Search and Social Media Marketing

  1. Critically discuss the evolution of online marketing strategies and the latest trends and practices.
  2. Critically discuss and evaluate websites based on their search and social media optimisation and digital presence
  3. Critically evaluate the principles and processes involved in developing integrated marketing communications, including the impact of technology and other environmental influences on marketing communications and the media.
  4. Analyse the benefits, problems and challenges faced by businesses in using various social media marketing communication tools within complex global environments.
    Transferable/Key Skills and other Attributes.
    On completion of this module students will have had the opportunity to:
  5. Improve their planning, organising and time management skills
  6. Improve their research skills and data analysis
  7. Develop their analytical and problem solving skills
  8. Practice using initiative
  9. Develop effective written and oral communication skills
  10. Work both individually and collaboratively to solve a given problem

Weighting within module: This assessment is worth 50% of the overall module mark.
Task details and instructions: Please note that you need to produce a report but this has to be based on practical tasks integral to this assignment:

a) Create an optimised personal digital profile sufficient to apply for a job of your choice. This has to include a number of social media profiles based on your justifications and one compulsory optimised blog post.
b) Document your work in an Individual assessment report which should include:
a. Analysis
b. Plan
c. Combination of work done

The topic of the blog post should be focussed around:

“How my time at Salford Business School prepares me for a career in X*?”

*X is to be your career of choice.

Individual Assessment Report structure:

Analysis – 50 marks:

You must conduct a Search and Social Media Marketing analysis for those key skills and attributes that are desired by potential employers, in an area where you would like to work. This should include the keywords for main industry specific skills, key influencers and individuals who would make employment decisions or help in your application process.

For the top ten of your competitors you should conduct a thorough evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses in terms of their use of professional social media profiles – how often do they engage? What are their forms of engagement? What can you learn from their behaviour using social media profiles analysis tools and techniques.
Based on your analysis develop your personal benchmarks that you would like to attain within the given time and set up monitoring processes.

This section can include: literature review (at least five references to relevant academic research articles, reports and books) of latest thinking on keyword research methods and analysis methods of social media influencers. A tabular extract from Keyword Research. A tabular justification of keywords selected, screen shots of current competitors ranking for your primary keyword terms. You can use different tools such as Google Keyword research tool, Google Trends, Google Insights for Search etc.

For social media profiles analysis you could select main profiles and evaluate the frequency of their engagement as well as the top networks and the type of information produced and consumed.

Plan – 25 marks:

Based on your analysis, you must produce a Search and Social Media Marketing strategy for 12 months and a practical SSMM plan that identifies you as an individual who is looking for to establish a career in this field and therefore become a recognisable “brand”. This would include your online profile development with a view to being identified by employers as their preferred candidate of businesses who might be interested working with you – if for example you are planning to be self-employed etc.

This section can include: –

Literature review (at least five references to relevant academic research articles, reports and books) on digital strategy development and thinking of legal and ethical implications of you being online. Map out your target audience and how you will target particular networks and groups to channel your overall communications. Your long-term plan or strategy – what it is that you want to be known for and how this will help you in your future career.

Key SMART objectives – for your strategy implementation – using the Specific, Measurable, Achievable Realistic and Time bound indicators. These can be justified with industry benchmarks or examples of other profiles that you are using as a “template” or “guide” for your personal identity.

Critically justify the selection of specific Social Media Services. For example, if you choose Twitter – how will it help your employment or business development? If you have chosen LinkedIn – why have you joined it and how do you link it to Twitter if at all and why?

A Gantt chart – indicating the main tasks you will be engaged in to implement your SSMM plan with clear starting dates and it should start with the day the assignment was handed out and end in a year.

Risk Assessment – outline the main risks, their potential impact and how you are going to monitor and mitigate these.

Practical plan implementation – 25 marks:

As part of this process you have to implement your plan, an aspect of which has to be at least one optimised blog post, which will allow you to be noticed by the industry. Consider creating a profile on free platforms such as http://my.mastersindigitalmarketing.org which allows you to install and customise a WordPress blog. Please show evidence of amplification.

One of the key criteria for your assessment is the implementation of as many SSMM techniques as appropriate for your Search Engine Results Page (SERP) positioning. For example, how you have approached search engine optimisation, social media (including video, audio, etc.) or mobile opportunities. The more of your profiles you manage to rank on the first three pages, the higher your chances of being noticed. The keyword for the SERP positioning is your “first and last name” for example “Aleksej Heinze” or “Tahir Rashid”. At least one other primary keyword for which you have to optimise your profiles is that related to the industry that you have identified in your plan.

Based on your self-assessment you should draw conclusions on your performance and reflect how your profile could be improved.

This section can include: –

Based on your plan (primary and secondary keywords) demonstrate how you put the theory into practice by developing and optimising your profile using appropriate online channels.

Screenshots of SERPS before and after you have started your project highlighting your digital identities and explaining how this will benefit you in the long term.

Screenshots of your different profiles and indication of how you have used your keyword research to optimise on-page and off-page assets. For example, how you wrote your Twitter profile description and used the primary keyword in the choice of your user name and linking to your other online properties.

If you are using LinkedIn how you completed your professional profile and how you identified the relevant user discussion groups etc.

For the blog post you could take a screen shot and highlight in the code the positions of your keywords and their importance in helping you to rank for a particular keyword.

Self and Peer assessment

(Total: 100 marks)
Word count/ duration (if applicable) Your assessment should be 2500 words.

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