UNK class offers social media planning for small businesses

Professor of Computer Science and Information Technology Sherri Harms, right, works with recent UNK graduate Mahugnon Avande. UNK students in the CSIT’s Social Networking course are offering free social media consultation for area business and nonprofits.

What: Social Media Consultation for small businesses, nonprofits
Offered By: UNK students in the Computer Science and Information Technology Department’s Social Networking course
Application: http://socialmedia.csit.unk.edu/
Deadline to Register: Aug. 15
Funding: Two-year $20,000 University of Nebraska Rural Futures Initiative Teaching and Engagement grant

UNK Communications

KEARNEY – University of Nebraska at Kearney students will provide free social media consulting to Kearney-area small businesses or nonprofit organizations.

The service is provided as part of the Computer Science and Information Technology Department’s Social Networking course, and in partnership with the Economic Development Council of Buffalo County.

Sherri Harms
Sherri Harms

Students will work in teams of up to five to create social media plans for businesses. Each student team will meet with its client to analyze needs and develop a new strategic social media plan. Teams are responsible for evaluating the current social media presence and presenting ideas on how to change and improve the organization’s presence.

The student teams will write a paper outlining the social media marketing plan and present the plan to the client using a multimedia presentation.

“By incorporating service learning interventions that increase the likelihood of the implementation for the social media plan, we believe students will be more enthusiastic and motivated,” said Sherri Harms, professor of computer science and information technology. “We find that motivated students, no matter their knowledge, skills, or experiences, are more likely to succeed and have richer learning experiences.”

The project is funded by a two-year $20,000 University of Nebraska Rural Futures Initiative Teaching and Engagement grant.

The grant provides resources to assist selected businesses and nonprofits as they implement the social media plan. This includes online training materials on common social media platforms, training sessions held for the organizations as they learn how to implement the social media plans, and tutoring assistance for the first six months of implementing the new plan.

New businesses and nonprofits will be accepted each semester, including the summer, for two years. The deadline for the first group of businesses and nonprofits to apply is Aug. 15. About 20 businesses or nonprofit organizations will be selected each semester. For the first semester, the class will focus on businesses in downtown Kearney.

“By providing interventions that assist with the implementation of social media plans, this project should have a tremendous lasting impact on small business and nonprofit success in central Nebraska,” said Harms.

Businesses and nonprofits can apply to participate at http://socialmedia.csit.unk.edu/


Writer: Sara Giboney, 308.865.8529, giboneys2@unk.edu
Source: Sherri Harms, 308.865.8123, harmssk@unk.edu