from crowdsourced ideas from my online friends and colleagues. So I have come back for more! What follows is an outline of the topics, planned workshops and group-led discussions. I appreciate any thoughts on additional topics (for example we need four more group-led topics).

Course Topics

  1. Types of social media: blogs, micro-blogs, networking, media sharing, special interest
  2. The “Big Four” – Facebook Fan Page, Blog, Twitter, YouTube, (and Linkedin)
    1. Other SM platforms – YouTube, Flickr, Google+, Tmblr, etc. Other important social media and benefits (presentations by students)
  1. Word of mouth marketing and theory
  2. Niche marketing: the long tail
  3. Engagement: Building a community
  4. Creating Content
    1. Social issues in online communities

Organizational Application of social media

  1. Traditional vs. new media; organic vs. amplified word of mouth
  2. Innovation: Wikinomics, lead users, and crowdsourcing
    1. Co-creation and prosumers
    2. Netnography and SM customer research
  3. Brand narrative, storytelling, and brand community
  4. Networking – what it means and how it is done; Networking vs. Marketing: conflicts and synergy
  5. Mobile marketing and location-based social media
  6. Successful and unsuccessful firm use of SMM
  7. Organizational Applications of SMM: Setting organizational goals and tracking them. Measures / metrics of influence – Google Analytics, Klout, etc. What do they really measure? Do they really matter? ROI of social media efforts.
  8. Developing an organizational social media plan


  1. Engagement and creating content
  2. Creating a great Fan Page
  3. Mobile marketing and Location-based SMM
  4. Determining ROI of social media
  5. Benefits of Social media clubs and groups
  6. Video-pods and presentations
  7. Using video 

Student reports

  1.  Presenting pictures: Flickr and its competitors
  2. Micro-blogging: Tumblr
  3. FB competitors: Google+, Ning, MySpace (emphasis on G+)
  4. Location-based: Foursquare and its competitors
  5. Promoting content: StumbleUpon, DIGG, Technorati, Delicious, etc.
  6. Influence measures: PeerIndex, Tweet Grader, Klout, etc.
  7. Video tricks – winning on YouTube

Please post suggestions here or at the FB fan page:

Happy 2012 to all!

An earlier post that generated “crowdsourcing” help for the course design is here:

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9 Responses to Help: The Perfect Social Media Marketing Course

  1. I taught my first Social Media class last fall. Here’s info on final project the class did.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is a really cool course! I wish I could take it. I hope you use tons of inforgraphics.

  3. Eileen P says:

    I wish I could take this course. Use plenty of inforgraphics!

  4. gschirr says:

    Thanks for your ideas and quick response!

  5. gschirr says:


    Thanks for your quick feedback. I have four enterprises that want a SM plan a local restaurant, a food recycling effort, a small farmer and a new author. I hope the outcome is as good as in your class!

    – Gary

  6. Leora Wenger says:


    This sounds great! I don’t think you need to worry about perfect – the students will benefit from the discussion. The trick is (I’m sure you know this as a teacher) engaging them, keeping them interested, getting them to relate to the topics. When I recently gave a short class on FB business pages, the audience wanted live examples. They wanted to know – who is doing this well now?

  7. Wish I could be there…cheers

  8. gschirr says:


    Thanks! As an interactive (not lazy…) instructor, I will ask the students to find examples of organizations that are doing SM well and poorly.

    The other wild card is this is my first hybrid course, so half of it is online.

    – Gary

  9. Scott Cowley says:

    Gary, I think the outline looks really good. A big thumbs up for student projects using actual businesses. I wish more of my classes had done similar projects – those I did made it on my resume and had a big impact in getting post-graduation jobs.

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