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382471: Best Practices in Social Media for the Communications Professional
MGMT-X 469.21

  • Fall 2021
  • Section 1
  • 2 Credits
  • 09/21/2021 to 10/19/2021
  • Modified 09/02/2021

Course Syllabus Subject to Update by Instructor

Meeting Times

Course is being offered as Hybrid.

Hybrid: course is taught using a combination of both asynchronous using Canvas and synchronous instruction via Zoom.  Class sessions via Zoom are scheduled starting November 10 - December 8, 2020 on Tuesdays, 8:30pm - 10pm. 

Once enrolled,  students can access Zoom via the Canvas shell. The live sessions can be recorded so students may view them at a later time. 

Details on accessing Canvas will be emailed to you after completing enrollment. Courses in Canvas are typically accessible 2 days before the course start date. If applicable, instructions for accessing and using Zoom will also be provided in Canvas.

Description

While many PR and marketing pros claim to be social media "experts," those who can demonstrate true expertise are rare and much sought after. This course is focused on helping you develop a social media playbook filled with strategies and tactics that achieve core business goals. Learn how to apply core PR and marketing principals to social media, develop and syndicate content, work with online influencers and empowered consumers, employ basic search engine optimization, and develop a strategic social media plan.

Objectives

In this course, successful students will:

  • Learn how to use social media strategically to achieve core PR and marketing objectives. 
  • Understand how content creation, community management, influencer outreach, SEO and other core social media functions work together to form a cohesive campaign. 
  • Be able to make sense of today’s dynamic media landscape, including paid, earned, shared and owned channels.

Outcomes

By the end of this course, successful students will be:

  • Able to develop a basic social media PR plan outline. 
  • Familiar with popular tools and tactics (for monitoring, content creation, engagement, measurement, etc.) 

Materials

Required Reading

The field of social media is evolving rapidly. Rather than rely on a conventional textbook, students are required to read/view online content (news stories, blog posts, infographics, videos) assigned weekly and listed on the course blog "Reading" page at

http://socialmediaucla.com/required-reading/

Suggested Reading

Students should also follow the blogs and Twitter streams of social media thought leaders listed on the course blogroll.

Evaluation

Written assignments will be graded based on relevance, timeliness and inclusion of information discussed in class. Writing proficiency (grammar, clarity, etc.) will also be taken into account.

Deadlines: Late work will be penalized one full letter grade for each day beyond the due date.

Expectations:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in class discussions
  • Complete all reading and homework assignments
  • Arrive to class on time
  • Communicate respectfully with instructor, guest speakers and classmates
  • Utilize professional level English in written assignments

Criteria

Types of evaluations and related weights
Type Weight Topic Notes
Attendance/Participation 10%

Attend class 

Pay attention and refrain from playing games on your smartphone 

Ask questions and participate during in-class discussions

Homework 40%

Create (if necessary), optimize and maintain personal accounts on Twitter and LinkedIn (instructor presumes you already have personal accounts on Facebook and other major platforms). 

Post at least one update each week on Twitter related to social media PR/marketing. You must include hashtag "#SocMedUCLA" on course-related tweets so your work can be tracked by instructor. 

Contribute one post (minimum 250 words) to the crowdsourced course blog at www.SocialMediaUCLA.com. Your post should focus on what you learned during your assigned week's guest speaker discussion. On the first night of class, the instructor will assign each student a guest discussion to cover.

Final Project 50%

Create a basic social media plan outline (not an in-depth plan, just an outline) for any company, organization or individual you choose, so long as you can (with some intelligence) address social media objectives, target audiences, resources, etc. The goal is to encourage you to think about how social media can be used to achieve core business objectives.

Breakdown

Overall course grades will be based on a 100 point scale.

Letter Grade Equivalent:

  • A 90-100 points
  • B 80-89 points 
  • C 70-79 points 
  • F   0-69 points

Course Policies

Students who register for this course are expected to possess at least a basic understanding of major social media platforms (social networking, blogging/micro-blogging, messaging, photo/video sharing, bookmarking, etc.). They will also be required to have personal accounts on key sites (e.g., Twitter and LinkedIn) and post information publicly as part of their participation in the course. 

