Social Media Critique and Analysis (20 points)

Working individually, students are required to research and analyze a company or brand’s use of social media. In 5-7 double-spaced pages (12 point times new roman font, 1 inch margins including references) students will craft a polished business report that demonstrates their ability to understand the use of social media for the following purposes (see Tuten and Solomon pages 15-21):

      1. Raise awareness
      2. Influence desire
      3. Encourage trial
      4. Facilitate purchase
      5. Create loyalty


You will sign up for one of the following companies or brands:

Hubspot        Square      Coca-Cola      Red Bull      Burberry      Amazon      Prada
 LVMH Moet Hennesy      Chanel       Nike              Boeing       NFL             LA Dodgers
Walt Disney Company      Target      McDonald’s      Denny’s      Oreo      Pampers
Netflix      Charmin      GoPro      Dove      Pizza Hut       LA Clippers      NBA
Cranium      Bark Box      T-Mobile      Xbox      Newcastle Brown Ale      Bellroy
Airbnb      Uber      Lyft      Rolling Rock      Tastykake      Snickers      Google Glass
Pabst Blue Ribbon      Mashable      Buzzfeed      BMW      Lego      Sour Patch Kids
Norwegian Cruise Lines     Lush Cosmetics    MAC Cosmetics

Students must analyze the  brand or business’ use of the social media by examining their presence on the following social media platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Tumblr


The best reports will be factual and analytical. There is no room for personal feelings or emotional response. Think of this report as the type of report created by a social media consultancy firm before a first meeting with a client. The goal is to assess where the client is in terms of their social media use while providing a sense of what the firm would/could do for them if they were to hire it. The report should include the following sections (TIP: Follow the sections below as an outline and write your report with the specific sections!)

  1. Introduction: Introduce the company and what it is that they do and why social media is important to their business; HINT: Look at the industry they operate within as well as norms/standards for social media use in that industry; Be succinct. No filler. (1/2-1 page) (2 points)
  2. Overall summary of social media use and purpose: Briefly summarize the company’s history with social media and current use of social media along with the overall strategic focus from one or several of the above purposes; Can you identify who manages social media for the business (marketing department, outside social media advertising firm etc.)? Are they using the different tools like Twitter, Instagram Pinterest etc. in ways that are unique or duplicative (of other companies or competitors or even of other platforms—in other words are they saying the same uninspired things over and over again across platform or are they a unique voce that adapts to the platform/medium? How are they leverage each tool for best effect/impression? A chart  that presents numbers of followers and frequency of posts is a good start for this sections but you must also analyze their efforts overall. (1/2-1 page) (4 points)
  3. Use of each listed tool (6): List how each tool is used; provide examples; infer the primary purpose from those listed above; If they are not on a specific platform examine earned/fan media there as well as try to deduce why they are absent from this channel (1/2-3/4 page each tool; 3 pages total). (6 points)
  4. Assessment and recommendations: Assess overall social media use. Make at least three recommendations based upon your assessment and research; HINT: Consider a Social Media SWOT analysis that looks at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with the firm’s use of social media which might points towards recommendations. (2 pages) (6 points)
  5. References: Demonstrate that you used appropriate materials with which to base your paper upon. (1/2 page) (2 points)


This assignment is worth 20 percent of the course grade.

Papers that receive 18-20 points are classified as excellent and will be free of typos and grammatical errors and contain all elements listed above. They will be thoroughly researched and use credible industry and business press resources (use Business Source Premier for research) and have a full set of references (5 minimum.) Recommendations and assessment will be insightful and creative.

Papers graded 16-18 points are good. Typos and grammatical errors are minimal and all elements of above are included. They are researched and have some references. Recommendations and assessment are present and analysis is sound.

Papers 15 points or below reflect less than good work. Typos and grammatical errors are frequent. Elements above are missing. There is little evidence of research. Recommendations and assessment are not based upon analysis.



Social Media Marketing Platform Presentation and Report (20 points)

Marketing professionals are expected to be up to date on technology and be competent in terms of assessing its use and relevance for engaging customers. They must be aware of new technologies and provide leadership and advice on how they can best be used to effectively grow the business. As a result, employees who work in marketing departments are oftentimes consulted by management in order to demonstrate the appropriate use of new technologies and are specifically asked to provide counsel on how they can be used to reach and engage customers as well as the risks that might be involved in such use.

With the above in mind, you will work in groups of three and provide a 15-20 minute demonstration and report on the use of one of the following social media tools for marketing purposes.

