7 Ideas for Advanced Social Media Education

For the past three years I have been teaching college or graduate level classes in social media marketing.  Executives are clamoring for the next level of education in this area and so I’ve been wondering … what would an Advanced Social Media Class look like?

What new skills and ideas would go into the next level of social media education?  Where do we go beyond the basic frameworks and strategies?

This is a real, live opportunity and I would love to have your input. In fact PLEASE help out with your ideas in the comment section.  Let me prime the pump … here are some ideas I might include in an advanced social media class:

The politics of social media.  Many companies are “checking a box” and doing social media (i.e. “we have a Facebook page”) but they are not being social because they have not adapted their traditional broadcasting culture to one that is real-time and reactive. Making the cultural change to really connect with stakeholders at the point of need is extremely difficult and it has to start at the top. Tactics to do this would make for an interesting class, don’t you think?  How do you organize to optimize?

Internal applications — Last year I predicted that internal applications for social media would be the next big wave of opportunity for large companies and based on some of the successes we’re seeing this is probably coming true. Yet, this is an under-developed topic in most traditional discussions on social media. I think an exploration of how companies are realizing measurable returns on these programs would be energizing.

Exploring the Digital Divide — I’ve been touring North America with a new speech about the digital layers between companies and customers.  A few years ago, every customer interaction was only between real people. Then as we started dumping customer self-service functions on to a website, we created the first digital divide between ourselves and our customers. Today, many customers prefer to be met in the social space instead of a website, creating a second digital divide and further fragmenting marketing efforts. In my speech I articulate four more layers beyond social media and we will need to meet customer needs in all these spaces. I’m working on a blog post on this topic but am having trouble keeping it short!

Return on Influence — In the post “Why Klout Matters” I presented an argument that the ability to create content, move it virally on the social web, and measure reactions to that activity represents an unprecedented opportunity.  In the history of sociology, psychology, political science, and marketing, we have never been able to measure this thing called influence.  Current measurements like Klout are imperfect, but they are good enough for companies like Disney, Audi, and American Express to use in new word-of-mouth influencer campaigns. This is a big deal and certainly something that should be included in an advanced class.

Integration — Combining social opportunities with traditional advertising seems like the next evolution in marketing but for reasons I don’t totally understand, it’s not gaining traction as fast as I thought it would. I remember watching the Super Bowl ads last year and thinking, “OK, this is going to be the breakthrough event for social and traditional integration,” but there was nothing. Literally nothing. In fact, has there been anything that comes close to the brilliant Old Spice initiative?  Are companies keeping these efforts siloed? What are some case studies and best practices?

Beyond Business Marketing — I think it would be interesting to examine social media best practices in areas like HR, PR, politics, government, education, and non-profits.  Could probably spend a whole day just on that.  There are enormous opportunities in all of these areas.

International — The biggest brands are leaning hard into regional social media platforms such as Renren, Grono and Mixi. How do you navigate the increasingly complex world of fragmented national, regional … even local … sites?

OK, it’s your turn!  If you attended a class in advanced social media considerations, what topics would you want to explore?

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  • For what it’s worth, I’d love to study social media strategies and tactics for big business vs. those for small business. I suspect one size doesn’t fit all … Also, Christopher Penn recently wrote about a common lament at marketing conferences (sometimes expressed by me) that there are no “advanced” social media marketing sessions. Would love to know Chris’s comments on your post here!

  • WOW! I would love to take this class. Why do think the integration of social/traditional metrics is not gaining traction as quickly. It’s an ideas that we (@collectual:twitter ) have been emphasizing with our clients. I wonder if it’s the direction of the discussion, talking about social media first within the context of integrating it with more traditional metrics. I wonder if the discussion began first with gaps in traditional metrics that could be complemented by insights from social media if the concept might be more readily accepted?

    Best of luck with your new course!

  • Good question, perhaps advance would be more strategy and tactics or “getting your hands” dirty. 
    More hands on approach, more doing. No more theories or kumbaya stuff. More action pack Rocky kicking butt strategies that people can apply today. Perhaps learning what goes behind planning a social media strategy. From generating ideas, planning and executing. 