Institutional Policies

Student Conduct

Students are subject to disciplinary action for several types of misconduct or attempted misconduct, including but not limited to academic dishonesty, such as cheating, multiple submission, plagiarism, or knowingly furnishing false information to the University; or behavioral misconduct, such as theft or misuse of the intellectual property of others, harassment, or disruption of the learning environment. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Student Rights & Responsibilities Policy and to report concerns regarding at: https://www.uclaextension.edu/pages/str/studentConduct.jsp.

Services for Students with Disabilities

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, UCLA Extension provides appropriate accommodations and support services to qualified applicants and students with disabilities. These include, but are not limited to, auxiliary aids/services such as sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices for hearing-impaired individuals, extended time for and proctoring of exams, and registration assistance. Accommodations and types of support services vary and are specifically designed to meet the disability-related needs of each student based on current, verifiable medical documentation. Arrangements for auxiliary aids/services are available only through UCLA Extension’s Service for Students with Disabilities Office at (310) 825-7851 or by email at [email protected]. For complete information see: https://www.uclaextension.edu/pages/str/studentswithDisabilities.jsp

Incompletes

Your instructor may post the interim grade Incomplete/I if at the end of the class your overall work is of passing quality but a portion could not be submitted for understandable reasons (e.g. illness). It is your responsibility to petition your instructor for permission to submit work late and to provide an explanation, and it is his or her sole decision whether to accept the explanation. If permitted, the Incomplete/I grade will be posted and a time frame defined for you to submit the missing work, ranging from one to twelve weeks. Incomplete/I grades that remain unchanged after twelve weeks will lapse to F, NP or U. Receiving an I grade entitles you to submit only the missing work your instructor has agreed to accept late, and does not allow other work to be retaken or oblige UCLA Extension to provide continuing access to course materials via Canvas. The Incomplete/I grade is not an option for courses that do not bear credit, such as 700, 800, or 900-level courses. For complete information, see: https://www.uclaextension.edu/pages/str/grading.jsp

All Grades are Final

No change of grade may be made by anyone other than the instructor, and then, only to correct clerical errors. No term grade except Incomplete may be revised by re-examination. The correction of a clerical error may be authorized only by the instructor of record communicating directly with personnel of Student and Alumni Services.

Sexual Harassment

The University of California is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all individuals who participate in University programs and activities can work and learn together in an atmosphere free of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation. Every member of the community should be aware that the University prohibits sexual harassment and sexual violence, and that such behavior violates both law and University policy. The University will respond promptly and effectively to reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence, and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and when necessary, to discipline behavior that violates our policy.

All Extension students and instructors who believe they have been sexually harassed are encouraged to contact the Department of Student and Alumni Services for complaint resolution: UCLA Extension, 1145 Gayley Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024; Voice/TTY: (310) 825-7031. View the University’s full Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence at http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000385/SHSV.

Additional Items

Protecting Privacy and Data During Live Instruction

Live meeting sessions for this class, when applicable, are being conducted over Zoom. As the host, the instructor may be recording live sessions. Only the host has the ability to record meetings, no recording by other means is permitted. Recorded sessions will be posted in the Videos area of this class unless otherwise notified. Due to privacy, recordings are not available for download and are only accessible via Canvas for the duration of the class. If you have privacy concerns and do not wish to appear in the recording, do not turn on your video and/or audio. If you also prefer to use a pseudonym instead of your name, please let the instructor know what name you will be using so that the instructor knows who you are during the session. To rename yourself during a Zoom meeting, click on Participants, click on your name, click on More, click on Rename. If you would like to ask a question, you may do so privately through the Zoom chat by addressing your chat question to the instructor only (and not to ""everyone""). Additionally, chat may be used and moderated for live questions, and saving of chats is enabled. If you have questions or concerns about this, please contact the instructor via Canvas Inbox.

Pursuant to the terms of the agreement between Zoom and UCLA Extension, the data is used solely for this purpose and Zoom is prohibited from re-disclosing this information. UCLA Extension also does not use the data for any other purpose. Recordings will be deleted when no longer necessary. However, recordings may become part of an administrative disciplinary record if misconduct occurs during a video conference.

Course and Instructor Evaluation

UCLA Extension values your feedback on course and instructor evaluations. We ask all students to take a few minutes to complete an end-of-course evaluation survey. Updates to the course and instruction are influenced by your feedback. Understanding your student experience is essential to ensure continuing excellence in the online classroom and is appreciated by your instructor and the UCLA Extension academic leadership.

