UD PCS students assist local nonprofits with social media
Graphic by Cindy Dolan April 12, 2018
Organizations invited to apply for free support
Thanks to a pair of new programs offered by the University of Delaware’s Division of Professional and Continuing Studies (UD PCS), local nonprofit organizations will benefit from free social media marketing assistance.
In both Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing (beginning May 29) and Advanced Social Media Marketing for Business (beginning Aug. 28), groups of students will participate in experiential learning assignments in which they help nonprofit organizations.
The fundamentals class focuses on leveraging a variety of social media platforms to build and extend awareness, increase visibility, converse with prospects and customers, cultivate brand ambassadors, gain market share and support organizational goals.
The advanced class digs in deeper by researching, planning, developing, integrating and executing comprehensive social media marketing strategies, integrated campaigns, targeted content and paid placement and then measuring success.
“We are looking for organizations that at least have a presence on social media and have tried it,” said Nancy Dibert, the founder and CEO of Epic Marketing Consultants Corporation and the class instructor. “Perhaps they post sporadically or maybe they abandon their sites, come back for a couple of posts, and then abandon them again. We are going to show them the benefits and return on investment of social media.”
While each section of Dibert’s fundamentals and advanced classes is limited to working with up to 15 and eight organizations, respectively, applications from interested nonprofit organizations are continuously accepted at www.pcs.udel.edu/socialmedia. Those selected are required to provide the class with access to their accounts and with organization imagery and logos. Nonprofits selected for the advanced course must commit to spending $100-$150 on digital advertising.
“We’re hoping to benefit the nonprofits on multiple fronts,” Dibert said. “Number one is to really get them boots on the ground and get them up and running on social media. For organizations more advanced in their use of social media, we will provide them with sound strategies and road maps for how they can continue. Whatever an organization’s goals are, the social channels have to support them. Any nonprofit that doesn’t utilize social media for brand and event awareness is really missing out because that is where their audience is.”
Since social media platforms and associated social media marketing strategies and techniques evolve, UD PCS administrators revamped the social media marketing course that was last offered in spring 2017. Providing two levels of instruction along with market-based, experiential learning opportunities, the new programs provide broad and deep coverage of in-demand social media marketing skills. Delivering real-time assistance to nonprofit organizations is an integral component of the programs.
“Including nonprofit organizations in our new social media marketing classes creates a win-win for all involved,” said Vic Wang, UD PCS program coordinator. “Our students get the opportunity to learn by performing real work for organizations in need of assistance; the nonprofit organizations build their social media followership and receive powerful advice; and members of the public learn more about the services provided by the nonprofits.”
Both classes are conducted in a hybrid format consisting of a combination of face-to-face and online sessions. Communication between the workgroups and nonprofits is conducted virtually or in person at mutually convenient times.