The use of social media platforms for promoting organizations, brands, ideas and causes has been growing in recent years. Media companies increasingly rely on social media management tools both to analyse their activities and to professionalize their engagement with the public on different social media. The ability to design, implement, manage and evaluate social media strategies, uses and practices – together with the necessary knowledge and skills to put these activities into action – are therefore essential.
The course aims at providing students with an understanding of how to research, plan and evaluate the use as well as the management of social media. Some of the topics discussed in the course are: the presentation of a theoretical framework for social media analysis and research; an overview of major social media platforms, including the presentation and discussion of best content practices; an introduction to social media analytics and optimization; a focus on how to interact and engage with specific target groups such as fans or detractors directly in an online format.
Students will experience an environment whereby they can demonstrate their understanding of information through practice. To this purpose, during the lectures the course discusses case studies to provide hands-on experience of social media management practices. In addition, students will be given assignments aimed at enhancing their analythical and technological skills using current social media platforms. Moreover, throughout the course social media experts will be invited to give guest lectures to further expand the students’ understanding of a specific topic.
Student learning outcomes:
As a result of successfully completing this course, the students will:
-have a comprehensive knowledge of multiple social media platforms, what they do, and how and why we use them, along with strategic ideas for management within the social networking community;
-be able to monitor social media and present relevant data, trends, risks and opportunities;
-articulate ethical guidelines and best practices in social media management;
-identify principles learned in the course to determine why particular social media campaigns failed and others succeeded.
Supplemented materials for this course include chapters from two core references:
-Friedrichsen M., Mühl-Benninghaus, W. (2013). Handbook of Social Media Management. Value Chain and Business Models in Changing Media Markets, New York: Springer;
-Sloan L., Quan- Haase A. (2017). The SAGE Handbook of Social Media Research Methods, London: Sage.
Reports and scientific articles on specific topics will also be supplemented to students.
70% written exam, 30% individual assignments.