  • “Crisis Management & Social Media” would be a very good topic that is the more serious side of social.  It’s possible that this could be two courses with one for the small business and another for more enterprise level. “Reputation Management” is a related topic.

    On a lighter note, a course titled “Expressing Emotion.” could explore how social media can be used to better inform, entertain and engage through examples of humor, storytelling, provocative debate, etc. Sort of an advanced social media class in being human.

  • Mark, 
    I would enroll in your class regardless of the focus because Social Media  isn’t a “once and done” curriculum.  The SM landscape, its practitioners and the audience are constantly evolving.  If I went to school to become a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer I would emerge with documented “proof” that I possessed core competencies on the subject matter.   However, I don’t believe we mere mortals will ever be able to achieve the SM equivalent.   I do believe you can teach about specific components of SM and expand on how to artistically apply the varied skills to address your specific goals.  I believe it would be more like a conductor combines many instruments and players to create art.  The symphony certainly needs talented instrumentalist but without the conductor it is just noise.  Never the less the tuba players still need to practice diligently to participate in the art.

    All that being said, I would like to learn more about shrinking SM to fit my small market; my geographic sandbox.  Sometimes SM looks to be consumed with the macro at the expense of the micro.  I am affiliated with a large firm but my focus is on my clients, my branch and my community. The firm is focused on marketing, PR and advertising to the masses.  I just want to connect with my little corner of the world.

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  • Very interesting suggestion. I will reach out to Christopher on this.

  • I’m not really in the Madson Ave loop so can’t answer authoritatively. I’ll snoop around though and see what I can find out for a follow up post.

  • The classes I’m teaching now are exactly that. The feedback is generally that I am exploding their heads with practical ideas. : )

    Social media planning might be an interesting topic. There has to be a balance between reacting and planning, right? Good topic, Aaron.

  • Superb ideas Billy. Thanks!

  • Interesting take on it Jeff. “Scaling down.”

    The irony is, the power of SM is really at the local level.

  • Hi Mark,

    You’ve touched upon an interesting thought with your post. While I agree with all the comments over here including Billy’s idea of expressing emotion, I think it would be good to have a course on “Conceptualizing Ideas for Social Media Campaigns”.

    I feel that day-in and day-out we hear about different success stories from various verticals in Social Media. The issue is that with so much happening in the industry, we are not sure to take the ideal route of planning a new campaign and thinking about exciting ideas.  A basic course which develops a sort of framework for executing viral campaigns would be helpful.

    Nice post once again!

  • That amazing Mark, I wish I could sign up for that class too, would be amazing to learn from you like the others. 

    I’m sure you’ll blast my brains with tons of information like what I’ve learned from you in the blog. 

  • Hi Mark: Great article. To your list, I’d like to add measuring and  tracking social media. While there are many qualitative benefits of SM, we as an industry should really be helping our clients identify the quantitative benefits of SM. Unlike other marketing programs, those benefits extend into some of the areas you mentioned here, PR, HR, Customer Service. Helping businesses track those efforts is a moving target, but one I think is worthy of advanced consideration. 

  • I know the power should be local, and is in many market segments, but in highly regulated industries like mine the joystick is still in the ivory tower.  It gives new meaning to “Wii Fit”.  Every time they hit the controller buttons I want to pitch a fit.

  • Joey Strawn

    I like the idas presented above and @askaaronlee:disqus ‘s suggestion of more “get your hands dirty”, no BS social media tactics. Social media planning would be a much-needed aspect of an Advanced Social Media class along with “How to create a fluid, yet functional, social content calendar. I’d also think some exploration into advanced avenues where social media is heading would be good for a class like that (i.e. social TV, mobile marketing, QR/Tags/NFC, etc.), taking the overall strategies and tactics and seeing how they are or could be applied to everyday life to further engage and attract audiences.

    That’s my two cents.

  • Mark, as usual an interesting and thought-provoking post. 

    I believe that a course in advanced social media marketing should teach corporate representatives to stop marketing their products. I believe that as the consumer becomes increasingly sophisticated he/she wants only to pull information and control the interactions that occur with individuals or with companies. TV commercials are seen by increasingly few consumers as we/they get really comfortable with DVR, satellite radio, digital newspapers, downloadable movies–no more captive audience. So even the “Madison Avenue” types need to stop trying to brainwash the consumer. 