Your participation in a survey is voluntary, and your responses are confidential. After instructors submit grades, they will be given an evaluation report, but this report will not contain your name.

About Your Online Course Materials

Please note the following about online course components at UCLA Extension:

  • Students must have basic computer skills, including the use of word processing software, email, and the ability to use internet browsers, such as Safari, Firefox, or Chrome.
  • Students are responsible for meeting the technical requirements of Canvas and familiarizing themselves with the Canvas Learning Management System.
  • Students are responsible for keeping a copy of all assignments and work submitted, and to be aware of all assignments, due dates, and course guidelines.
  • Students are encouraged to keep and/or download a local copy of their assignment files, as access to the online environment of a specific course is limited to 30 days after the final course date, as listed in the course catalog.

    If you need assistance downloading student materials from your course, please contact Canvas Support or the UCLA Extension Learning Support Team.

UCLA Extension Canvas and Learning Support

For immediate 24/7 Canvas technical support, including holidays, click on Help (located on the menu to the left) where you can call or chat live with a Canvas Support representative.

UCLA Extension Instructional Design and Learning Support
The UCLA Extension Learning Support staff assists both students and instructors with Canvas-related technical support, as well as general and administrative questions.

Learning Support staff is available Monday through Friday, from 8 AM to 5 PM (Pacific Time), except holidays:

Campus Safety Escorts

For students taking classes held on the UCLA campus and in and around Westwood Village, the UCLA Police Department provides a free walking escort service every day of the year from dusk until 1 a.m. Community Service Officers (CSOs) are available to walk students, faculty, staff members and visitors to and from anywhere on campus, in Westwood Village, and in the village apartments. CSOs are uniformed students who have received special training and are employed by the UCLA Police Department. To obtain an escort, please call (310) 794-9255 and allow 15 to 20 minutes for your escort to arrive. For complete information, see: https://www.ucpd.ucla.edu/services/community-service-officers-csos/evening-escorts

Schedule

Course calendar and related activities
When Module Title Notes
Week #1
Online
Intro, Trends, Platforms & Tools
  • Course overview, requirements and iassignments
  • What makes someone a social media expert
  • The shift from “organic” to “paid” media
  • Honoring the algorithm
  • How to think strategically and avoid “shiny object syndrome”
  • Key social media platforms
  • Developing a Social Media Playbook"

Guest Speaker: TBD

 

Assignments:

  1. SELF INTRODUCTION: Complete the Week 1 “Graded Discussion” assignment in Canvas by posting a brief self-introduction highlighting your personal background, professional experience/goals and goals for this course. This assignment must be completed by next class session on April 6th to avoid late grade penalty.
  2. ACCOUNT SET-UP: Create (if necessary) personal accounts on Twitter and LinkedIn; complete each profile with bio, photo, links and other information as appropriate.
  3. TWITTER POST: Post at least one update on Twitter relating to social media best practices (use course hashtag #SocMedUCLA so instructor can track your work)
  4. READING: Read “Week 1” assigned links on course blog "Reading" page
  5. RESEARCH: Research/follow and engage with Week 2 guest speaker(s) 
  6. COURSE BLOG SUBMISSION: If you are selected to submit a blog post about the Week 1 guest speaker, submit your post (minimum 250 words or two-minute video) to instructor via the Canvas system or email to [email protected] (use subject line "course blog post") before the next class session on April 6th. You may insert text into your message or send it as an attachment. If you submit a video, send a link to where it can be accessed online (YouTube, Vimeo or other platform with embeddable video). 
Week #2
Online
Content Marketing and Social Media Tools
  • Understanding PESO (paid, earned, owned and shared) media
  • Content marketing and "feeding the beast"
  • Building your personal brand and positioning yourself as an expert
  • Tools for monitoring, content creation, engagement and measurement

Guest Speaker: TBD

PLEASE VIEW THE RECORDED WEEK 2 LECTURE VIDEO (IN THE WEEK 2 COURSE MODULE) BEFORE OUR LIVE ZOOM MEETING/GUEST SPEAKER DISCUSSION ON TUESDAY

