J55 – Digital Media Strategies

About the class

FALL 2017

Digital technology is constantly evolving. And while the web has grown into a hub of innovation, and social media has allowed the world to communicate in new ways, it’s extremely difficult to attract and retain a loyal audience across a bevy of digital platforms. The noise can be deafening.

Digital Strategies will introduce students to the tools and best practices to cut through the din. Students will understand how to grow, engage and maintain a digital audience, creating effective native social content while also using analytics to drive and adapt a plan. Students will also delve into the complexities of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), data journalism, and data visualization, as well as investigate the latest tech advances.

Course outcomes: Students will be able to…

  • Evaluate a current social media strategy and create a strategy
  • Evaluate a current digital (web/mobile/social) presence and suggest improvements
  • Interpret and assess analytic data and its impact on overall digital strategies
  • Present data visually
  • Create appropriate and targeted social and web content
  • Begin to understand new technologies that are going to impact the communications field



Social media posting schedule

Facebook group

Facebook pages: Drake SocialHeart Des Moines

Twitter accounts: @drake_socialHeart Des Moines

Instagram accounts: @drake_socialHeart Des Moines

Class schedule

Date In-class topic Reading Assignment due
Aug. 29 Class intro
Aug. 31 Social media in 2017 (Class presentation) 7 Trends That Will Change Social Media in 2017 Social media posts begin
Sept. 5 Native content (Class presentation) Gary Vaynerchuk’s 6 Secrets To Creating Great Social Content
Sept. 7 Social media strategies (Class presentation)  Social media assignment
Sept. 12 How social networks work (Presentation) How Facebook’s News Feed Works

2017 Is the Year That Twitter Learns to Thrive or Dies

Understanding the Facebook and Instagram Algorithms: 7 Key Factors That Determine Success

Sept. 14 Social analytics (Presentation) Facebook page insights

Facebook Insights: A Detailed Guide to Facebook Analytics (Razor Social – Dec. 22, 2015)

Tweet activity dashboard

Social media paper
Sept. 19 Social media quiz  Social media analytics
Sept. 21 Using Human Centered Design
Sept. 26 Innovation Week
Sept. 28 Innovation Week
Oct. 3 Innovation Week presentations Innovation Week presentations
Oct. 5 Innovation Week presentations  Innovation Week presentations
Oct. 10 Excel | In-class files Lynda.com: Excel 2016 Essential Training – Ch. 1-4 Download Excel
Oct. 12 Excel | In-class file – In class file 2 Excel assignment 1 – (data for assignment 1) Answer 3 questions and print out to hand in to Chris
Oct. 17 NO CLASS – FALL BREAK  Facebook Group participation
Oct. 19 Data visualization Excel assignment 2 – (spreadsheet)
Oct. 24 Data visualization – Piktochart In-class Piktochart assignment (end of class)
Oct. 31 Emerging digital tools presentation Data visualization
Nov. 2 Emerging tools hands-on
Nov. 7 Emerging tools hands-on
Nov. 9 Emerging tools hands-on
Nov. 14 Web trends
Nov. 16 Critiquing websites
Nov. 21 SEO Web assignment
Nov. 28 SEO in-class In-class SEO (end of class)
Nov. 30 Google analytics – Presentation Emerging tools assignment, In-class analytics (end of class)
Dec. 5 Website critique presentations Website critique presentations, Web quiz
Dec. 7 Website critique presentations Website critique presentations