This material is a Social Media and Marketing tutorial. It highlights eight popular social media tools: blogging, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, youtube, flickr, and slideshare. For each tool, the author discusses its general usage, key features, and business applications. In addition, some mini-cases are provided highlighting best practices for each tool. The site contains comprehensive descriptions and overviews of the eight applications including the history of each application and features. There are links to companies that are using each particular site as a marketing tool. The site provides links to all applications with a treasure hunt experience to learn more about social media and the parent company of the web site.
The learning goal is to familiarize the user with each of these eight different social media tools and to help him/her understand how to leverage the tool in the context of the marketing mix.
Target Student Population:
This material is appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate students in courses that touch on the topic of social media.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
There are no apparent prerequisites. The material is geared towards individuals with little knowledge about these eight social media tools.
Type of Material:
This tutorial is perfect for social media novices. It provides a great overview of each of the identified tools. It could be incorporated into any class that touches on the topic of social media. This could be a good web exercise for a basic marketing course.
Works well in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome. Uses Flash technology.
Evaluation and Observation
Strong overall description of each application and excellent links to the applications and companies using these sites as marketing tools. The author provides a thorough and visually engaging overview of each of the eight tools.
Social media tools and best practices quickly evolve. It is apparent that this website has not been updated for several years. Some of the biggest social media tools that are utilized today are not discussed (i.e., Pinterest, Instagram, Vine). Further, the data and mini cases that are presented needs to be updated, too.
While this material is targeted towards individuals with little social media knowledge, it could be a bit overwhelming for someone who is a complete novice to any form of social media. For instance, if someone used Facebook for personal social networking, this tutorial could quickly get them up to speed when it comes to using Facebook as a marketing tool for businesses.
Minor grammatical errors in instructions that could be due to language translations. Statistics page links to other web sites, that do include reputable formal sources for data. Credible primary sources need to be included for university level marketing courses.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
For someone who knows little about these social media tools, this could be a good primer on the topic. Good information for user to explore social networking and how social media can be utilized in marketing. Very helpful examples.
Case study for each application is a simple link to a company web site. There are no critical thinking questions or exercise instructions to fulfill the requirements of an actual assignment. As previously mentioned, one concern is the timeliness of this information. Also, to effectively utilize most of these tools, one would need to locate additional resources. This tutorial simply serves as an overview. Lastly, if trying to take in all of the material in one sitting, a novice could become easily overwhelmed. The website is much more effective if the user takes it in small doses.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The website is easy to navigate. The user is actually shown how to navigate the site when the material is first accessed. External links open in new window.
Terminology might be confusing to students discovering the site on their own. Instructors could introduce the site to students in class to minimize confusion. The treasure hunt portion of the website could benefit from clearer directions.
Other Issues and Comments:
Lack of primary source citations for data given. Instructors should preface assignment of this tutorial with information about data on the internet.