Assignments:

  1. TWITTER POST: Post at least one update on Twitter relating to social media best practices (use course hashtag #SocMedUCLA so instructor can track your work)
  2. READING: Read “Week 2” assigned links on course blog "Reading" page
  3. RESEARCH: Research/follow and engage with Week 3 guest speaker(s)
  4. COURSE BLOG SUBMISSION: If you are selected to submit a blog post about the Week 2 guest speaker, submit your post (minimum 250 words or two-minute video) to instructor via the Canvas system or email to [email protected] (use subject line "course blog post") before the next class session on April 13th. You may insert text into your message or send it as an attachment. If you submit a video, send a link to where it can be accessed online (YouTube, Vimeo or other platform with embeddable video). 
Week #3
Online
Engagement, Visual Storytelling and Working with Influencers
  • Platform-specific best practices 
  • Video and visual storytelling 
  • Online promotions and giveaways 
  • Working with bloggers, influencers and empowered consumers 

Guest speaker: TBD

PLEASE VIEW THE RECORDED WEEK 3 LECTURE VIDEO (INI THE WEEK 3 COURSE MODULE) BEFORE OUR LIVE ZOOM MEETING/GUEST SPEAKER DISCUSSION ON TUESDAY, 

Assignments:

  1. TWITTER POST: Post at least one update on Twitter regarding social media best practices (use course hashtag #SocMedUCLA so instructor can track your work)
  2. READING: "Week 4" assigned links on course website “Reading” page
  3. RESEARCH: Research/follow/engage with Week 5 guest speaker(s)
  4. COURSE BLOG SUBMISSION: If you are selected to submit a blog post about the Week 4 guest speaker, submit your post (minimum 250 words or two-minute video) to instructor via the Canvas system or email to [email protected] (use subject line "course blog post") before the next class session on April 20th. You may insert text into your message or send it as an attachment. If you submit a video, send a link to where it can be accessed online (YouTube, Vimeo or other platform with embeddable video). 
Week #4
Online
Key Platforms and Building Your Social Media Toolkit
  • ROI, KPIs and measuring success 
  • FTC disclosure requirements, copyright and ethics 
  • Tapping employees and other in-house ambassadors 
  • The social media plan outline – final project overview 

Guest Speaker: TBD

PLEASE VIEW THE RECORDED WEEK 4 LECTURE VIDEO (INI THE WEEK 4 COURSE MODULE) BEFORE OUR LIVE ZOOM MEETING/GUEST SPEAKER DISCUSSION ON TUESDAY. 

Assignments:

  1. TWITTER POST: Post at least one update on Twitter relating to social media best practices (use course hashtag #SocMedUCLA so instructor can track your work)
  2. READING: Read “Week 3” assigned links on course blog "Reading" page
  3. RESEARCH: Research/follow and engage with Week 4 guest speaker(s)
  4. COURSE BLOG SUBMISSION: If you are selected to submit a blog post about the Week 3 guest speaker, submit your post (minimum 250 words or two-minute video) to instructor via the Canvas system or email to [email protected] (use subject line "course blog post") before the next (final) class session. You may insert text into your message or send it as an attachment. If you submit a video, send a link to where it can be accessed online (YouTube, Vimeo or other platform with embeddable video). 
  5. FINAL PROJECT: Begin working on the final project. It's not due until Tuesday (one week after our last class session), but why wait until the last minute?
Week #5
Online
Blogging, SEO & Reputation Management
  • How to create and sustain a blog
  • Make yourself easy to find - SEO for the non-SEO pro
  • Online reputation management
  • Location-based apps, messaging, QR codes and other mobile technologies

Guest Speaker: TBD 

PLEASE VIEW THE RECORDED WEEK 5 LECTURE VIDEO (INI THE WEEK 5 COURSE MODULE) BEFORE OUR LIVE ZOOM MEETING/GUEST SPEAKER DISCUSSION ON TUESDAY.

Assignments:

  1. TWITTER POST: Post at least one update on Twitter regarding social media best practices (use course hashtag #SocMedUCLA so instructor can track your work)
  2. READING: "Week 5" assigned links on course website “Reading” page
  3. FINAL PROJECT: Wrap-up work on your final project and submit it as an attached document via Canvas or email to instructor by Tuesday.