PR Students Managing Social Media Pages

Brandon Hurtado, interactive marketing analyst at Exeter Finance Corp. and UTA graduate, speaks to students in UTA’s first-ever Strategic Social Media Communication course. Students “live tweet” during guest speakers’ discussions, a common practice at many professional conferences, conventions and seminars. (Photo contributed)
Brandon Hurtado, interactive marketing analyst at Exeter Finance Corp. and UTA graduate, speaks to students in UTA’s first-ever Strategic Social Media Communication course. Students “live tweet” during guest speakers’ discussions, a common practice at many professional conferences, conventions and seminars. (Photo contributed)

Department of Communication students enrolled in PREL 3320 (Strategic Social Media Communication) are taking over a class Twitter feed and Facebook page this spring to gain experience in using social media as a promotional tool.

Those on social media can follow what the students are doing by liking the Facebook page and by following the Twitter feed. Four-member student teams will rotate managing the pages, explained Assistant Professor Shelley Wigley, who teaches the social media class.

“Students will be posting timely information and sharing the latest tips and information on what’s happening in social media,” Wigley said. “This is important because social media changes so quickly. The students will also be posting content they create that has something to do with the class, what we’re learning in the class or social media in general.”

The project will provide students with hands-on experience managing social media platforms for a brand or organization.

“The students will have to strategically identify relevant publics to target. They also learn to work in teams when implementing a social media strategy; something they don’t do when managing social media for their personal accounts,” Wigley said.

The students also teamed up with The Shorthorn in covering The 2014 Oscars earlier this week. Students followed UTASocial to join the conversation Sunday evening on the popular awards show.

“I hope these students learn that social media is not easy and that it is about more than just telling people what you had for lunch,” Wigley added. “I want them to realize that social media is about building a community around a brand, idea or organization, and that ultimately, social media is about building relationships online.”

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