    Social media is perfectly positioned to stop the push and allow the pull of information by this segment, which will grow over the next decade. So, what is called for in your next evolution of education is making marketing directors understand that social media marketing should not be treated as a niche marketing technique, but must be seen as the backbone of the entire marketing program. The consumer wants to find what he wants at the moment he wants it; he must be able to trust information available from companies and other consumers before he will make a purchase. 

    I am seeing this as a trend in all arenas; from used cars to healthcare, from cupcakes to machine parts. B to C and B to B. 

    So I guess what I am saying is that the advanced course should be advanced marketing, emphasizing that  competency in fully integrated social media marketing will be necessary (although not necessarily sufficient) for anyone hoping to enter or thrive in marketing as a profession.

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  • On Twitter I’d retweet your ideas Billy.  Thank you for suggesting courses I’d attend.

  • Agree Mark…

  • Social media for innovation would be my suggestion. You have mentioned it before, but the potential is huge. A myriad of techniques – from those awful ineffective focus groups and brainstorming sessions to lead users, crowdsourcing and agile techniques – have been developed over the years to involve customers and other stakeholders in innovation. But how can you get sustained real time collaboration? I think we may acheive real time open innovation through skillfull implementation of social media.

  • Feel a bit intimidated even venturing to make a suggestion, but for what it’s worth, here it is 😉

    For all of the reasons you stated above, I think a natural evolution to an “advanced” study would be to take a wider approach and study the business “culture”. Although this goes beyond marketing, for the graduate social media marketing professional, they will find themselves in situations where they will benefit from knowing the corporate context within which they want to work.
    As Mark W pointed out, you could study large vs small business models and how they approach social media strategy differently. What does it mean to be a “social” business with practical procedures to integrate social into all areas.

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  • Rachelle Palmer

    Hi Mark – interesting post. I’m part of a startup (just joined 500 Startups, actually) and our product helps make website homepages responsive/reactive. It essential makes the static homepage social. Please take a look and watch the (very short) video. I think it’s super helpful for businesses.


  • I agree

  • I couldn’t agree more Aaron! So many SM seminars teach you basic fundamentals in setting up the SM and what to use to “manage” social media, but after that, it seems that no one can really answer the “how” on a deeper level. For instance: I post on Twitter 5-10x per day and Facebook 1-2 every other day, I engage those that engage me and try to engage my community around me, so now what? How do I take that fundamental approach and improve upon that inorder to gain an even  better grasp on followers and their needs.

  • Rachelle Palmer
  • Good day Mr. Schaefer (you really need an easier last name to spell)

    First, I would certainly enjoy any of those above mentioned classes, and I think you’re onto a great start with the ideas you’ve provided above. Being a fellow teacher (I teach social media courses at my local College), I have a few ideas that may or may not have been mentioned below.

    Tracking, Measurement and Analytics: This is the other side of the coin of social media, you and I both know that it’s all good to produce amazing content, but without tracking or listening, you don’t know what you don’t know.

    Real World Applications: As a big focus for my students once they have the basic understanding is how they can start building it into real world applications such as events…

    Improving Customer Experience through Social Media: Another area we focus on is “not how to get new people, but how to get people you already know to LOVE you, and they’ll get you knew people” We focus on improving customer experience through social media initiatives

    Content is Good – Context Is How You Win: Building relationships is known to be the key in many industries (if not all industries) yet many approach social media with a BIG brush. This course could help students refine their message, and understanding that it is only once you know what someone else needs that you can fulfill it

    You mentioned it above but – We’re no longer in a social media plan & marketing plan world – we’re not in a Marketing Strategy world: This course would focus on making natural extensions with social media, such as the  Old Spice campaign, or Domino Project (as they have a street team, webinars, and other more “traditional” approaches)

    I love Billy Mitchell’s idea – and actually have seen it in real life, so totally go for that one

    Finally, my last advance course is always “Burst The Bubble, Just because you’re on here doesn’t do anything for you” – I think it was mentioned below but it is the idea of innovation, and how you can just spend 7 hours on Twitter and hope for something good to happen.

