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MKT 4820 Social Media Marketing Strategy: Syllabus


Remember: No class tonight 5/2! We will meet in the library basement on 5/9 for the final exam. See you then!


Below are two examples of the final project. The one that we crowdsourced is a bit rough and would probably get around 12/20 points. About a B. Also attached is an early submission from two of your classmates. It's excellent! The only thing missing is a timeline and some specifics on the tactics were missing. It would easily get 18/20 points. If the timeline is included and tactics  made more specific its a perfect 20...So both of these might help you in terms of working through an example.

Final Exam

MKT 4820 Social Media Marketing Strategy

Salazar Hall 367A

Tuesday 6:00-8:45

Professor: Michael Germano
Text: 769-287-1015
Phone:  323-343-3963
Office Location: Library North Room 1018A (Ask for me at reference desk)
Office Hours: Monday 2-4; Tuesday 3-6; Wednesday 3-4; Thursday 3-5 Friday 11-12


Required Course Materials

  • Barker, Barker, Bormann & Neher (2013) Social Media Marketing: A Strategic Approach.
  • Schaffer (2013) Maximize your Social.
  • @profmgermano (follow professor on Twitter and review tweets for discussion)


Course Description

MKT 4820 Social Media Marketing Strategy (4 units) Prerequisite: MKT 3800 or consent of instructor. Examines tactical and strategic process and activities necessary for utilizing social media to engage customers and develop markets. Emphasis placed on measuring and tracking effectiveness of social media marketing strategies. Some Sections may be Technologically Mediated.



Course Objectives

Businesses and non-profit organizations of all types and sizes have recognized the value of social media marketing for its power to reach customers in order to meet diverse strategic objectives that range from building brands to developing customer loyalty. The need for professionals who are attuned to the new and emerging processes for engaging the marketing function in digital spaces is creating a demand for savvy social media marketing professionals. In fact, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook has predicted 14% average annual job growth for sales, marketing, and advertising professionals overall while suggesting that “…managers who can navigate the digital world should have the best prospects.”[1]


This course is an elective for the Marketing option as well as the Social Media Marketing certificate.  MKT 480 Social Media Marketing Strategy explores the social media and its capacity to be used strategically by business. The purpose of the class is to understand social media marketing in a holistic way that fits in with other marketing strategies in order to support specific business goals.  Emphasis with placed upon the creative, analytical and critical thinking needed to develop social media tactics that support business strategies.


Student Learning Outcomes

Students that successfully complete MKT 480 will achieve/be able to do the following:

  • Understand the required terminology and components of Social Media tactical and strategic plans;
  • Understand the different strategic purposes of using social media in the marketing mix and marketing process with emphasis on its role in developing a business overall as well as its role in the promotion of specific products;
  • Appreciate the critical importance of the planning process in social media marketing;
  • Apply research and understanding of the customer, the external environment as well as the internal situation to a social media plan;
  • Engage in appropriate situational analysis (internal and external), customer analysis and industry analysis in order to develop effective social media marketing tactical and strategic plans;
  • Identify the place social media marketing has within the context of an organizations/business unit’s/product’s overall marketing strategy;
  • Appreciate the ethical considerations and choices implicit to planning and executing social media marketing strategy;
  • Evaluate an organizations effective engagement in social media to meet marketing objectives;
  • Identify how to measure and assess the effectiveness of social media for marketing purposes;
  • Draft an existing social media strategic audit;
  • Draft a social media strategy for an organization overall;
  • Draft a social media strategy for a specific product.



Course Requirements

Students in MKT 389 can earn 100 points total over the course of the quarter. The total points earned will determine the final grade:
























Grades are based upon the following requirements/deliverables:

  • Class Contributions/Participation/activities 20%
  • Exams/Tests (2) 20%
  • Social Media Strategic Audit (Pop star) 20%
  • Social Media Product Strategy (Summer movie) 20%
  • Social Media Strategy (Overall organizational) 20%

Class Discussions/Participation/Homework (IRL and online activities)Attendance and participation in Twitter discussions is obligatory since 20 points/20% of your grade is based upon active engagement and participation in discussions and completion of assigned exercises. MKT 4820 is highly participatory and interactive. As far as attendance: Failure to attend the entire class meeting and failure to actively participate will adversely impact your final grade by up to 5 points per absence/non-participation late arrival or early departure.

Tests: This class will have two exams (mid-term and final) worth 10 points/10% of grade each (20% total) The exams will feature a variety of multiple choice, short answer, and essay/critical evaluation questions. Any resource can be used during the tests but answers must reflect your own work (essays as well as short answers). 

