JOMC 490.003

Managing Online Communities & Social Media

Examines the history, norms, governance structures, technologies, motivations, & uses of online networks from an organizational standpoint, focusing on the management of these networks to serve organizational interests, such as in product innovation, problem solving, decision-making or brand promotion.


This course meets 3:00-4:15 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Carroll 253.

Course Format

Understanding of the dynamics of social media / online communities and the practical skills for managing them is crucial for advertising and public relations practitioners, businesses, non-profits, and governments.

This course takes a 'flipped classroom' approach in which you learn about topics on your own outside of class through readings and/or video. Class meeting times will be used to expand on these topics, collaborate about their application and theory, and discuss their implications. Therefore, it is imperative that you complete the assigned readings and view the assigned videos prior to attending each class meeting. Class participation is a significant factor in determining your final grade in this course.

Tentative Schedule

Week 1: Why Online Networks / Social Media?

Tuesday, August 20

Before class, please read:

How Social Media Has Changed the Face of Public Relations

How Social Media is Supporting a Fundamental Shift in Journalism

Marketing is Dead

Thursday, August 22

Before class, please activate your HootSuite account and create your HootSuite University profile, then watch:

SCMD 121: Introduction to Social Networks for Organizations

The Redefinition of Traditional Media Models with Todd Defren

DUE IN CLASS: Personal Social Media Audit

You must pass the SCMD 121 exam by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, September 6.

Week 2: Networks 101

Tuesday, August 27

Before class, please read/watch:

What Is Web 2.0

Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship

Sheryl Sandberg Keynote

Thursday, August 30

Before class, please read/watch:

SCMD 110: Setting Up Your Social Media Profiles

Best Practice Guide: Marketing on Facebook

"Mom, this is how Twitter works" by Jessica Hische

You must pass the SCMD 110 exam by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, September 6.

Week 3: Personal Branding & Social Etiquette

Tuesday, September 3

Before class, please read/watch:

SCMD 115: The Dos and Don'ts of Social Media Etiquette

5 Ways to Avoid Sabotaging Your Personal Brand Online

Why Profile Photos Matter — Is Yours Appropriate?

Thursday, September 5

Before class, please read/watch:

HOOT 100, 105, 110: Getting Started With HootSuite

Personal Branding Helps Journalists, Media Professionals Stand Out

Reuters Editor Discusses Social Media Etiquette For Professionals

What Every College Student Should Post on LinkedIn

You must pass the SCMD 115 exam by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, September 6.

Week 4: Measurement Basics

Tuesday, September 10

Before class, please read/watch:

Social Media Measurement: A Step-By-Step Approach

End to End ROI Tracking with HootSuite & Google Analytics

Case Study: Anatomy of a Tweet

Thursday, September 12

Before class, please read/watch:

HOOT 120, 130, 140: Getting Started With HootSuite

Using Social Media for Global Growth: The Airbnb Story

Hop Aboard the Mobile Marketing Train

You must pass the SCMD 140 exam by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, September 13.

Week 5: Influence

Tuesday, September 17

Before class, please read/watch:

Is that all there is? A literature review and potential approach to measuring influence in social media

Do You Have Klout?

Thursday, September 19

Before class, please read/watch:

Influence and Passivity in Social Media

Klout for Business

HOOT 200-240: Advanced Tactics with HootSuite Pro

You must pass the HootSuite Certified Professional Exam by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, September 20.

Week 6: Engagement

Tuesday, September 24

Before class, please read:

Quantifying the Invisible Audience in Social Networks

The Engagement Project: Finding the Meaning in Memes

What “engagement” means to The Guardian’s Meg Pickard

Thursday, September 26

Before class, please watch/read:

Facebook Brand Pages: Rules of Engagement

Facebook Metrics Defined: Engagement Rate

Twitter Metrics Defined: Engagement

Measuring Community Engagement: A Case Study from Chicago Public Media

Week 7: FOMO / Midterm Exam

Tuesday, October 1

Before class, please read:

Do You Have Social Media FOMO? Take This Online Test To Find Out

Thursday, October 3



Week 8: Social Media Policies

Tuesday, October 8

Before class, please watch/read:

The Social HR Imperative: How to Establish an Internal Social Media Philosophy & Brand

Guidelines for guidelines: Social media policies spark debate

There’s No One-Size-Fits-All Social Media Policy In Journalism

Thursday, October 10

Before class, please read:

Associate Press Social Media Guidelines

Reaction to AP Social Media Updates

Reuters: Reporting From the Internet and Using Social Media

Week 9: Social Employees

Tuesday, October 15

Before class, please read/watch:

Top 5 Tenets Of An Effective Community Management Policy

You Started a Social Ambassador Program, Now What Will You Talk About?

How Walgreens’ internal social program connects employees to answers

Putting Social to Work for Your Business

Thursday, October 17

No Class Meeting


Week 10: Virality

Tuesday, October 22

Before class, please read/watch:

What Makes online Content Viral?

Jonah Berger: How to Make Your Quest Contagious

Thursday, October 24

Before class, please read:

The dynamics of health behavior sentiments on a large online social network

What People Share on Facebook and Why They Share It

Week 11: Project 2014

Tuesday, October 29

In class: trend selection & assignment

Thursday, October 31

In class: Final proofs & promotion/measurement plan

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Week 12: Real-Time Marketing

Tuesday, November 5

Before class, please read:

How brands can plan for real-time moments

Real-Time Planning

Thursday, November 7

Before class, please read:

Real Time Marketing in The Real World. Or WhyYour Brand Newsroom Will Fail – Part2 1-7

Real Time Deck

Week 13: Crisis Communication

Group projects due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 15.

Tuesday, November 12

Before class, please read/watch:

Digital Defense: Online Reputation Management in the Digital Age

Lessons Learned from HMV’s Very Public Twitter Meltdown

Thursday, November 14

Before class, please read:

7 Ways to Hack-Proof Your Company’s Social Media

Don’t Be Scared; Be Prepared – How to Manage a Social Media Crisis

Group projects due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 15.

Week 14: Project Presentations

Tuesday, November 19

Presentation Practice

Thursday, November 21

Presentations: Schedule to come

Week 15: Crowdsourcing / User-Generated Content

Tuesday, November 26

Donald McMillan, Demographics Pro

Before class, please read:

What is Crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing as a Model for Problem Solving

5 brands that got fans to lend a hand

Frito-Lay Likes the Data From Doritos' 'Crash the Super Bowl'

Do brands need submission guidelines for fan-submitted content?

Thursday, November 28


Week 16: Project & Course recap

Tuesday, December 3


Final Exam: Thursday, December 12, 4:00-6:00 p.m.