    I think that’s good – and sorry for the typos as I was just wanting to get the ideas out…Josh

  • Anonymous

    I am participating in leading a similar course at DePaul University and understand the tightrope to walk. Teaching anything remotely technological is tough because the wide array of comfort levels in any size classroom can leave some feeling bored and others felling in over their heads. Whenever I speak I note that RSS and content curation as topics either excite people or terrify them.

    As a result of these kinds of disparities I’d suggest spending some time parsing out what is advanced and to take a long hard look at the courses that lead up to it – that they properly prepare folks for what is advanced. That’s why I helped develop a three part workshop series that forces everyone to start at the same spot so we all know what we mean when we say advanced. If you let folks self identify, I worry that you’ll get too much of a range of experience and comfort levels.

  • Kit Hamilton

    Sounds like a really interesting course…I’d tee up a
    few topics —
    1- Social media as dialogue – read a post recently in DM News http://www.dmnews.com/ghost-stories-go-digital/article/212423/
    that talked about how different the interaction is via social media vs. more
    traditional marketing channels.  The traditional push-it-out-the-door
    approach just doesn’t fit.
    2- I’d second your Integration suggestion – we see it today with consumers each
    having their own view of how they should be communicated to and with –
    integration is a necessity for meeting customer expectations,
    achieving/maintaining a single view of each customer across the business, and
    for efficiency’s sake.
    3- An unstructured goldmine – there’s a veritable explosion of data –
    structured and, via social, unstructured out there – and loads to be learned by
    those who can mine it effectively. 

    Good luck!

  • I can’t get the time to take the classes, Mark…but I’ll look forward to the book, buddy (hint). I do love the idea of having this type of information available in both under-grad and graduate courses.

    And that politics of social media topic can really be expanded into both internal politics and sociological/demographic influences.

  • I work with a lot of big high tech firms (Cisco, HP, Sprint) on social media content- development, content marketing, etc. This is where co’s need the most work. Most corporate content is still very weak, and often disguised marketing speak and press releases. It needs to be overhauled, and people need to learn to write strong, compelling, engaging social content. On a related and broader level, corporate employees need work on becoming more “social” before they even start blogging. After years of brainwashing and corporate “mindsetting” (processes, systems, etc) it’s going to require a lot of retraining…something I’m trying to do now in my training sessions. 

  • Exceptional thinking Daksh. Much appreciated.

  • Well said Tara. I do cover “listening” of course in the basic classes but there is so much more that can be discussed. Thanks!

  • Good stuff Joey. Thanks very much for contributing.

  • Certainly agree that integration is a very key opportunity. Will have to dig into that one a little more!

  • Oh that is a huge idea Gary. Crowd sourcing, collaboration and the like. Great idea.

  • I’m glad you’re nit intimidated! I hope every feels comfortable here. Culture is a gigantic topic. At the root of all success and failure, yet so often overlooked! Thanks Ray.

  • I would say most of this is covered under the current curriculum at Rutgers. Sounds like we have a very similar approach and I’m not surprised Josh! Thanks!

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  • Kat Page

    In my experience, A lot of companies still need a ‘Why to Tweet’ masterclass. As you mentioned above, many companies are simply ticking a box, most still don’t get it or are several years behind the times.

    But above that, I believe a ‘Personality is King’ type of course would be especially beneficial. Social media isn’t social without personality and the amount of dry, dusty, boring tweets I see each day is insane. Companies are terrified of social media, afraid of the backlash if they get it wrong and unsure of whether they’re playing by the rules of the branding strategy.

    I would love to teach the big league companies about personality and the role it plays in social media, something that I do in every company I go to. It’s all about being human, having human conversations and interacting with other interesting people.

  • NL

    I hope you will devote four separate blog posts to “Exploring the Digital Divide” instead of trying to cover its vast territory in just one post.  It would be too easy to overlook the nuances that distinguish these layers of social interaction.  I look forward to reading all four posts!

  • I’m just finishing up an online college class on search engine marketing and the one thing that stands out is how quickly things change. While the material in my class is one to two years old, it seems ancient when it comes to Social Media. Companies like Klout are changing the landscape rapidly. Since there is so much change, an advanced class would have to be cutting edge and relevant. It would be hard to actually develop a syllabus, but a mastermind style group might work.

