MBA Adjunct Professor, BYU Marriott School of Management

MBA 693r: Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is often referred to as advertising’s, marketing’s, CRM’s, branding’s, and public relation’s wild West. It’s a dynamic, evolving space that—despite its ubiquity—isn’t well understood from a strategic business perspective.

According to a recent AMA Marketing Trends report, 72 percent of marketing executives are planning social media and other digital marketing initiatives this year. And with up to 70+ percent of their marketing budgets earmarked for digital over the next five years, there’s increasing desire to find people with business knowledge of digital marketing tools, tactics, and strategy.

Jack Hadley MBA Social Media Professor

Some brands understand social media marketing’s power to engage consumers on a personal level, but integrating this into effective marketing plans requires the right mindset. This course explores the relationships between PR, social media, advertising, personal branding, traditional marketing, search engine optimization, design and entrepreneurialism in both B2B and B2C environments. We also look at the important differences between social media marketing in small businesses and organizations vs. large businesses and organizations.

Early Adopters

BYU’s Marriott School of Management is committed to providing students with the beginnings of this critically important business marketing component, as evidenced by the creation of Digital Marketing MBA 693r. Watch for much broader course development in the future.

Social Media Marketing MBA

In the article linked above, according to John Rampton (author) and Stuart Draper (Stukent CEO) the following are…

The Top 5 Reasons Colleges Don’t Teach Digital Marketing

  1. Traditional marketing professors have no formal education in internet marketing.
  2. Self-taught internet marketing education is time consuming, expensive, and difficult to do if you don’t have access to the right tools and a large budget.
  3. Many professors fear that students will know as much or more about the internet than they do.
  4. Internet marketing textbooks and other hard-copy materials are likely to be outdated as soon as they are published.
  5. Professors often fear they will be teaching incorrect or fast-expiring principles. Some even think social media is a fad that will soon go away.

Our Class

Class time is a combination of my original lectures, a number of guest lectures, class discussions, and short student presentations.

As part of this course, we will be using a digital textbook entitled, Internet Marketing Essentials. In addition, during a 6-week period, we will also be using an online advertising simulation called MIMIC.

Five-Minute Student Presentations In Class

During the semester you’ll each be required to make a five-minute presentation to our class on a social media tool or topic that I will assign you.

In a broad overview class like this one, we simply don’t have time to focus on very many tools and platforms—so, when you’re assigned to educate us on a particular tool or platform, I expect your presentation to bring our class up to speed quickly and clearly on the value, and the pros and cons of that tool. Keep in mind that this course has a business/marketing emphasis. As much as possible, focus your presentation on this context even if the tool you’re assigned has other applications.

For your presentation, you may create and narrate a slide deck if you’d like to, but that is not required. Over the last couple of years, this part of our class has been very popular and appreciated by students (and by me).

Your presentation will be timed and you will be cut off at exactly five minutes if you have not concluded. Sorry. Use your epic distillation skills to determine how to best use the five minutes to provide the greatest value to class members.


As part of this course, we will be using a digital textbook entitled, Internet Marketing Essentials. To access the digital textbook:

Go to
Select “Register”.
Fill out the form. The Course Code is: B6H4A3
You’ll be able to log in, and will be prompted to pay for the materials.

If you’ve already purchased the materials through the bookstore, you can enter the Access Code you received from the bookstore during Step 4 of the registration instructions.

This course is very fluid. The bulk of your reading assignments will be recent blog posts from many of the world’s smartest digital marketing minds. You will find those reading assignments on Learning Suite. We will often cover topics related to digital marketing news or events that are happening that very day. Because the digital marketing landscape is so dynamic, I may add additional topics throughout the semester.

In addition to the textbook and other assigned blog post readings, I encourage you to subscribe to, and regularly read, the following six digital marketing blogs:

Seth Godin
Businesses Grow
Jeff Bullas
Marketing Land
Think With Google
Content Marketing Institute
Social Media Today
Social Media Explorer

And, here are other useful blogs that I read. You may want to subscribe to them as well:

The MOZ Blog (for SEO professionals)
Gary Vaynerchuk
Convince & Convert
The Future Buzz
Chris Brogan
Brian Solis
Jeremiah Owyang
PR Squared
Logic + Emotion
Six Pixels Of Separation
My Social Practice
Social Media Week
Mars Dorian
Everyone Social – Employee Advocacy

Personal Project

You will be required to work on an individual, hands-on project during the semester. Some of you will have great vested interest in the practical success of your project because it may be your own startup or existing business. Others of you will create projects to simply fulfill the class requirement. I’m fine either way. My objective for having you do this is to help you think and learn through implementation.

For purposes of this class, your personal project will be divided into three phases:

Phase 1: Project Plan, Part 1
Phase 2: Project Plan, Part 2
Phase 3: Content Creation & Distribution

We will cover the details about these phases during the first week of class.

You will be required to prepare a five-minute presentation of your project to deliver at the end of the semester. I will randomly pick 20 of you to give those presentations during our last 2 classes on April 6th and April 11th. Those not picked will be scheduled to present to my TA and me outside of class time.

Twitter Assignment

If you already use Twitter, you probably understand why it is an important part of this class. If you’re not a Twitter fan (and I understand if you’re not) you’re just going to have to trust me on this.

During the semester you will be required to do the following on Twitter:

  1. Follow each of the members of our class (this semester’s students’ links coming soon below).
  2. Follow and meaningfully engage with a minimum of 5 new people each week. Thoughtfully consider who you want to follow and why you want to connect with them. Search keywords on Twitter and in Twitter bios to find the right people for your Twitter strategy. Remember… Social media always becomes a powerful tool when it creates real relationships, and it’s always a useless distraction when it doesn’t. Take this approach with Twitter, and over time you’ll begin to discover its value.
  3. Create at least 10 thoughtful, original tweets each week. Give this adequate thought. If you don’t know what to talk about, then you haven’t spent enough time thinking about your objectives or working on your digital marketing mindset.

This isn’t just about tweeting. Perhaps more than any other social media platform, Twitter incorporates many of the most important digital marketing principles, strategies, and tactics. We’ll talk more about your Twitter assignment during the first week of class.


I realize how busy your lives are. Honest. And I know that you often have interviews, field studies, etc., during the semester that take you out of town and out of class.

At the same time, your success in learning from this course will be partially driven by the passion and energy I hope you feel each time we’re together—including hearing from many really smart people who are coming in to guest lecture. Please be here whenever possible—on time, and ready to go.

If you do need to miss a class, please let our TA know in advance. He will be keeping track of attendance. When possible and applicable, I will try to make class slides available to you for viewing, but you will probably need to get with a classmate to walk you through them and to help you understand the context.


Personal Project (including presentation) – 20%
Five Anchor Content Pieces – 20%
MIMIC Simulation – 15%
Attendance – 15%
Twitter Assignment – 15%
Assigned Tool Research/Presentation – 10%
Class Evaluation Completion – 5%

Marriott School Grading Policy

This is the MBA Curriculum committee’s grade distribution—consistent with the college-wide target GPA of 3.5 for graduate courses in the Marriott School:

A (15% of the class)
A- (35% of the class)
B+ (35% of the class)
B or lower (15% of the class)