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

DateIn-class topicReadingAssignment due
Aug. 29Class intro
Aug. 31Social media in 2017 (Class presentation)7 Trends That Will Change Social Media in 2017Social media posts begin
Sept. 5Native content (Class presentation)Gary Vaynerchuk’s 6 Secrets To Creating Great Social Content
Sept. 7Social media strategies (Class presentation) Social media assignment
Sept. 12How 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. 14Social 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. 19Social media quiz Social media analytics
Sept. 21Using Human Centered Design
Sept. 26Innovation Week
Sept. 28Innovation Week
Oct. 3Innovation Week presentationsInnovation Week presentations
Oct. 5Innovation Week presentations Innovation Week presentations
Oct. 10Excel | In-class filesLynda.com: Excel 2016 Essential Training – Ch. 1-4Download Excel
Oct. 12Excel | In-class file – In class file 2Excel assignment 1 – (data for assignment 1) Answer 3 questions and print out to hand in to Chris
Oct. 17NO CLASS – FALL BREAK Facebook Group participation
Oct. 19Data visualizationExcel assignment 2 – (spreadsheet)
Oct. 24Data visualization – PiktochartIn-class Piktochart assignment (end of class)
Oct. 31Emerging digital tools presentationData visualization
Nov. 2Emerging tools hands-on
Nov. 7Emerging tools hands-on
Nov. 9Emerging tools hands-on
Nov. 14Web trends (Presentation)
Nov. 16Critiquing websites
Nov. 21SEOWeb assignment
Nov. 28SEO in-classIn-class SEO (end of class)
Nov. 30Google analytics – PresentationEmerging tools assignment, In-class analytics (end of class)
Dec. 5Website critique presentationsWebsite critique presentations, Web quiz
Dec. 7Website critique presentationsWebsite critique presentations