    I would be interested in social media and K12 education. Most schools block social media, but it is vital for business success. There needs to be a way to have security and a social voice for our kids.

  • I like the idea of internal applications for social media. When social media collides with work or school, there needs to be some guidelines and tools to make this work. There is a BIG market here for someone to integrate the outside world of Facebook and Twitter with the internal intranet.

  • No not surprising –

    Now, my question to you is, do you talk with these students about a “career” in social media? Not only how it impacts business, but what it takes to run a quote SOCIAL MEDIA FIRM unquote.

    I’ve been debating the validity of this course and would enjoy your thoughts.

  • Nearly all of my students are at a graduate level and usually have their own successful careers. A few are interested in social media careers. I do think there are a lot of opportunities in this area, primary because of the rapid-changing nature of the field. Nobody is an expert, so business leaders are looking for guidance.

  • Extremely good point. We would definitely require attending the introductory courses as a prerequisite for an advanced class. Thanks for the contribution!

  • A lot to think about here. Thanks for the thought-provoking comment!

  •  Very true, and interesting as although similar courses very different students (the vast majority being under grades in mine).

    Best of luck in developing more advance courses, and let us all know how they turn out.

  • The sociological implications are fascinating. Social media usage is so very different among demographic groups. So interesting.

  • I’m still stuck on fundamentals – identifying audience.

    I spend more time writing comments here than I do writing for my own web site – literally. The reason is largely because I see an audience here so I have a sense of actually saying something to somebody. When I blog it feels like shouting into a dark, empty room. And on the rare occasion when someone actually comments back it’s kind of spooky! Scares the %$# out of me! LOL

    So I wonder which digital divide I’m on the wrong side of.

  • I think we’re coming from the same place on this one. In my mind this goes under the “politics” category — employee, company readiness. Are they “doing” social by checking a box or creating new value and a reactive culture by “being social?” Well said.

  • Actually had an extended conversation on this topic yesterday. I think you have correctly identified the core issue, the core hurdle to change. The challenge, is, I don’t believe a class can make a meaningful dent in this issue! This type of culture change is extremely difficult, extraordinarily complicated. And yet, it is the most important predictor of social success. Quite an intellectual challenge, isn’t it?

  • Interesting idea. I’ve found that a series on a blog doesn’t usually work very well but it has been a long time since I’ve tried it. Thanks for encouraging me and suggesting this option!

  • I love these ideas John. In my classes I tend to avoid widget overload. It changes too much, too fast. I tend to focus on the fundamentals, the core ideas and strategies. I hope this gives the class content longer life because I’m confident these truths can be applied platforms, however they change … At least I hope so but time will tell! Thanks!

  • Agree with Billy on crisis. I’d also look at the impact/importance of speed and timing. And, the impact/importance of taxonomy and language. Lastly, the impact/importance of multi-media. And maybe metrics.

  • What an insightful comment Michael. I have been enjoying your comments and learning from you for a year or so now and here is what I can assure you:

    You have an amazing, vital voice.

    My wish for you is that you have the courage to try, the patience to build your community, and the tenacity to stick with it through the ups and downs. I would absolutely love to see what happens!

  • A class, no matter the subject, should encompass: knowing what is the problem and understanding it, mastering it for practical application, teaching the solution found to those who need the solution.
    The Problem: what is social media?
    The Solution: whatever you say it is!
    The Application: being able to express that so that people are social with you!

  • Taxonomy = Science, Meausrement, Metrics. Like that.  Problem is, so little real statistically-valid research exists. Even some of the “names” in the field have research that is full of holes. It has been frustrating to cut through the clutter.  Thanks very much, Jay!

  • Problem: How does an organization adopt and adapt SM best practices to core elements of our business to create shareholder value?
    Solution: Depends on the business, but certain elements of marketing and human behavior are universal.
    Application: Define those universal elements so social media strategy is understandable and accessible to any business. 

  • Problem: How does an organization adopt and adapt SM best practices to core elements of our business to create shareholder value?
    Solution: Depends on the business, but certain elements of marketing and human behavior are universal.
    Application: Define those universal elements so social media strategy is understandable and accessible to any business. 

