iSimply Courses

Posted by on Jun 12, 2013 in e-learning | 0 comments

One of iSimply’s main objectives is to design and develop e-courses on social media marketing, a thematic area of increased market interest due to the recent emergence of the social media marketer. The respective e-courses will be aimed at both iSimply’s target groups: i) marketing professionals in need of Vocational Education and Training (VET), ii) marketing students in Higher Education Institutions (HEI). Currently, both the vocational training as well as the higher education world is in lack and thus great need of such well-developed e-courses on social media marketing.

The e-courses for both target groups have been structured in two major units/sub-thematic areas of Social Media Marketing:

  • Unit 1: Marketing topics in Social Media Marketing: This unit will primarily provide information on topics such as community management, editorial planning and social media marketing plans, targeted both to the professionals in the sector as well as students of marketing in HEI.  Participants of this unit will be able to receive comprehensive information on marketing topics related with Social Media Marketing but also, be able to appreciate this change towards marketing on social media within their own organisations.
    • Unit 2: Social media tools for marketing: Participants of this unit will be familiar, upon its completion, with a range of different social media tools (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and analyse if and how they can be utilised for marketing purposes.

The needs of the two target groups, marketing professionals and HEI students vary in terms of both their skills and characteristics and their learning needs for social media marketing. It is therefore essential to customize the created learning material to each group’s specific needs. In this direction, for each Unit a selection of four scenarios has been made for each target group.

Unit 1 Modules for marketing professionals (VET sector)

  • What is community management and how is it done: the module aims at implementing community management taking into account all its dimensions.
  • Defining the Social Brand identity: this module aims at assisting learners in defining the brand’s tone of voice for their own business, in showing their personality and differentiating them from their competitors, in using social media platforms tools for promoting their brand identity as well as in including social media in their marketing plan.
  • How to engage-content creation: this module will provide information on how someone can establish the social media marketing goals, know their audience, build an overall structure of the calendar, determine the content, include marketing issues, and evaluate the work, etc.
  • Preparing my organisation to use social media when marketing: The objective of this module is to understand the consequences of engaging a company in social media marketing, to draw a framework for action, to make the preparatory actions as well as to plan the organisation of Social Media Marketing.

Unit 1 Modules for HEI Learners

  • Social Media Community Management Strategy: Participants will learn how to manage a social media community by executing effective social media strategies to keep/encourage customer engagement and to build relationships with new customers.
  • Building a community: Participants of this module will be able to spot and understand consumer communities as well as to develop strategies for marketing to these groups.
  • Customer needs: Participants will learn how to look deeper in consumer minds, discovering their deeper motivations such as psychogenic and hedonic needs. They will also learn with real-life examples the dynamics behind these deeper needs, and how marketing and mass media formulate and influence these needs.
  • Social Media marketing plan: Participants will learn how to develop a social media marketing plan in order to create a place for community engagement and social interaction that is compatible with a company’s overall marketing objectives and strategies.

Unit 2 Modules for marketing professionals (VET sector)

  • Blogs: this module will investigate into blogs and how they are used for marketing purposes. It will effectively examine its difference to other social media tools which use content as their main expression channel (i.e. twitter, microblogging etc.), and will describe on how it can be used for marketing purposes.
  • Social Network Platform-example case: Facebook: This module will investigate into the use of social network platforms and particularly Facebook, in the context of marketing.
  • Professional Social Network Platform-example case: LinkedIn: Participants of this module will be able, upon its completion, to create a professional profile and build their network to join different groups, to search  employees and apply for jobs, to view the professional profile of other people/companies, to add a company and see who viewed the company profile.
  • Microblogging (Twitter): This module aims at understanding the general functioning, objectives and possibilities of micro-blogging platforms in the landscape of social media. Learners will be able to select and integrate a set of tools to benefit from micro-blogging in the marketing strategy of the company. They will also have hands on sessions using Twitter and afferent services in order to understand the technical and organizational features.

Unit 2 Modules for HEI learners

  • Blogs: This module will provide a short overview of blogs and blogging, will describe the use different types of blogs (personal, corporate etc.) and forms of blogs (vblogs, mixed media blogs etc.), will identify the benefits that they can offer (i.e., advertising, branding, marketing etc.) and provide best practice cases while examine the notion of consumer-generated advertising within blogs.
  • Social Network Platform-example case: Facebook: This module will provide a short overview of social networking platforms and will describe Facebook, its characteristics, popularity and impact in today’s fast changing environment. The module will examine the benefits it can offer (i.e., advertising, branding, marketing etc.) at a personal and professional level and provide best practice cases in these online communities.
  • Professional Social Network Platform-example case: LinkedIn: Before committing a professional social network platform a company should recognise the differences between these platforms. One example case is LinkedIn which is a main platform for professionals and businesses to establish connections online. It can help each company to maximize their business opportunities and staying connected with different professional networks.
  • Microblogging (Twitter): This module will provide a short overview of micro-blogging tools and will describe Twitter and how organisations can, at 140 characters a tweet, turn this into a powerful marketing tool.

iSimply e-Environment, its designed services and tools

Social media and social networking applications play an important role to the transition and reform of the traditional learning model deployed by early e-learning systems. Such tools do not focus on a well-structured, organized and packaged e-learning content but rather to content that is created, aggregated and shaped according to the learner needs, preferences, background and skills. In this context, there is no longer a finished or complete course or product but rather a learning resource that can be remixed, repurposed and fed into another learner’s learning experience. The shift from the design of the learning content to how this content is used and distributed defines a new type of learning, referred to as technology-enabled social learning, e-learning 2.0 or online collaborative learning.

However, the transition to this new type of learning cannot be abrupt, as both instructors and learners have become familiar with existing, more formal learning-oriented, e-learning systems and services for online learning and training.

iSIMPLY’s e-environment can be used for supporting different types of learning. More specifically, its main objective is to facilitate effective and complete online training within formal learning settings, but also to enable innovative services and tools for informal types of learning, knowledge discovery and extraction from social media sites and online communities of practice. The e-environment aims at providing a self-regulated learning environment that ensures the learning flexibility required by the community of social media marketing professionals, considering at the same time the dynamics of web and user generated content and online communities.

To address the above mentioned needs of e-learning with state-of-the-art features of social networking applications, iSIMPLY adopts a hybrid model of learning for the e-environment. More specifically, within the framework of iSIMPLY a Knowledge Discovery and Recommendation mechanism for knowledge discovery, extraction and assessment from social media contributed content. This mechanism will then provide recommendations on relative filtered content to a formal Learning Management System, so as to support the dynamic creation of educational content and its feed to online learning communities and associated e-courses within e-learning systems.

The design of the e-Environment and its associated services and tools has been described in Deliverable D4.3 of the iSimply project.