This is a very large collection of various social media resources. The materials are part of the author's pre-conference workshop from the 2012 Marketing Management Association. This module includes information for educators on six social media platforms: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and HootSuite.
To understand the basics of the six social media platforms, and how to educate students about them. The primary learning objective is to help students make the transition from social media knowledge to social media intelligence. The module is designed to help instructors employ social media tools in the classroom effectively.
Target Student Population:
Undergraduate and graduate students of business; educators.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
General knowledge of social media; ability to download and extract files, run QuickTime player, and extract pdf files. It would be helpful to have social media accounts established in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. QuickTime or other media player is needed in order to run the videos. Adobe reader is needed for the .pdf files.
Type of Material:
Professional development. It is important for instructors to practice what they preach so this tool shows effective use of these essential social media business tools.
Browser, Acrobat reader, QuickTime player, fast internet connection, and computer with ample memory and storage (1.6 GB. All materials are embedded within a 1.7GB .zip file located at SugarSync. It is a very large file and depending upon the connection speed, it can take up to an hour to complete the download.
Evaluation and Observation
The zip file contains a wide variety of content about Facebook, G+, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and HootSuite. It is organized into these six categories so instructors could choose to delve into any one of these areas in depth. The main content is a presentation from an educator’s conference. The presentation is actually a QuickTime movie and contains embedded videos on various aspects of the social media platforms. The module includes a handout in 3-slide-per-page format to allow students to take notes.
The presentation is not scripted, so an educator using it would need to provide the context and fill in the blanks. The social media landscape is fluid and rapidly changing. While the information contained within this module is current at this present time, it may become quickly outdated. The module would require some method for users to obtain recent updates. Although there is a treasure full of tools available, it can be difficult to figure out where to begin.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The presentation is well-structured. The module includes a great deal of supporting information stored as pdf files. There are marketing pieces on each of the six social media platforms, and also files that contain the script and content of certificate training programs. By devoting a fair amount of time, an educator could gain competence with the six platforms. If an instructor is willing to invest his/her time with all of these materials, they could come out of the experience as an "expert" in social media. The resources come from reliable sources and companies (e.g., Hub Spot) that are engaging in social media on a daily basis.
There is a great deal of information available in the supporting information, but it is not a consistent type of information. For example, one piece is a how-to guide on Google+ but the Twitter piece is a 2009 study of how Fortune 100 companies are using the platform. Marketing pieces are interwoven with certificate training pieces. There is no “table of contents” to guide the user. It is difficult to determine where to begin with the resources. As a suggestion, file names might be dated or recategorized in such a way that there is some kind of implied order.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The content itself is appealing and has interesting facts. Most of the content is quite current.
The content link simply takes one to a link. Clicking on that link begins a very large download that may take hours if one is not on a corporate/institutional network. There are no directions or guide to the content. The file took a long time to download on my machine (about 40 minutes).