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COM 310 - Social Media

This guide is a companion to Professor Boroshok's COM 310 course to guide students through the social media marketing plan project for their selected nonprofit organization.

Social Media Plan Outline


This document is a chart outline for the COM310 Social Media Plan project for the assigned client.

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Karin Heffernan
Contact:
 k.heffernan@snhu.edu
 603.626.9100 ext. 2290
 WLLC 108C

Welcome to COM-310: Social Media


Social Media Plan: Service Learning Project

The final project for COM310 is to develop as part of a team, a social media plan for a client (usually a nonprofit or a start-up). This Service-Learning project is an opportunity to “test drive” what is covered in class and what is learned independently through outside reading and earning the HubSpot or Google certification. Working as part of a team will be similar to work in the communications field after graduation. The goals for this project are:

  • To learn more about working with clients and helping them use social media
  • Give students direct experience collaborating on a professional level
  • Learn how to work with different types of people, how to overcome schedule difficulties, balance priorities, and coordinate with others to balance work load
  • Build on business and communication skills learned in earlier courses

First Meeting with Client - For Fall 2022, this must take place by Friday, October 14, 2022

  • Team must reach out to client to set up a meeting to be held with all team members likely during normal business hours. (If the meeting must be virtual, all team members should have their cameras turned on for the meeting.)
  • Team will ask questions to understand the culture and personality of the client organization
  • Team will review the client's needs, objectives/goals, social media successes/shortfalls to date
  • Client may request a social media plan for the entire organization, or for a particular event or drive

Fall 2022 Clients

FriendshipWorks

105 Chauncy St. 8th Floor.
Boston, Massachusetts 02111

617-482-1510

https://fw4elders.org/
  

CONTACT:
Laura Willis (she/her), Marketing & Communications Strategist
617- 482-1510, x123

lwillis@fw4elders.org

Life Forest 

PO Box 1821
Hillsborough, NH 03244

603-315-0790
https://www.thelifeforest.com/

CONTACT:
Mel Bennett (she, her, hers), Co-founder  
inquiries@thelifeforest.com

New Hampshire Veterans Home 

139 Winter Street
Tilton, NH 03276-5415
603-527-4400 

https://www.nh.gov/veterans/
CONTACT:
Sarah Stanley, Public Information Officer
603.527.4425
Sarah.E.Stanley@nhvh.nh.gov

League of Women Voters - Framingham, MA 

PO Box 745
Framingham, MA 01701

Email: framinghamlwv@gmail.com (their FB site says: lwvframingham@gmail.com)

https://www.lwv.org/local-leagues/lwv-framingham
CONTACT:
Jake Binnall 
jakebinnall.lwv@gmail.com

Social Media Plan - Required Content


This will be written and presented as a formal report to management.

  • There should be a cover page and a table of contents.
  • Each section heading should be boldfaced to help the client search for topics.
  • There should also be an introduction page, and a wrap-up/conclusions page. Each chapter must be included.
  • Each chapter should start on a new page/section, separated by a page break. 
  • Strategies, best practices, and overall understanding of social media from earning the Google Analytics or HubSpot certifications should be evident throughout the report.

Please follow this order for the report and presentation:

  • Objectives defined and clarified
  • Social media audit/Competitive Analysis – what is the client doing for social media now? What’s working, and what isn’t, and why?
    • SWOT Analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) - Research competitors: What are other similar companies/organizations doing that your client might learn from or emulate?
  • Target audiences identified and justified with research
  • Key Messages developed
  • Social media platforms and tools recommended and justified
  • Tutorial(s) on how to use the tools recommended by the team
  • Tactics suggested: Creative strategies/activities to differentiate your client from others
  • Estimate of resources (hours/people/money) needed to implement social media plan
  • Explain and recommend benchmarks and measurement tools
  • Conclusion: Include a brief wrap-up stressing the importance of following the plan and how it benefits the client

The final report and presentation will follow this order:

I. Introduction and Objectives: What are you trying to accomplish? Offer details, citing specific goals/metrics and a time frame for measuring the success.

II. SWOT Analysis/Social Media Audit with Competitive Analysis: Your team will research local competition as part of the SWOT analysis. It’s also appropriate to look at similar companies/organizations in other geographic regions to see what social media they’re doing. What can your client learn and emulate?

