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Social Media Insights & Measurement Syllabus

Social Media Insights & Measurement Syllabus

Syllabus from a 5-week workshop/seminar taught at the University of Oregon on social media insights and measurement.


Kelli Matthews

April 22, 2016


  1. J410/510: Social Media Insights & Measurement ’15

  2. Course Overview About the course: Social media & digital managers

    and strategists must understand data. They must understand how to gather and interpret data - clicks, shares, likes and comments. The best strategists are also able to take the data gathered to draw insights and read those insights in order to make actionable recommendations to their organization. You should check your aversion to math or a fear of spreadsheets at the door. What’s a pivot table you ask? We’ll find out. How else will you know what character length in a post gets the highest engagement rate? Online if someone clicks, there’s a way to measure activity. But does that mean we have to measure everything? Facebook insight exports are dozens and dozens and dozens of columns of numbers. How do you know what’s important? This course will go beyond the superficial and ask students to think like real strategists: gathering and interpreting data, drawing insights and making actionable recommendations. Learning outcomes: • Understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information in a social media context; • Think critically, creatively and independently; • Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve; • Critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness; • Apply basic numerical and statistical concepts to evaluate, plan and implement strategic social media tactics. • Apply tools and technologies appropriate for digital and social media strategists and managers. Kelli Matthews | Tweet: @kmatthews | Call/Text: 541.579.5888 Meet: | #J410smi Thursday 4 pm - 6:50 pm | 302 Allen
  3. The work of the course is largely group-based and requires

    full participation with your peers. You will be working with the Communications Department of the School of Journalism and Communication, looking at real data and using real money to audit, review, promote and report. Expected Work & Activities (total:60 hrs UG; 80 hrs G) • Class time • Assigned reading • Outside research and reading • Group meetings • Data analysis of all social media channels • Facebook sponsored content planning & execution • Reporting Work of the course.
  4. Assignments Weighted Percent of Total Social Media Audit Team-Based Project

    20% Facebook Sponsored Content Plan & Implementation Team-Based Project 20% Final Client Report & Presentation Team-Based Project 25% In-Class Activities Individual. Cannot be made-up. 15% Attendance & Participation Individual 10% Peer Evaluation Individual; includes both completing the peer evaluation of teammates and the results of the teammates evaluation. Poor evaluations may lower your grade up to 10%. 10% 100%
  5. Deadlines All deadlines are firm. PLEASE DO NOT ask me

    or expect me to accept late work. Late assignments will be penalized at 1/3 of a grade for each day. I do reserve the right to make changes to the attached reading and topic schedule, which, in turn, might affect the deadline schedule. Such changes would only be made if absolutely unavoidable, due to, for example, guest speakers’ schedules. Classroom Protocol You are expected to be in class on time, every time the class meets. Every student is expected to accept responsibility for getting assignments, understanding precisely what is expected, and getting the work done to a high professional standard on or before specified deadlines. Communication from me I use Canvas to communicate changes to schedule, tips on assignments and class cancellation due to weather or really anything else. You’re encouraged to set your notifications on Canvas to alert you of new or changing information. I also use Twitter a lot - particularly to share interesting articles and tips. Mandatory Attendance All journalism courses are covered by the university’s mandatory attendance policy: "Academic departments may require students to attend the first and/or second meetings of designated classes. These classes are identified in the class schedule. Students who do not attend the first two sessions of these classes may be directed by the academic department to drop the course so that the seat may be given to another student. Students are responsible for dropping the class; there is no automatic drop. The university refund schedule applies." I may choose to invoke this policy if a student does not attend the first day of class, and the journalism advisers will enforce this policy rigidly. Students will be notified via email to withdraw from the course. If the student remains on the roster, he/she will earn an F grade at the end of the term.
  6. Disabilities The University of Oregon is working to create inclusive

    learning environments. If there are aspects of the instruction or design of this course that result in barriers to your participation, please notify me as soon as possible. You are also welcome to contact Disability Services in 164 Oregon Hall at (541) 346-1155 or If you are not a student with a documented disability through Disability Services, but you would like for me to know about class issues that will impact your ability to learn, I encourage you to come visit with me during my office hours so that we can strategize how you can get the most out of this course. Students with documented disabilities who may need accommodations, who have any emergency medical information the instructor should know of, or who need special arrangements in the event of evacuation, should make an appointment with the instructor as early as possible, no later than the first week of the term. Academic Misconduct The University Student Conduct Code (available at defines academic misconduct. Students are prohibited from committing or attempting to commit any act that constitutes academic misconduct. By way of example, students should not give or receive (or attempt to give or receive) unauthorized help on assignments or examinations without express permission from the instructor. Students should properly acknowledge and document all sources of information (e.g. quotations, paraphrases, ideas) and use only the sources and resources authorized by the instructor. If there is any question about whether an act constitutes academic misconduct, it is the students’ obligation to clarify the question with the instructor before committing or attempting to commit the act. Additional information about a common form of academic misconduct, plagiarism, is available at guides/plagiarism/students.
  7. Topic Assignments Reading Week 1 Social Media Audit • strategic

    use of social media data • introduction to audits In-class: anecdotal evidence vs. data Week 2 Data Collection • getting comfortable with data & interpretation. • spreadsheet skills; manual coding GUEST: SOJC Communication Team (Thurs) In-class: available data per channel/ platform. In-class: pivot table practice Week 3 Drawing Insights • content analysis • promoted content In-class: Sandbox experiment Audit Due (Th) Week 4 Promoted Content NO CLASS (Thanksgiving) Promoted Content Plan Due (Tu) Week 5 Actionable Recommendations Implementation of Content Plan Complete Finals Presentation Monday, December 7 12:30 pm (Location: TBD) Final Reports & Presentations
  8. There is no room for “but I’m a journalism major,

    I don’t do math…” in this class or in social media and digital strategy. Everything is data driven. For your insights and recommendations to have credibility, you have to get comfortable with math, with spreadsheets and with basic formulas. You have to embrace content analysis and manually calculating engagement rates. Trust me on this one. I’ve had to teach myself to read reports, run formulas, interpret data and then take those to clients with authority and confidence. Take advantage of the sandbox that is your undergraduate career, of the mentors and resources available to you. Besides… Pivot tables can be fun! A word about math.