The imperfect Social Media Marketing course

When I was soliciting ideas for the new course I used the title “The Perfect Social Media Marketing course”. Now that we are a couple weeks into it, I already am thinking of changes for the fall, so the following is the detailed outline of my imperfect social media marketing course…

Social Media Marketing – Spring 2012

Objective – The objective of SMM class is for each student to understand and apply: the principles of social media marketing, the use of the key social media platforms by organizations, how SMM differs from standard marketing and internet marketing, key issues and changes in social media, and to demonstrate the capability to use social media to support the mission of a professional, business or non-profit organization.

Social Media Marketing is not Internet Marketing. In internet marketing promotional tools such as direct selling, coupons, advertisements are brought online and established success measures include SEO, click-throughs, etc. Social Media Marketing is really social networking online: reaching out and advancing real relationships with customers, prospects, and stakeholders. Promotional tools used in SMM can be jarring and counter-productive if not used carefully.

The “big four” SM platforms for professional SMM (per @michellegolden) are:

  1.  Facebook [And FB fan pages]
  2. Blogs
  3. Twitter
  4. YouTube
  5. And… LinkedIn for anyone interested in networking or B2B or professional advancement…

 Reading: This is a rapidly changing field with many questions and few answers. There is a lot of reading including books, blogs and articles.

Books: We will use 4 interesting business-oriented paperbacks.

  • Tao of Twitter by Mark Schaefer and
  • Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk

are easy reads and should be read quickly as they will be discussed in the first two weeks. These two books are key to project 1 – your passion. Mr. Schaefer will address our class via Skype in one of our first four class meetings.

  • Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day (Dave Evans) and
  • The New Rules of Marketing and PR (David Meerman Scott)

are available in the bookstore or can be purchased through Amazon or a bookstore. I urge every student to get a copy of An Hour a Day; you can share the Scott book if you wish, but must keep up in reading.

Recommended books  include: Engage (Solis), Likeable Social Media (Kerpen), Social Media ROI (Blanchard)

Websites: I hope you follow many websites and blogs. These should definitely be included for this class:

Articles: As assigned by instructor

Class Projects: Projects are the focus of Social Media Marketing class. The instructor will post sheets with more detailed information about each project

  1. Personal Campaign – each student designs + executes a social media campaign for a personal “passion.”
  2. Turn an author into a best seller – each group will generate ideas and a SMM plan for a new book author.
  3. Organizational SMM – each group will generate ideas and an SMM plan for an organization.

Student Content: There is so much to understand and so much changing that no one person…but the each group will help with two videocasts for the entire class to view.

Student reports – each group will create a video-cast for the class on one of these topics:

  1.  Presenting pictures: Flickr and its competitors
  2. Blogging on WordPress, BogSpot or Tumblr; video-blogging
  3. SMM on singles sites: OKCupid, Casual Kiss, Plenty of Fish
  4. Google+, What’s happening, what’s coming…
  5. Promoting blog content: StumbleUpon, DIGG, Technorati, Delicious, etc. & Syndicating a blog – B2Community, Triberr, etc.
  6. Influence measures: PeerIndex, Tweet Grader, Klout, etc.
  7. Video – winning on YouTube, vimeo, blogs – merits of platforms and techniques
  8. Internal social media – Yammer, Ning, etc.
  9. SM ads (FB, Linkedin, etc.) and compare to Google Ads.
  10. Guerrilla marketing for small businesses with social media
  11. Forecasting with social media

Best practices – Contrasting a good and bad organizational social media effort – video-cast from each group.

Course Topics Outline

  1. Types of social media: blogs, microblogs, networking, media sharing, special interest
  2. The “Big Five” – Facebook (& Fan Page), Blog, Twitter, YouTube… and Linkedin
    1. Other SM platforms –Flickr, Google+, Tmblr, Digg, etc. Other important social media and benefits (presentations by students

    3.  Word of mouth marketing and theory
    4. Niche marketing: the long tail
    5. Engagement: Building a community
    6. Creating CONTENT

    1. Social issues in online communities

Organizational Application of social media

  1. Traditional vs. new media; organic vs. amplified word of mouth
    1. Networking – what it means and how it is done; Networking vs. Marketing: conflicts and synergy
  2. Brand narrative, storytelling, and brand community
  3. Innovation: Wikinomics, lead users, and crowdsourcing
    1. Co-creation and prosumers
    2. Netnography and SM customer research
    3. Forecasting with social media data
  4. SMM for intra-organizational communication & collaboration (& supply/distr chain)
  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 –
    1. Google Analytics, Klout, etc. What do they measure? Do they really matter?
    2. ROI of social media efforts.
  8. Selling, service and social media – Leads, pipeline, customer service and CRM
  9. Developing an organizational social media plan – Integrated marketing, C-S, internal
    1. Integrated with organizational Marketing and Strategy


  1. Engagement and creating content: Blogging and Micro-blogging
  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
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The imperfect Social Media Marketing course

  1. drjrogers says:

    How is it going!?!? My courses are going great! I love how some of my students really enjoy the SMM classes and go above and beyond basic requirements.

  2. You are off to an amazing start with this class and Radford is lucky to have an educator that is so passionate and dedicated. I lecture at a lot of universities and this is as good a program as i have seen anywhere. Every PR, HR, marketing, communications, and business student should take this class. This is vital knowledge.

  3. gschirr says:

    It is off to a great start: in the first three classes we had a co-founder (and RU student) of a leading FB Fan page tool ( ) talk about creating a fan page, a new author ask for help in her SMM efforts and THEN @markwschaeffer talk about engaging a community with content!!

    Am worried about maintaining this level of excitement!

    Thanks again Mark!!

    – Gary

  4. gschirr says:

    It is off to a great start: in the first three classes we had a co-founder (and RU student) of a leading FB Fan page tool ( ) talk about creating a fan page, a new author ask for help in her SMM efforts and THEN @markwschaefer talk about engaging a community with content!!

    Am worried about maintaining this level of excitement!

    Thanks again Mark!!

    – Gary

  5. gschirr says:


    Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.

    It is going great! I have had 3 great guest speakers, so I am a little nervous about maintaining this high level of excitement…

    – Gary

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s