  • Working on fixing that research problem with Tom Webster. Exciting stuff in store. Stay tuned.

  • I want in!

  • Mobile social media, or “mocial” marketing is something that I think could fill multiple class sessions.  Since rapidly increasing percentages of social media users are participating in social media over their smart phones, I believe teaching the sharing of mobile calls to action and mobile-targeted resources would be very useful to those who are ready for high-end social media training.

  • I think it would be interesting to compare “old school” networking/social media with “new school”. Social media in my opinion is not anything that started with the internet and there are a lot of parallels that can be drawn.  I believe radio stations were early adopters of social media drawing listeners to their station with contests, shout outs, call in’s, requests etc. Sound familiar? Call me kooky but I like to look at the socio/psycho-logical side of being “social” too. I think that would make another interesting class.

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  • Well they there, welcome Mac!  This is an extremely good idea. We cover mobile extensively in the current program, but this is an important nuance.

  • Oh, this is SO interesting to me and there has not been a tremendous amount of research on it.  Fascinating topic. Thanks Barb. Well done.

  • Perfect description: “doing” vs “being social”- agree, this where the corp battle lines are drawn.

  • This is kind of along the lines of what Ray said, but it might be interesting to look at how social media fits into the corporation.  Not sure if you touch on this in your current class… Social media is still relatively young, which means that the titles and roles of the people who work in “the biz” can vary greatly from company to company. 

    How does the structure and hierarchy look in companies that are finding success engaging in social media? How about companies that are not doing so well? Are there any links we can find between how successful companies are structuring their teams? Do they have a dedicated social team? Is it managed by the marketing team? PR? Are they doing it it in-house? Are they outsourcing? What types of agencies are they using? Social? Interactive? Multiple agencies for different aspects of social? Kind of exploring the “social business” thing.

  • I love this post. Things always seem to be constantly changing in social media that its not enough to be up-to-date, but you have to stay ahead of trends.

  • Extremely good idea. Would be interesting to see case studies of various models. How do you build a team? How do you out-source? Thanks Elyse!

  • Truly a thoughtful post and the comments follow-suit!  I’d also include a section on product life-cycle and how social media strategy shifts with each stage. 

  • Anonymous

    A big concern I have with social media is scalability. A section on how to achieve that would be valuable. I see a lot of social media platforms used to broadcast. This is illustrated by the recent statistic that  only 5% of Facebook posts are responded to by brands  

  • Huge.  Great observation Patrick. not sure we have the answers to that either. There is no way these companies are going to scale to meet demand. 

  • Very interesting idea.  Will definitely put that on the list! 

  • I especially like your thoughts on a lighter side, Billy – “an advanced social media class in being human.”  

    On the Crisis Management side, I’ve heard some people who complain they only do crisis management in their corporate social media efforts…kind of becoming a social help desk.  I think focusing on the lighter side could help companies to avoid, to some extent, the help desk mentality.

  • Thanks, Mark!  I’ve enjoyed getting introduced to your blog, and your community.  Great stuff! 

  • There are certainly some spectacular ideas here about how to execute Social Media Strategies.  What I would like to suggest is something more basic. What makes people do what they do online? How do they engage, why do they engage, how do they really converse? I’m thinking that we’re creating  many analytic geniuses without a sound understanding of the fundamentals of where all of this value is coming from and what it really looks like.

  • Michael Seaton

    Thanks for posting this Mark. I also want to thank you for taking the time to talk with me last week when I reached out to discuss this topic. As you know (but Grow readers may likely not) I teach Digital Marketing as
    well as Social Media for the Canadian Marketing Association and am currently
    putting together an Advanced Course on Social Media.  

    appreciative that when I reached out you not only provided me with your insights,

    but also that you posted about it and it has now become a
    fabulous crowd-sourced conversation with loads of great ideas.  I can see adopting many of the points raised here in the comments that will ultimately
    develop into key tenets of the Advanced Social Media course and benefit our students.


