Savvy Consumers

Social Media Marketing Bootcamp

Most casual social media users have no idea of the marketing principles embedded in the platforms we ingest every day.

Students in Summer Academy’s newest class – Social Media Marketing Bootcamp – have not only become savvy consumers of media, but talented marketers as well.

“Learning about social media seemed like a cool thing because we’re always on it, but we don’t know much about it,” said Ilyas. “I never knew how much thought companies put into scheduling their posts. I thought it was spur of the moment, like we do it.”

This knowledge will help Ilyas to gain exposure for his digital artwork, which he plans to market on his platforms in the future. “I post my art, but now I’ll think about it more, like promoting it instead of just sharing. I want to network with people in my community.”

Mira was also surprised by the techniques used in media marketing. “I never thought about how much actual work goes into making the posts,” she said.

She has become more savvy about recognizing marketing manipulation. When scrolling through posts, she thinks, “Oh, I see they’re using this strategy. I tell my friends, ‘they’re trying to make you do this.'”

Mira chose to market the coffee chain Starbucks for her final project. Students selected the platforms for their posts (Facebook, Twitter, Insta, TikTok, etc.), determined when and how often to post, brainstormed endless hashtags, and created profiles of potential customers.

“We learned about personas, and I hadn’t heard about that before,” said Olivia. Personas, she explained, “are examples of your target audience.”

Her sister, Grace, added, “And we learned how to market to different groups.”

Alice chose a local brand to market – her sister’s photography business, Haggerty Photos. Her personas, for example, included a high school senior in need of senior portraits, and an elementary school student who wanted a unique school photo.

Once students identified potential customers, they created a profile and included the person’s goals and challenges. The marketers then came up with ideas about how to market their product to those customers in order to meet their needs.

Ilyas’ potential Crocs shoe customer, “Tiffany”, had a goal of “finding a comfortable and trendy shoe that’s easy to wear.” However, as a student, she had no disposable income. “We can help by providing a student discount,” Ilyas said.

Students were tasked with tweeting and posting on special days – Human Rights Day, International Sudoku Day, and even National Lazy Day (August 10, in case you want to celebrate.) Ilyas’ post for National Lazy Day read: Kick back in Crocs for National Lazy Day!

Mira’s end of the year post asked users to interact: Comment your New Year’s Resolution!

Students learned the value of engaging customers through questions and challenges. Nora, who marketed Adidas athletic gear during soccer season, encouraged followers to post photos of themselves on St. Patrick’s Day. Take a picture of you wearing as much green as you can!

The students also learned about using figurative language and words that spark. “It was challenging creating the words and pictures and putting it all together,” Mira said. “You have to know the strategies to use to make it interesting and fun.” She enjoyed using alliteration in a post about Starbucks’ unicorn drink.

Julien marketed the business Rando, a company he created. Rando supplies everything from cat food to smart watches that parents can use to track and record their children. He used the classic advertising technique of celebrity endorsement. Who wouldn’t want to shop where Kanye West shops?

Muntaha marketed Barnes & Noble Booksellers through catchy and humorous posts. Dystopian novels are so 1984. Everyone knows THRILLER novels are it right now!

She also posted: This book of spells was useless. This author forgot to run a spell check.

*Cue Drum* – Ba Dum Tsh!