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Why Social Media Matters – the Class

written on October 6th, 2009 by zach

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I’m teaching a course at Emerson College called “Social Media and Marketing.” Unofficially, I’ve titled it “Why Social Media Matters.” I’ve asked 20 industry experts to share with me the most challenging questions they are asked on a regular basis about social media. Their answers shaped our curriculum. Each week the class explores one of the question. Five companies are involved with the class: Cisco, Doink, 8Minute Dating, Zappos and Nokia. Students are working on their real business challenges involving social media.

In the first class, we discussed the meaning of social media, based on its application and various definitions. There is considerable debate on what social media is.

Prior to the class, I asked several prominent bloggers for their definition, many of whom referred me to the Wikipedia definition.

While that’s a good place to start, we shared many other insightful resources:

1. Video: Social Media Revolution

Statistics are persuasive; I wish the sources were cited more fully in this video.

2. Presentation: IAB social media metrics definitions

The Interactive Advertising Bureau offers many concentrated key performance indicators helpful in planning and measuring a social media campaign.

3. TED Talk video: Howard Rheingold

An early and important contribution to defining social media, before the phrase even existed.

4. TED Talk video: Seth Godin on Tribes

An essential framework for brands using social media.

5. Video: Chris Brogan “Don’t be that Guy”

An important reminder of how not to market in social networks.

6. Blog post: Jeremiah Owyang – 50 ways to use social media

7. Blog post: What is Social Media? 23 Definitions

How do you define social media? Why does it matter to you? Share your story on our Facebook Page.

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Zach Braiker

This blog analyzes where social media culture and business converge. Zach Braiker is the CEO of Refine & Focus a social media agency and an adjunct professor of social media at Emerson College.

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