  • Why are local competitors building community and/or reaching more followers than your client?
  • Your Social Media Audit will give a clearly described baseline, so the client can later measure its program to see if the objectives were met.

III. Target Audience(s): Clearly define and justify a recommended at least one target audience for the client. Include evidence of research to back your recommendations. For example, you can’t just say “XYZ should target men and women ages 21-35.” Show research to prove that’s the right audience to target. What else do you know about those 21-35 year olds? Education level? Income? Married or single? Where do they live? The more detail you can offer, the better you can match up the organization, the audience, and your social media outreach.

  • You must include and cite outside research from at least five studies/sources. For an example, see the Pew Internet & American Life Project http://www.pewinternet.org/
  • If your client already has a clearly defined audience, help them evaluate their decision. Have they made the right pick? How do you know? Prove it with some attributed research.

IV. Key Messages: Clearly write and define the key messages that your client needs to deliver to its target audience(s). Prove that these are the right key messages by using lifestyle data and citing your sources. The Learning Common Reference Desk can save you lots of time and stress if you go there in person and give them enough time to help you.

V. Social Media Platform and Tool Selections: Now that you’ve recommended the targeted audience(s) for your client, it’s time to match that up with social media platforms and tools. Don’t assume your client has any idea what these are. You should probably assume your client has no understanding of social media at all.

  • Using research presented in class and in your assigned readings, pick social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc.) that reach the audience(s). You must justify your recommendations by offering and citing the research that lead to your decision. Match the platform with your target audience. Research makes your advice credible.
  • Don’t limit your selections to just the “usual suspects” (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest). What social media really makes sense for your organization? Consider other platforms and tools discussed during the semester or from your assigned readings.
  • A productivity tool, such as Later, might help the client be more efficient with the platforms you’re recommending.
  • Your recommendation will include a detailed explanation of the best days/times to engage on each recommended platform. Discuss the reasons why. Cite studies and research here too.

VI. Tools/Platforms Tutorial: Don’t assume your client knows how to use any social media tools or platforms. Walk them through an introductory tutorial, and provide hyperlinks to good training videos or articles. Could someone in his/her late 40s/early 50s (without a Smartphone) understand how to do what you’re recommending? Stay in third person throughout the tutorial.

VII. Tactics: This is where your team can get creative! Develop and recommend specific tactics/exercises for your client. Use your imagination to come up with something that will differentiate it from the rest of the pack. In your research for Chapter II of this report, was there something you saw a similar company/organization do that your client can emulate?

VIII: Time/Resources Needed: The biggest challenge facing nonprofits (and startups) is a lack of resources – from money to people. While some strategies and tactics might make sense, there’s not always time or someone to implement the recommendations.

  • How many hours a day/week/month should be devoted to tactical execution? Who should do it and why? Do they really have someone who can tweet multiple times a day? How about producing and uploading videos to a YouTube channel? As part of your report, include a realistic estimate of what it would take to put the plan to into action.
  • Assume your client has little to no budget unless they tell you otherwise. If your team recommends anything that involves spending money, you must detail and justify the costs.

IX: Measurement and Analysis: Strategies and recommendations don’t mean a thing if your client can’t see if it worked. During the semester, you’ll be assigned lots of reading about measurement and metrics. In this final report chapter, you’ll put that information to use! Your team will recommend and explain measurement tools (such as Google Analytics, YouTube Analytics, Facebook Insights, Twitter Insights Dashboard, etc.). Explain how measurement works, and why it’s important. What can the data tell your client?

  • Tell them what metrics to look at. What might those measurements tell your client? How can they react/respond? This should be a detailed section, backed with cited, hyperlinked research.

X: Conclusions: A brief wrap-up stressing the importance of following the plan and how it benefits the client. The key here is a clear, smooth closure rather than an abrupt ending.

*Remember to read your entire report to ensure that all the pieces fit together (Ex: Be sure the author of the Tactics section doesn't contradict something said in the SWOT section, etc.) 

Team presentations to clients: Monday, December 12, 2022 or Thursday, December 15, 2022
Remember to notify coaches and employers that you cannot be excused from either session. 

Sample Project

Below is one example of an excellent social media plan by a former group of COM-310 students. Other examples may be found in your Brightspace course modules.