Students will examine the social media content of a Fortune 500 company or nonprofit organization. You will evaluate how the organization uses social media and make suggestions for better use of social media.
- Analyze online content about your brand. Use Google to find comments, news articles, discussion, and other content that people outside your organization produce. Examples include Google reviews, unofficial Facebook pages, discussion boards, blogs, etc. You are not expected to find everything ever written about your company. However, you should find enough that you are able to provide examples of representative content and provide a brief analysis of the content. For example, how prominent was the content in the search results? Was the content primarily positive or negative? Did you see any evidence that the company responded to the content?
- Identify all the social media platforms used by your chosen brand. Apart from the obvious platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.), also look for the brand’s website (and whether it includes online forums or allows comments on site content) and regularly updated content there. Your goal is to identify each social media presence and give examples of how they use each medium. Be thorough.
- Perform a social media analysis. Some questions you might want to consider include: How does social media fit within the overall public communication strategy of the brand? How consistent is the brand in its message across the various platforms? What does the brand do particularly well in its communication? What areas of social media could use improvement? Is there evidence of two-way communication, and what is it? Be specific in your observations, analysis, and recommendations. Benchmarking with competitors may be helpful here; perhaps it would put things in context to compare your brand with its peers.
5. Write a report with your findings. Please include a subhead labeling each major section of your report, which should include the following pieces:
- Cover page with name of organization, date, and your name.
- Online content: Identify examples of the type of content that you found about your organization. Briefly discuss the nature of that content (positive or negative) and provide specific examples. Briefly discuss whether you find any evidence that the organization responds directly. Provide the URL for each item you reference as a footnote in your report. This section should be about 1.5-2 pages of writing.
- Social media tools: Identify the official channels that your organization uses. Give examples of each. Briefly discuss how frequently the items are updated, how many followers/friends the organization has in various platforms, and what their engagement strategy is (they may or may not be seeking engagement, so explain what characteristics of their posting helps you make that judgment). This section should be about 2 pages of writing.
- Social media analysis: Analyze how well your brand uses social media by evaluating the information you gathered in the previous sections. Go beyond observation and make recommendations for how to improve your organization’s social media use. Examples may include increased consistency, increased frequency, ways to improve engagement or impact, additional channels to consider depending on target consumers, etc. Your recommendations should be specific. This section should be about 3 pages of writing.
- Conclusion: Provide a summary of your results and analysis. This should be at least a half-page of writing.
Note: You may consider the page counts above as minimums. If you were to address all of the points above adequately, it would be at least 7 double-spaced pages, plus the cover page. Particularly effective reports may include screenshots of items to which you refer, and this would increase the page count. I expect your audit to be in the range of 8-12 pages.
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