Facebook      Twitter      Yelp!         4Square      Instagram      Pinterest      Tumblr      YouTube      Google+      Groupon      Second Life
SnapChat      Viber      Vine      LinkedIn      Flickr      Reddit      Wikipedia      TripAdvisor      Path      Yik Yak      Tagged      Meetup       StumbleUpon
Orkut      MyLife      Raptr      WhatsApp      Ello      Imgur      4chan

Presentations and reports should cover the following:


    1. Show/Describe the tool: How do you use it? How long has it been around? How many users/subscribers are there? Who are they? Hint: You may have to use Business Source Premier to research the tool in order to better understand it as a business leader as opposed to a user!
    2. User benefits: Why do users/subscribers use this tool? What do they expect from it? Why did they turn to it?
    3. Monetization strategy: How do the owners/developers of the tool make money? What does this do to the user experience? The use of it as a marketing tool? Hint: search BSP or Google the tool and the words monetization or monetization strategy.
    4. Marketing benefits/value: How useful is this tool used overall for marketing? Which industries are using it most? Which companies are using it most effectively? For what purpose (trial, awareness, desire, loyalty etc.) Which industries might benefit the most from using this social media tool? Which ones might not find it valuable?
    5. Sample Campaigns: Describe and show at least 3 successful campaigns/examples of this network’s capability as a marketing medium.
    6. Marketing risks: What are the risks involved? How are the risks amplified or made greater by the technology involved, the community represented by the network or the standards of behavior on the network?
    7. Epic Fails: Provide three solid examples of marketing efforts that failed on this network. What can we learn from them?
    8. Conclusion: Would you recommend use of this social network in a brand or company’s social media efforts and under what conditions? Be specific with regards to types of companies or products that should as well as those that should not.

The presentation should be summarized in a professional level business report of no more than 10 pages, 12 point font, 1 inch margins. The report should summarize the sections above in an easy to read (make use of headings, bullets points etc.) professional like a business report not an academic papoer.

This assignment is worth 20 percent of the course grade.

Presentations will take place weeks 6-9. Each week 3-5 presentations will be given depending upon the zone of social media discussed that week. The presentation will be worth 10 points. Report worth 10. Failure to attend your teams presentation will result in 0 points for both the report and the presentation.

Reports will be graded for inclusion of all elements above. Reports that effectively include all required information above will receive a grade of 10. Missing sections will result in points off per section. Poorly executed sections (unclear, poorly written, unsubstantiated conclusions etc. will result in points off. Presentations will be graded based upon delivery and persuasiveness. You must present your findings in a polished (professional speaking, body language and demeanor) and persuasive way with no reading of slides or notes in order to get a 10. A grade of 9 will be given for minor errors in delivery. 8 will be given if one or more team members have substantial issues related to presentation. Minimum grade for presentations is 8 provided you are in attendance. Missing the presentation results in a 0 for the whole project.



Social Media Marketing Blog (20 points)

Working alone you will create a blog using Tumblr or Blogger/BlogSpot that captures and analyzes social media marketing examples. Think of it as a portfolio of social media marketing and news about social media that highlights the benefits and risks of engaging customers in digital spaces. An example of a good student blog can be found here:

This assignment is worth 20 percent of the course grade.

You will be expected to start your blog immediately and add to it as the quarter progresses using examples that reflect concepts or ideas that we discuss in class and/or that come out of your reading, particularly the supplemental text entitled The Culture of Connectivity. Special emphasis should be placed on the ethical considerations and risks associated with social media marketing.

There is no grace period. You must begin your blog immediately. Blogs will be checked weekly. If you miss a week of posting you miss those points. You must use a blog template/style that includes a time-stamp (one that automatically notes day and time posted). This is critical for grading.

Your blog can be links to relevant news stories, sites, embedded YouTube videos, or simply screen captures of examples. You can find information for your blog simply by doing a Google news alert on “social media marketing” or googling “social media marketing” and limiting to the last week or so. Following some companies on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and/or Instagram should also provide good examples. If you do this every week and add to your blog regularly and write about what you add based upon critical thought about it you will do well on this assignment

The professor will review Blogs weekly and noteworthy material will be discussed in class.

To receive 18-20 points you should have at least two weekly entries of at least 500 words to your blog with decent analysis.

15-17 points will be awarded to blogs that are updated weekly but have limited analysis and limited content. These are solid blogs that have regular posts and no gaps in their posting of more than a week.

Less than 15 points will be granted if your blog is only sporadically updated and analysis is weak.

Failure to create and submit a blog will result in 0 points.

Note: This is an exercise in time management and professionalism in digital spaces as well as writing and analysis. You cannot succeed in this endeavor if you procrastinate or put things off to the end. There is no ‘catching’ up here. You must post regularly (at least weekly) if you want to get 15 points on this project. Many students in this class have produced excellent work in other assignments yet failed here due to procrastination. The impact on their grade was substantial.