Sunday, February 26, 2012

Social Media Marketing Class - Week 8 - Spring 2012


For this week, you have two options for your assignment.

Option 1: Create a video and post to YouTube

Create an account on YouTube. Create a video between 2 and 5 minutes that discusses what makes for an effective YouTube marketing video. Post your video to YouTube and add the relevant title, description, category and tags to it. Then, embed your video into a blog entry. Post to the drop box the url of your blog post.

A few things to keep in mind. There is free software to make videos on Windows and on Mac. For Windows, there is Windows Movie Maker and on the Mac, iMovie comes with Mac OsX. If you do not have a camera, you can create a video consisting of still images. If you do have a camera, do not worry if it does not take high quality video. If you have questions, please contact me.

Option 2: Evaluate three videos on YouTube

Find 3 good marketing videos on YouTube. Embed them in a blog post, and write a paragraph about each video explaining why you thought the video was good. Then, summarize your conclusions about what makes a good YouTube marketing video. Format your blog entry using headings and other formatting, to make your post look good, and to help organize the content for the readers. Post to the drop box the url of your blog post.

Remember to continue working on your semester project.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Social Media Marketing Class - Project - Service Learning Option

You have the option for the semester project to work with a representative of a local nonprofit to create a social media marketing plan. Family Promise coordinates the activities of 30 sponsor and support churches in providing shelter, case management and life skills assistance for up to 14 clients at a time. All of the client families include children. Discuss with the representative the needs of her organization, then create the marketing plan, following the format I described for the semester project. You may choose to assist the non-profit in implementing the plan as well. This option will allow you create an actual project that will be implemented on a web site, which would be a valuable addition to your resume as well as being a valuable learning experience. In addition, working with a person like this can assist you, if you are having a hard time generating ideas. If you are interested in this option, I will give you the contact information.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Social Media Marketing Class - Week 7 - Spring 2012

This week, we want to focus on three things:
  • Effective Use of Facebook for Marketing
  • Comparing Facebook and Google + from a Business/Marketing Perspective
  • Start Working on Semester Project

Assignment - Blog Entry

Part One: Effective Use of Facebook for Marketing

For this week, you will need a Facebook account. I imagine many of you already have a Facebook account. I will not ask you to share this account with me, in respect of your privacy. You will need it though, to examine and evaluate how some organizations are using Facebook for Marketing.

First, review all the materials from previous weeks in the class, including your blog entries and classmates' blog entries, concerning what makes for an efective use of Social Media for Marketing. Then review this article about good Facebook Pages.

Finally, find the Facebook pages of 3 organizations that you are interested in. You may need to "Like" the page to view its content. Rank them from most effective to least effective. Explain why you ranked them as you did. Cite any references you use to justify your rankings.

Comparing Facebook and Google + from a Business/Marketing Perspective

Research, then compare and contrast Facebook and Google+ as a tool for business - especially marketing. Specify the advantages and disadvatages of each. Be sure to focus on the use of Facebook and Google+ as business tools, and not just from an individual's personal perspective.

Final Thoughts

Remember, these entries are to be your own words. If you use material from a resource, you need to cite it. Give your post a title that makes it clear to me which assignment it is for. Format your entry using either html or the editing tools available on your blogging platform. If you need help navigating through Facebook, let me know - for that matter, if you have any questions, please ask. When you are done, upload the URL of your blog post to Angel.


There is nothing for you to turn in this week regarding your Project. However, I want to make sure you start working on it as your rough draft is due soon. Make sure you have read the instructions for the assignment and understand each part. Part of creating a Marketing Plan involves research and discussions to determine what needs to be done. For this assignment, use your own knowledge of LCCC, examine what other colleges are doing, and use the discussion forum to ask me questions and discuss with other classmates. Keep in mind, you can choose to do a marketing plan for another organization, but you should follow my format. In addition, I will post another option soon.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Social Media Marketing Class - Week 6 - Spring 2012


By now, we should all know what blogs are. This week the focus will be regarding the effective use of blogs. This week’s assignment will consist of creating a post to your blog that discusses some blogs that you will examine.

Do the following:

  • Review your classmates’ blogs. Chose one post you consider to be very good from at least two of your classmates’ blogs. Include in your blog post, a link to each of the two posts, along with a summary of why you chose those posts.
  • Find a good blog about Social Media Marketing written by someone outside of this class. Read several of the posts, find at least 2 that are noteworthy - ones that you find insightful, relevant to this class, something you did not know or head before or otherwise valuable. Include in your blog post, a link to the good blog you found about social media marketing, and links to at least two posts on that blog that you found especially good, along with a summary of why you chose that blog and those posts.
  • Consider what would make a blog an effective tool for marketing - review your past blog posts, posts of other students, the interviews, or any other resource you can find. Use the Discussion Forum to discuss this with your classmates. Then find three blogs by businesses, organizations or individuals that are, at least in part, using the blog to market their goods or services. Then assign a grade (A,B,C,D or F) to each of the three blogs based on the criteria you determined for an effective marketing blog. In your blog post, describe what criteria you used to grade the marketing blogs, link to each blog, identify what grade you gave each blog and explain why.

