Western Washington University Offering Social Media Community-Building Course This Fall

Submitted by gallagm7 on Tue, 07/01/2014 - 1:02pm

Western Washington University will offer “Social Media: Building Community” beginning Oct. 1; the evening course is designed to give working professionals a broad understanding of social media and a concrete knowledge of the various platforms that will help them reach their goals.

An information session for the class, which is open to all community members, is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23 in Western’s Communications Facility Room 314. Classes will take place from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesdays, in a computer lab on Western’s campus.

The two-hour class sessions feature lectures and hands-on workshops with emphasis on a specific platform.  Throughout this hands-on, experiential course, students will build and implement, week by week, their own social media plans and strategies and get feedback on them in class.

This is a mentorship course in which students will learn to implement their own strategies and ideas within the context of a learning, sharing environment.  Instructor Matthew Anderson directs social media at Western, from which he graduated in 2006 with a degree in Journalism.

Anderson conveys Western's strengths on FacebookTwitterTumblrInstagramGoogle+ and LinkedIn. He draws heavily on his background in community journalism as the editor of Western Today, Western’s daily internal communications piece.

“People using social media don’t want to interact with brands, they want to talk with people,” Anderson said. “So be human! Be funny, be responsive, be humble, be engaging. Social networking isn’t about blatantly selling yourself or your business, it’s about getting to know people, listening to them and providing valuable feedback to an ongoing online conversation.”

During each class, students will discuss what they have done on social media in the past week, how those efforts have been fruitful and how they can improve in the future.

The class will look at real-world examples of how businesses and people use social platforms to build meaningful and authentic communication with customers, extend their brands and build recognition.

“Once people get to know you as human and not just the voice of a company, they will really begin to care what you have to say,” Anderson said.

For more information, visit wwu.edu/socialmediaprogram, call (360) 650-3308 or email ExtendedEd@wwu.edu.