I believe the key is to demonstrate how useful or necessary the social media is to the topic the class is covering. For example, my students in the writing course must demonstrate an ability to write for different audiences in different mediums within my International Tourism course. Therefore, the students develop an awareness campaign on a current topic related to the course. For example, one student is developing a campaign to save the kiwi. He has written a blog focused on general education about the kiwi bird and provided information about ecotourism/sustainable tourism providers that are supporting the conservation efforts for the kiwi. Then he is using Pinterest to market the blog page and attract new readers.
The students in my Electronic Marketing class are developing a social media campaign to market a small business that has been struggling. There are several teams with different purposes:
- Website Team: Improving the usability and searchability of the current website.
- Blogging Team: Writing a series of feature stories highlighting the guides, food, river options, alternative activities, and lodging options.
- Pinterest, Instagram & Twitter Teams: Marketing the website through their respective social media channels editing and posting images and customer reviews from past years.
- Foursquare & Travelocity Teams: Developing a means to encourage customers to post on their respective review sites.
- YouTube Team Team: Searching for past customer videos that can be posted to a new channel on YouTube.
- Google Analytics team is tracking the visitation patterns and reporting weekly on the teams that are contributing to increased visibility of the campaign.
Believe me, I have not always been successful with the social media related assignments. The students have resisted using Google Docs and Google Hangouts in the past . . . they prefer to use the EtherPad within Canvas. I am always looking for new ideas and suggestions . . . hence my invitation for you to share your experience with technology and social media within your courses. Please share your response via a comment here or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . . . I will follow with a post next week summarizing all the responses that I receive. Thank you in advance for your feedback.