Syllabus for SOM-702



Social media is the number one activity on the web. About half of all in-person retail purchases were first researched online (Forrester 2010), 30% of young mothers tweet 10 to 20 times per day (Nielson 2011), and YouTube is one of the largest search engines in the world.  This activity has tremendous implications for how business will be conducted in the future.

Introduction to Social Media examines and analyzes the social media space from a business perspective. The course will introduce the space and teach you the strategies and tactics for social media management and marketing. You will learn best practices and key communities to be involved in social media for business as well as an overview of what policies, rules and regulations practitioners must keep in mind.

The course will also explore the various niche community spaces where online marketing is moving to next. Finally, the course will cover the various measuring tools for social media and how to overcome the core challenges when implementing social media in a corporation.

You will establish a strong professional social media presence and your coursework for Introduction to Social Media will culminate in the production of a social media plan for a business of your choosing.


  1. Overview of social media
  2. Search engine optimization
  3. Deeper understanding: Twitter
  4. Niche spaces and opportunities online
  5. Social media planning
  6. Restrictions and ethics in social media
  7. Measurement & the future of social media


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate comprehension of the social media landscape and implications for business.
  2. Establish a strong personal and professional (branded) social media presence online.
  3. Determine and justify which are the best social media strategies and tactics to employ in an organization.
  4. Produce and implement a social media marketing strategy for their business.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

  1. Erik Qualman, Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business, Revised and Updated Edition (Wiley, 2010).


ISBN-13: 978-0-470-63884-2


Introduction to Social Media is a three-credit online course, consisting of eight (8) modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below:

  1. Module 1: Social Media:  An Overview: Part 1

  1. Module 2: Social Media: An Overview: Part 2

  1. Module 3: Twitter

  1. Module 4: Social Media Marketing:  Niche versus Mega Spaces

  1. Module 5: Social Media Planning

  1. Module 6: Regulations, Legal Issues, and Challenges Involved with Social Media for Business

  1. Module 7: Measurement and the Future of Social Media

  1. Module 8: Final Project


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums (two of which will be conducted synchronously), complete assignments, and complete a final project. Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.  See below for details.

Consult the course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to an ungraded discussion forum where you will introduce yourself to your mentor and classmates, you are required to take part in six (6) graded discussion forums.  Two of these forums will be synchronous discussions that will take place as conference calls (Modules 3 and 5).  Your mentor will work with your class to arrange a time that works best for everyone and provide the dial-in-number.Click to view Online Discussion Grading Rubric.


You are required to complete four (4) assignments. These assignments include selecting a topic for your final project, setting-up and using a Twitter account, researching niche and word of mouth marketing campaigns, and researching and selecting measurement tools for use in your final project.  For complete details of these assignments consult the individual course modules .Click to view Written Assignment Rubric.

 Final Project

You are required to produce and submit a final project in the form of a social media plan (SMP).  Your social media plan will focus on the things to consider when integrating social media into a company’s marketing strategy.  Your final project will be completed in stages over the course of the semester and involves producing an outline of your SMP that is worth 15% of your final grade.  For complete details regarding your project and what is required, see the Final Project area of the course Website.



Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Online discussions (6)25%
  1. Synchronous discussions (2)—10%
  2. Other discussions (4)—15%
  1. Assignments (4)35%
  2. Social Media Plan Outline—15%
  3. Final project25%

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:
























Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.
  2. Take time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.
  4. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.
  2. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.


Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or the College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.


Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of the intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

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