July 5, 2018
As director of internal corporate communications for a team that is responsible for interacting with 5,000 employees in different parts of the United States, Thonnia Lee was interested in devising a plan to communicate with workers who may not be in front of computers every day. When Lee became aware of the new Social Media Marketing program offered by the University of Delaware’s Division of Professional and Continuing Studies (UD PCS), she was eager to investigate a potential solution to her challenge.
Advanced Social Media Marketing for Business
Two classes provide broad and deep coverage of in-demand social media marketing skills.
“I wanted to explore social media to figure out how to communicate effectively with employees who are mobile because everybody has a smartphone with Facebook on it,” said Lee. “I was looking to get a lay of the land to better understand what the risks and rewards are, expand my knowledge, and see what professionals in that arena think.”
Lee completed UD’s initial Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing course, which is being presented again beginning Sept. 5, and has registered for the first offering of Advanced Social Media Marketing for Business, which starts Aug. 28. The fundamentals class focuses on leveraging a variety of social media platforms to build and extend awareness, increase visibility, converse with prospects and customers, cultivate brand ambassadors, gain market share, and support organizational goals. The advanced class digs deeper by researching, planning, developing, integrating and executing comprehensive social media marketing strategies, integrated campaigns, targeted content and paid placement, and then measuring success.
While Lee was well-versed in Facebook prior to the class, she welcomed the opportunity to be exposed to other platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, SnapChat, YouTube and Pinterest. She said she was given a strong foundation to understand the benefit of social media for communicating with employees and confirmed she is on the right path.
“I learned that you have to stay engaged at all times,” said Lee. “You can’t decide you are going to pay attention to Twitter this week but ignore Facebook. You really have to look at all of the platforms to keep up with what folks are saying so whatever you are sharing or mentioning doesn’t seem out of touch, out of date and out of tune with the rest of that particular world. Timing, language, imagery and frequency all matter.”
Lee, who began her career in the newspaper industry before transitioning to higher education and then corporate communications, had been out of school for a long time but was able to make a smooth return to the classroom thanks to the low-pressure, grade-free format of the non-credit class.
“I walked away with tools that are going to benefit me but didn’t feel so stressed because I needed to have a certain grade on a test,” said Lee. “As long as you are engaged and attempting to participate, you are going to learn something that is going to benefit others.”
Lee also welcomed the hybrid format that consisted of face-to-face meetings at UD’s Arsht Hall in Wilmington and online sessions conducted via Facebook Live. Along with the flexibility of being able to attend class from anywhere, she was able to utilize the same technology she was learning about. This fall, three of the eight Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing classes and 24 of the 30 Advanced Social Media Marketing for Business sessions will take place virtually.
“What I’m looking forward to in the advanced course is expanding what I learned in terms of measuring the impact and adding a few more vehicles as well,” said Lee. “I am interested in growing on the foundation to explore social media deeper.”
Students interested in UD’s Social Media Marketing program are encouraged to find out which course best fits their needs by completing the self-assessment questionnaire at www.pcs.udel.edu/socialmedia. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 302-831-7600.