Social Media Marketing

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Dr. Edward Bond
Department Chair
bond@bradley.edu

The Degree

The social media world is a dynamic area of study as new programs, networks and applications are constantly being launched to enhance or replace existing media. Social media include networks like Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn; wikis like Wikipedia; multimedia sharing sites such as YouTube and Flickr; bookmarking sites; blogging and micro-blogging sites such as Twitter; and virtual worlds like Second Life. These social media tools allow people to interact with each other and share information about products and brands. 

Commercial organizations, institutions and government entities are integrating social media into the marketing mix in order to shape market discussion, increase brand engagement, support other marketing activities and influence purchase behavior.  Social media marketing is forecasted to grow at a 34% compounded annual growth rate, and will become a $3.1 billion industry by 2015 (Forrester Research, 2009). This level of spending makes social media the fastest growing of all sectors of marketing communications. 

The Social Media Marketing concentration will prepare students to effectively integrate Social Media into the marketing strategies of the firms for which they work. Graduates who specialize in this area of marketing will be equipped to manage successful social media campaigns that strengthen the customer’s sense of community and connection to the brand.

In addition to cutting edge information about a new area of marketing study, students in this concentration receive a marketing degree fully accredited through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). AACSB accreditation of the Foster College of Business Administration assures that the school is committed to continued improvement and quality in all areas of business.

Opportunities

While at Bradley, Social Media Marketing students will have opportunities to  1) create an integrated marketing communications campaign with social media as a major element; 2) win the Project Springboard entrepreneurship competition with a business centered around social media marketing; 3)  increase membership and connectedness among members of on-campus organizations; 4) obtain leadership positions in on-campus organizations by building support using social media; 5) help Bradley University and its various departments better integrate social media into their websites and online presence; 6) help Bradley University improve its fundraising efforts by using social media to help the university better communicate with alumni

Career opportunities for majors include:  1)  Social Media Marketing Manager/Specialist; 2) Online Marketing Manager/Specialist; 3) Integrated Marketing Communications Manager/Specialist; 4) Competitive Intelligence Manager/Specialist; 5) Public Relations Manager/Specialist; 6)  Lead Generation Manager/Specialist; 7) Social Media Moderator; 8) Social Media Coordinator

Curriculum

The concentration requires 12 hours of specific coursework within the elective hours of the Marketing major:

Consumer Behavior (MTG 350) gives students an understanding of how consumers make decisions and how marketers can influence those decisions through managing the marketing mix (products, prices, advertising & promotion, how customers can acquire the product).

Integrated Marketing Communication (MTG 381) provides both class and project experiences regarding how a firm can focus all of the elements of promotion (advertising, public relations, in-store promotions, and personal selling) on a single set of promotional objectives designed to influence consumers.

Social Media Marketing (MTG 381) uses insights from consumer decision-making and integrated marketing communication to illustrate how social media can be integrated into the overall marketing efforts of the firm.

A final class drawn from one of the domains in which social marketing is applied lets students prepare for using social media in professional sales, sports marketing, retailing, advertising, services, or business-to-business marketing.