    So, thanks to you
    and to all the participants for sharing topic ideas (I am hesitant to call
    them readers because obviously you have an ultra-engaged audience here on Grow).  And, also wanted to say I love your refreshing perspective here on your blog  – it has
    rapidly become one of my must reads and is inspiring me to come out of a bit of a hiatus with my own blog.  I’m looking forward to speaking with you again soon.



  • I’ll bet there is some research out there on that.  Fascinating idea to consider. It all gets down to human behavior any way. Thanks Steve!

  • Hi Mark-
    Great post and discussion.  I like the idea of advanced social media education.  Sign me up!  Billy’s suggestion re: crisis management is a great one.  I would also suggest some additional topics:
    1) Ethics in social media to address fair sharing of ideas, use of content, and authenticity in communications.
    2) Integration of social for marketing – to get out of the current marketing silos of PR, print, online, trade etc.
    3) Integration of social across the business – to get social out of the marketing department (or wherever an initiative has started) and improving all aspects of the business
    4) Grammar, spelling and compelling writing in the age of social – for obvious reasons

  • And when you consider that Facebook is a relatively small % of overall brand focused social media (consumer generated content) activity, the aggregate total makes the term “Huge” an extreme understatement.

  • Agreed. and a classic example is most analytic services and projects miss the vast majority of comments and posts regarding their topics because they don’t contain their search terms. People engaged in conversations (online and/or offline) don’t mention primary terms everytime they speak, especially when responding to others. It’s more about context than content.  But, we’re still in a content world for the most part.  But, with some of the “smarter” products coming out, this is about to change.

  • When I took a social media class at SDSU, it was just an introduction to teach the basics and background of social media. I would have loved for it to go deeper and more thorough. A topic I agree on that some have mentioned would be to focus on just being human on twitter. And even though there are hard numbers on on ROI, you could take a different path 
    ROI in the language of:
    2. Influence
    3. Engagement
    4. Sentiment towards you/product/company (this may be the most important)

    And lastly, how to control multiple accounts on social media by using Social Media Management such as Third Party Platforms. Some people have or plan to have many twitter accounts and blogs. 

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  • Internal applications are an important subject. Actually, make that all non-marketing applications. Most of the comments here consider social media as a marketing tool (OK, it IS a marketing blog), but it could be so much more.

    In fact, I think marketing should not be the owner of social media in a company at all. Well, speaking of an owner of social media might sound a bit contradictory in the first place, as social is all about spreading the responsibility and empowering people. Still, I am a big fan of a hub-and-spoke model.

    In an ideal organization, I would set up a Communication and Collaboration department that would include marketing, technical communication, and internal communication and act as a knowledge center that provides other units consultation and solutions for external, internal, and cross-departmental communication and collaboration.

    Some practical applications:
    * partner collaboration tools (wikis)
    * internal knowledge bases and work instructions (wikis)
    * social review processes (documentation, marketing collateral, translations)
    * project desktops (wikis, schedules, workflows, messaging, memos)
    * idea and feedback collection (maybe even voting for best ideas)
    * customer service and support via social media (Twitter, Google+ hangouts?)

    Truly advanced considerations on social media are about how to make everything in a company more transparent, easier to find (searchability), and easier to correct (e.g. instructions). It is about breaking down the silos and facilitating collaborative workflows that simply are not possible without these tools after a company grows past a certain point.

  • I think that an advanced class should look at the changes in corporate culture needed to fully adopt social media. 

  • I think that an advanced class needs to cover the changes in corporate culture needed to fully adopt social media. 

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  • Superb ideas! Thanks Jill!

  • This is great. In my introduction classes, I spend quite a bit of time on different kinds of measurement. Too many focus just on ROI when there are also legitimate qualitative measures. Thanks, Trevor. 

  • Some great thoughts (as always!) Ville! Much thanks! 

  • Very key!  I spend a lot of time on this concept. 

  • Lincoln De Kalb

    Mark so many of the topics discussed are around “how” to do social media I.e from the view of the brand owner etc however it’s missing the point that social is 2 way I.e your consumers take on much of the advertising, therefore any social media class needs to look at the psychology of why people share, create and evanagelise your brand. What motivators are there? There’s more to it than narcissism .lol and understanding that dynamic is key to a successfull social media campaign.

    Just my 2 cents and look forward to anything you can bring to Australia. 🙂

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