|FUNDAMENTALS OF AGGIE SOCIAL MEDIA
Doesn’t matter, we’ll never be there anyway.
|COURSE TITLE:||Fundamentals of Social Media at Texas A&M University|
|PREREQUISITES:||Accounts on the following platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn.|
|OBJECTIVES:||Demonstrate proficiency of selected competencies across platforms. Identify and complete key aspects of self-marketing and social media development skills.|
|COURSE PHILOSOPHY:||This course will combine lecture with hands-on experiences of social media practices to cultivate 21st century leaders in the social media sphere of Texas A&M University. With an emphasis on the “fun” of “fundamentals,” this course should inspire students to present the best version of themselves online.|
|GRADING:||Although a great deal of learning takes place in this class, student learning will depend significantly on how much effort you put into this course outside of class.|
|COURSE GRADE:||Normal TAMU grading scale. Final grades round; we’re not dicks so you’d better leave us a good review on RateMyProfessor.|
Week 1 Course introduction and identifying your brand
After reviewing course materials, class discussion will focus on selecting the characteristics of your personal brand. Students are encouraged to research the various brands before selecting a team. Teams include: The Earthy Christians, Defenders of The Spirit, The Frat Stars, The Sorority Sisters, The Poets, Hennything is Possible, and The Big City Aesthetics. Students will be expected to cultivate their online identity to best reflect their team.
Part I: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Understanding Facebook & Snapchat
Week 2 The Gentrification of Facebook: How to Remain Safe
Facebook is the new Thanksgiving dinner. Class discussion will focus on maintaining an active presence on Facebook while minimizing the chances of provoking your social justice warrior neighbor, your racist uncle, or that friend who always seems to expose you by tagging you in photos for your mom to see. Bonus points will be given to students who demonstrate passive-aggressive complexity by liking specific comments in a Facebook argument without caving to the temptation of actually commenting.
Week 3 Living Your Lit Life on Snapchat
Snapchat remains the last bastion of the youth, with the lowest concentration of parental figures and employers of the social media network. Class discussion will focus on cultivating a Snapchat Story that highlights your fun-loving aesthetic. A guest lecturer from the visualization department will provide insight into creating a snapchat filter for your party that doesn’t look like shitty WordArt.
Part II: Your Brand as a Visual Identity: Instagram as a Resume
Week 4 & 5 Highlighting Your Lifestyle
Arguably the most important two weeks of the course, class discussion will focus on creating and reinforcing your visual resume by establishing a consistent person brand identity on Instagram. You are an impressionist virtuoso, brush in hand, and Instagram is your canvas. With smooth brushstrokes, you can illustrate your reality: a little boozy brunch here, some Fish Camp there, a nice even coat of flattering selfies, and a few small splashes of #tbt from your European vacation.
Week 6 Maintaining a Finsta
If you have created an effective Instagram account, you should be yearning for a way to share photos that show the “real you” that you wouldn’t dare show the world. If your Insta is a Renoir masterpiece, your Finsta is a Jackson Pollock: messy, but carries a lot of status. Class discussion will focus on leveraging the exclusivity of your Finsta as social capital.
Week 7 Adventure Awaits: Leaving College Station
There is a limit to the amount of gameday and Fish Camp photos you can post. Class discussion will focus on destinations that accentuate your artsy, athletic, and adventurous qualities. Note: There will be a field trip to Austin this week to take photographs at Graffiti Park, the “I Love You So Much” wall, and on a kayaking trip. Details to follow.
Part III: Navigating the Modern Wild West: Aggie Twitter
Week 8 Curating a Portfolio of Funny Content™
It’s impossible to be serious in 140 characters (don’t try: it always ends up disastrously). Likes and retweets are awarded to posts that are relatable, funny, or a combination of the two. Class discussion will focus on how to steal content and modify it just enough to get away with it, and how to effectively promote your other social media accounts when you publish a viral tweet. Oh, and don’t tweet recruits.
Week 9 Expressing Your Down-to-Earth Sensibilities with Self-Deprecation
Twitter is the anti-Instagram. A successful Twitter personality highlights his/her lack of wealth, depression issues, poor GPA, and disappointing romantic lives. Class discussion will focus on how being back on your bullshit (even though you never left your bullshit) can be used to make you seem successful and put-together.
Week 10 Being Woke AF
There are two paths to Twitter notoriety: being funny and being Woke AF. Class discussion will focus on how construct an angry tweet thread that’s longer than the original article you (didn’t) read. Choose a side—Yee Yee Twitter or Snowflake Twitter—to relentlessly defend and your mentions won’t be dry ever again!
Part IV: LinkedIn
Week 11 Understanding LinkedIn’s Shared Illusion
LinkedIn, like money, only holds value because everything assumes it has value. Enjoy the week off.
This article was first published in our print edition released on August 30th, 2017. Pick up a copy in the MSC, Evans, Quadbucks, The Commons, or Wehner before they’re gone!
North by Northgate
If you’ve ever wondered who you have to thank for “north” at Texas A&M being pointed towards the local bar district instead of the north pole, look no further. A political activist and local alcoholic, his claim to fame and life achievement was convincing the city of College Station to legally define “north” as “of or denoting the direction from any specified area, city, or country towards the Northgate Entertainment District.”