Marketing Students Tweet for Credit
On November 16, 2017, The University of Akron's students in Dr. Alexa Fox's Buyer Behavior courses had the opportunity to apply and discuss course topics in real time with classmates and professionals in a fast-paced, virtual setting when they hosted a Twitter chat.
Dr. Fox, an Assistant Professor of Marketing in the College of Business Administration and University of Akron alumna, held an hour-long chat in each class, asking a new question every 15 minutes. The chats covered the topics of best practices and trends in digital marketing, digging into everything from metrics gathering to consumer privacy.
Students, along with guest tweeters, answered the questions in real time across the two chats. “The purpose of Twitter chats is to expose students to a unique type of conversation where brands are increasingly engaging with consumers,” Fox explained. “These chats serve as an excellent way to keep up with what marketing professionals are discussing on Twitter.”
While this was the class’s first official and publicized Twitter chat, Fox has used the platform more than once in her classroom to engage students and connect them with brands and professionals. “It is certainly important for students to learn traditional writing skills,” Fox stated, “but it’s also important for them to learn how to create effective social media content, as marketing communications are increasingly carried out via social media platforms.”
As the ways in which consumers interact with brands and with one another continues to change rapidly, opportunities that allow students to engage with the latest technologies and the professionals who utilize those technologies, such as the class’ Twitter chat, become more and more vital. "Experiential learning is a critical part of our marketing program and can take many forms both inside and outside the classroom," stated Marketing Chair Dr. Terry Daugherty. "Through this type of event, our students have the unique opportunity to interact and learn from industry professionals through an open dialogue that is unique and fun."
In total, more than 30 organizations and brands engaged with students during the chat, reaching over 109,000 Twitter users and generating over 318,000 impressions. “The students did an incredible job generating creative, original content and keeping up with fellow students, as well as marketing professionals and brands, in such a fast-paced conversation.” Fox shared. In fact, the conversations generated so much buzz so quickly that the chat hashtags #UAkronMarketing and #AkronMKT began to trend in Akron. Notable chat participants included The Cleveland Indians, Vlipsy, John Fay, the Global Alliances Digital Marketing Manager for EY, and Julie Hada of ASPCA Pet Insurance.
To view the full conversations generated from the November 16 Twitter chats, search the hashtags #UAkronMarketing and #AkronMKT.