Week 2: Social media platforms

“Social Media Logos” by BrickinNick is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

BY RUTH BERAN

The term social media can be hard to define because of the broad range of platforms out there.

Wikipedia defines social media as “interactive digitally-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation or sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.”

DISCUSSION: What are some of the common elements of social media platforms?

Social media:

  • are interactive
  • are internet based
  • are based on user-generated content
  • enable users to create profiles
  • facilitate social networks
TASK

Social media scholar Fred Cavazza defines six types of social media platform:

  1. Social networking
  2. Publishing (blogs, wikis)
  3. Sharing (photos, videos, documents)
  4. Mobile messaging
  5. Professional messaging
  6. Discussion
  • Write a list of all the different social media platforms you can think of.
  • Divide the social media platforms in your list into these six different categories.
  • Do some platforms cross into different types or purposes?

WATCH: A data visualisation of the most popular social media platforms based on monthly active users.

For each of the social media sites you have listed, research:

  • Number of users (globally vs Australia)
  • Audiences/demographics (ie age, gender, country)
  • Purposes (why do people use that platform/what are the pros and cons)
  • Which platforms are most popular in different countries? Are there certain platforms that are particularly popular in certain countries, For example, China, US, UK, France?

DISCUSSION: Why is this information on social media platforms useful for our social media strategy for Off Campus?

TASK

Prepare a one-page research brief on one of the topics below:

  • Mental health and safety online
  • Cultural safety online
  • Audience profile of a specific social media platform (eg TikTok)
  • Hashtagging
  • What makes good content
  • Copywriting for social media
  • Collaboration and monitoring
  • Brands on social media
  • Truth and verification
  • Fake news
  • Misinformation
  • Disinformation
  • Monitoring tools (eg Analytics)

Include:

  • A short (50-100 word) summary of the topic
  • Key considerations for the Off Campus brand for that topic
  • Relevant data, sources or resources for the topic
  • Sample posts, materials or how-to guides

This research brief can form part of your portfolio for the Assessment. (See the Subject Guide for more info.)

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