There are three sections to your blog post: Classmate Blogs, Blogs about Social Media Marketing and Blogs used to Market. Clearly label each section with a heading. Be sure you understand the difference between the blogs for the second and the third parts. The second part should be about a blog where the topic is social media marketing. Here is an example of a blog about social media. In the third part, the blogs should be not about social media marketing, but used to market the efforts of a person or organization. Here is an example of a blog used by a business to market its products. When you are done, post the url of your blog entry to the dropbox in Angel

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Social Media Marketing Class - Week 5 - Spring 2012

Areas of Caution: Ethics, Pitfalls, Social Implications

Few thing in this life are without their downsides. Technology is especially tricky in this regard as technology moves faster than our societies' ability to completely understand all the consequences, legal and ethical issues. Social Media has been around long enough that some of the issues have been identified, but not all.

It is prudent then, for us studying the use of Social Media for Marketing reasons to consider these issues, and discuss how they can be addressed.

Issues facing Businesses


Why should a business care about ethics? While the ethical positions of individuals and organizations may vary, I would expect most would agree that organizations have a responsibility to act ethically. In my opinion, that is the most compelling reason for a business to act ethically. Many professional organizations have codified rules of ethics for their members, including how they market their services.

If one is not swayed by the "responsibility" reason for acting ethically, another argument can be made - namely, that acting ethically is good for business (or perhaps acting unethically is bad for business.) One could say this is a sort of a form of karma - an organization's actions influence how it is treated.

The perception of many is that often, marketing efforts sit on the edge of ethical behavior. The public is skeptical about marketing claims, with good reason. Young people today have been subjected to ads since they have been children. The promise of social media marketing is that it can reach those that are cynical about traditional marketing methods. With that, however, comes some ethical challenges. One of the statements made most often about social media marketing is to be effective, it requires a personal connection between the organization and the customer. The basis of any personal relationship is trust. As such, I believe social media marketing raises the bar with regards to ethics. For it to be successful, social media cannot be business as usual with regards to marketing.

Here are some ethical issues surrounding the use of social media:

  • Is it ethical for a CEO of a company to post a blog post someone else actually wrote?
  • Is it ethical to delete a negative comment someone wrote? What about an abusive comment?
  • Is it ethical to pay someone outside your organization to blog or tweet about your company?
  • Is it ethical to give influential bloggers free goods to review? If I posted on my blog a review of the iPad 2, would it matter if I purchased it, or if it was given to me by Apple?
  • If an organization claims it is "transparent and authentic" (see discussion of these topics under Addressing the Issues, what does that mean? To what degree do they need to live up to this?

Other Pitfalls

When organizations employees social media as part of their marketing efforts, it is a double edge sword. It gives a way for their fans to help spread the word, in effect, to provide free assistance spreading the word - viral marketing

Of course, when an organization employs social media, it opens the door not just for its fans, but also for its detractors. For some, this loss of control is difficult. Trying to hard to keep control can alienate even an organization's supporters. In fact, even if an organization does not employ social media, it can be vulnerable to such attacks.

Here are some examples of issues organizations/individuals have faced or could face related to Social Media. This is a mixed list - in some cases, social media was used against organizations, in other cases, the organization's social media strategy is being attacked.

Addressing the Issues

There are several concepts relating to social media that address such issues. Two of them are: transparency and authenticity. If social media marketing is not business as usual and, as many have stated, requires a personal touch, and interactivity to be successful, then trust is critical. being transparent and authentic is a key to this. Of course, there are those that would argue that transparency in social media is an illusion. Can one be "somewhat" transparent? Can a line be drawn and a balance struck?

Many organizations create a Social Media Policy. These are designed to address potential ethical and other business issues relating to social media. Here are Intel's Social Media Guidelines, which, in the spirit of transparency, are published and available on the web.

Issues facing Society as a whole

Speculating on the long term impact of the use of internet use, social media and social media marketing is McLuhan-esque territory. There is speculation concerning how computer/internet use could reshape our brains. The impact of advertising on children and adolescents has been studied. Many now are constantly connected - always on. The best description I've heard about how many of us live our lives is Continuous Partial Attention. Key in understanding facebook is recognizing that "We are its product, not its customers". What will be the impact when children and adolescents when the advertising becomes ubiquitous, following them around via their mobile phones and butting in during interactions with friends? What will be the impact of children and adolescents spending so much time on a site, where they are viewed as a "product"? It can be chilling to consider.

I don't want to end on a pessimistic note. This week is the "issues" week, where we begin to examine some of the negatives of Social Media. To quote McLuhan "We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us." While no one has a crystal ball to predict the precise impact of technological changes, we must consider potential issues and develop/use tools with awareness.


This week, instead of a blog post, you will post to two discussion forums on Angel(LCCC's CMS - the discussion forums will be in the week 5 folder). One forum will be "Describe what should be contained in LCCC Business Division's Policy on Social Media Marketing for its employees." and the other "Issues Businesses have faced related to the use of Social Media". Each forum is worth 2.5 points. Every post or reply will be awared some points. After you have earned your 2.5 points, you are welcome to continue discussing, but will likely not be awarded more points (on the other hand, I may award extra credit points for outstanding contributions). In both forums, support what you say with specific examples. For example, seek out and cite actual issues organizations have had relating to the usage of social media, and what we can learn from these issues. I will make every effort to stay up to date on grading and award points within 24-48 hours of the post.