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COMSTRAT 310 Syllabus - Spring 2017

COMSTRAT 310 - DIGITAL CONTENT PROMOTION (3 CREDITS) Instructor:  Brett Atwood                                Office:  GWH 234        ...

Good Night, and Good Luck

To the students of COMSTRAT 310:

Thank you!!!

I had a fantastic time working with you this past semester. It was a pleasure to work with all of you on your semester-long campaign and projects.

Please have a safe and fun summer! :)

WEEKS 15 & 16: Learning Google Analytics, StatCounter & Web Analytics Tools/Learning Google AdWords/Final Projects & Social Media Marketing Plans


For the final weeks of the semester, we will:
  • Learn about website analytics tools (such as Google Analytics and StatCounter) that enable better understanding of site/campaign traffic, referral and behavior patterns.
  • Learn about best practices in building an official Facebook and Google AdSense campaign.
  • Finish our semester-long campaign website and related social media channels.
  • Work on your final exam, due no later than the end of the day on Tuesday, May 2.
  • Continue to work on your Social Media Marketing Plan, due Thursday, April 27.
  • Continue to Facebook and Twitter updates frequently (several times this week) and attempt to build a larger follower/fan count by outreach to friends and family, as well as activity on like-minded social media pages.

Take-Home Exam - Due May 2

The following is your one and only exam for the semester!! Please complete and email me your responses by the end of the day on Tuesday, May 2.

There are only two written response questions on this exam (both valued equally in scoring).

1. For this question, you will first need to identify and select any current web-based advertising or PR promotion for a national brand or organization that uses multiple social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Then, once you've made your selection, give a brief (minimum 3-5 paragraphs) analysis and critique (good or bad) of this campaign. Be sure to cite specific examples, if appropriate, of how the campaign aligns to some of the guidelines and "best practices" cited in class and/or in our lectures.

Please do NOT use an existing example cited on this blog, in class, lecture notes or in the blog.

Things to consider:
  • How effective do you think it is at reaching its intended target audience?
  • Are they engaging in a one-way or two-way conversation? How?
  • How would you characterize the general voice/tone in their messaging?
  • What data might they use to quantitatively or qualitatively determine if the campaign was a success? Are there any publicly-available resources that might tell you how well the campaign is doing? If so, what did you find?
  • Is the campaign optimized for search engine and social media discovery? How?
  • Does the campaign have the potential to go viral? Why or why not?

2. We've talked quite a bit about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and even Social Media Optimization (SMO). Thinking about your semester-long project and website campaign,  please share your thoughts on specific strategies that you used (or should have used) to improve its organic search rankings in Google and other search engines -- as well as your social media presence on Facebook and/or other outlets.
  • How is your campaign site or social media presence doing in organic search on Google? (Does it show up at all?)
  • What, if any, specific techniques and tactics did you use?
  • What other things might you do to help with your search engine optimization and presence?
  • Please provide specific examples that are applicable to your project.
That's it! Please email your responses to your instructor (Brett Atwood at batwood@wsu.edu) no later than the end of the day on Tuesday, May 2.

Landing your First PR or Advertising Job

Looking for a job in PR or Advertising? Getting that first gig can be tough. Here are some resources that may help in your search:
Socially network in the following LinkedIn Groups:
How is your online reputation? Enter your name into CVGadget.com and make sure that there are no "compromising" or negative results!

Research the company before you apply!

Social Media Marketing Plan - Semester Assignment


Each team will collaborate to create a social media marketing plan for your brand. See info below for more criteria on what should be included. Your completed plan (due Thursday, April 27) should be approximately 5-10 pages (can be longer -- but MINIMUM of five pages).

Examples of Previous Semester Social Media Marketing Plans:

About Social Media Marketing Plans

What should be in your social media marketing plan? The presentation below gives an overview of the key elements, including the following sections and elements:
  • Executive Summary/Overview
  • Social Media Presence
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Goals
  • Strategies
  • Target Market
  • Tools & Implementation
  • Monitoring & Tuning
  • Budget & ROI
In addition, your Social Media Marketing Plan should include documentation of the research and planning of your campaign, including:
  • Branding research (logo/name survey results)
  • User Personas
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Wireframe(s)

Twitter Brand Pages, Advertising & Real-Time Web Monitoring Tools

Twitter Brand Pages & Advertising Options

Twitter has a new and robust advertising platform that allows organizations to pay for placement in the "trending topics" list as "Promoted Trends" or for prime positioning via "Promoted Tweets." You can also promote your general Twitter account via "Promoted Accounts" ad buys.

In 2014, Twitter rolled out new "enhanced profile pages" that allow for better branding on your page!

Are you ready to set up your own Twitter page for your brand? It's easy! Register your brand username (or any name that is as close to your brand name as possible) and then look for the following options to help customize your Twitter account:
  • Change your Design via Settings > Design
  • Recommended dimensions for the small Profile Photo are 400 x 400
  • Bio should be no more than 160 characters
  • Recommended dimensions for the larger Profile Cover Photo are 1500 x 500  
Learn more about using Twitter for business >>

As part of the new design, Twitter has also introduced some new functionality that might be of interest to marketers.

Best Tweets - The most popular posts (with high engagement) will appear in larger font than other posts. This means that they are more likely to get the attention of your audience.

Pinned Tweets - Similar to the function offered by Facebook, you can now "pin" one of your favorite or more important tweets to the top of your profile. This ensures that your audience will see this tweet in the most prominent spot -- even if there are newer tweets posted.

Filtered Tweets - Now your audience can view a filtered view of your timeline including just photos, videos or tweets with replies.

Some examples of new enhanced profile pages for brands:

Twitter and "Real Time" Brand Sentiment Monitoring

Twitter has quickly emerged as a popular PR tool for the monitoring of "real-time Web" attitudes and behavior among consumers. Twitter limits users to 140 characters for each "tweet," but each entry is indexable and searchable. This means that journalists can quickly get a pulse on news trends and developments across the entire Twitter ecosystem.

 For example, visit search.twitter.com and enter in a popular topic. The results give you valuable insight into what people are saying about that topic! In addition, many companies are using Twitter to communicate and gather feedback directly from their customers.

Here are a few examples of companies amassing large followers on Twitter:

About Hashtags

Chances are pretty good that you are already familiar with the hash tag in social media. In case you aren't, a hash tag (#) is a keyword with the # symbol. It is used to "tag" an event or topic so that Twitter users can "follow" all activity more accurately. For example, #wsu is the hashtag that I would use in search.twitter.com to instantly pull up results for all-things-WSU. If there is a live event, organizers will often assign an official hash tag so that the Internet followers can get accurate "tweet" updates pertaining to that event. There is a centralized list of "official" hash tags at hashtags.org

Other Useful Links:

Understanding Google Analytics

Would you like to know more about the Web traffic click-through patterns and keyword referrals on your site? Google Analytics is a free Web-based tool that will give you rich data on how people interact with your Web site content.

Visit Google Analytics to learn more.

With Google Analytics, you can even get "real time" reports of what is happening on your website:


In addition, you can track the following type of website activities:




NOTE: For Wix.com accounts, you must upgrade to a paid account with a unique vanity domain name in order to connect Google Analytics tracking to your webpage. A free alternative that does work with Wix.com is StatCounter.

Additional Resources:

There are several online resources that you can help you better understand and analyze the data that you get from the various Web analytics services.