Social Media Strategic Audit/Analysis: 20 points/20% of grade. Since musicians are in many ways the pioneers of strategic social media marketing you will asked to audit a specific musical performer and their use of social media. This is an individual paper/project. Detailed instructions available at the end of the syllabus.

Social Media Product Promotion Strategy:  20 points/20% of grade. Working in groups of three you will craft a detailed social media strategy for a specific product, an upcoming summer or fall blockbuster movie. Detailed instructions available at end of syllabus.

Social Media Organizational/Overall Strategy: 20 points/20% of grade. Working in groups of three you will craft a detailed social media strategy for an overall organization. Detailed instructions for this assignment will be given out when we discuss social media marketing strategic plans in detail.


Course Policies

A student that succeeds in MKT 480 must demonstrate the following traits and characteristics:

  • Owns a copy of the textbooks and reads  regularly;
  • Observes all university policies related to academic honesty and adheres to them at all times;
  • Shows up on time and prepared for class each week and stays focused for the entire period;
  • Actively engages professor and classmates during discussions and class activities;
  • Adopts disciplined study/work habits that allocate at least 4-6 hours per week on average for outside preparation and completion of requirements;
  • Is fully aware of all due dates, exam dates, course requirements and asks professor (via email or office hours) if they do not;
  • Checks email regularly and communicates with professor in a timely way when needed;
  • Does not make excuses for missed deadlines or failed work and instead offers solutions to the problem of not meeting course requirements;
  • Works effectively with colleagues on three group projects/presentations;
  • Acts like an adult who accepts full responsibility for their choices and actions whether they result in success or failure;
  • Commits fully to their professional success as a student while achieving balance in their personal life so it does not impinge upon that commitment.



Students with Disabilities

The university provides reasonable accommodations to students with documented physical and learning disabilities.  The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD), located in Student Affairs Room 115 coordinates all documentation of disabilities (323-343-3140)



If you have any questions at any point during the quarter please contact the professor via email or during office hours as soon as possible.

Class Schedule


Topics Covered

Required Reading

Due Dates


·       Introduction to course

·       Overview of syllabus and requirements

·       Strategy, goals, & tactics: An overview





·       The role of social media in marketing overall

·       Strategic social media planning and marketing introduction and overview

·       Overall organizations

·       Specific products and services


1 & 2




·       Target audiences on social media

·       Segmentation in digital environments

·       Online customer expectations, perceptions and behaviors


3 & 4



·       Ethics and social media strategy

·       Social Word of Mouth as strategy objective

·       Core elements of social media strategy





·       The social media marketing plan in detail


14 & 15


·       Metrics and analytics for measuring success

·       Setting goals that are quantifiable and achievable

·       Auditing and evaluating efforts





·       Blogging as central to strategic social media marketing efforts

·       Podcasts and webinars: Social media content publishing as a strategic enterprise



5 & 6


Pop Star Reports Due 



·       Strategic social network utilization: Customer Listening and the replacement of interruption disruption with push, push and engagement

·       Tactical approaches to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter






·       Mid-term exam; Material covered:

o    Barker Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14, 15

o    Schaffer Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9


Test #1 (Mid-term exam)



Spring Break




·       Articles and Whitepapers: Social media content publishing as a strategic enterprise Pt. 2


7 & 8






·       Tactical approaches to YouTube

·       Strategic video based marketing in social media

·       Organizational roles and responsibilities


9 & 10





·       Tactical approaches to Instagram, Snapchat, Vine and Flickr

·       Strategic image based marketing in social media

·       Managing risk in social media marketing



Movie Reports Due



·       Tactical approaches to discussion boards, social news, review sites and Q&A sites

·       Tactical approaches to mobile and location based social media marketing


11 &12





·       Social media marketing plan integration

·       Social media planning and strategy ROI

Schaffer 12, 14,and 17





·       Strategy presentations


Strategy Reports Due!


·       Final Exam; Material covered:

o    Barker Chapters  7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

o    Schaffer Chapters 11, 12, 14, 17


Test #2 (Final Exam)


Course Twitter Feed

You will be expected to follow the course/professor's Twitter feed as part of the class (counts towards class participation points). I will post entries on news and issues relevant to social media marketing.


Hint: You can have all of my tweets send directly to your phone as a text message by texting 'follow profmgermano' to 40404 (off profmgermano to stop)

Social Media Marketing Certificate Info

Like social media? Earn a certificate in social media marketing. Open to any majors. Take MKT 380 plus 3 of the new social media marketing courses and you earn the certificate.

Full Syllabus

John F. Kennedy Memorial Library
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8300