Social Media Case Studies: my students want to write yours!

Algonquin Social Media Students 2013 Accelerated ClassMy Algonquin College students need real world subjects for their social media case studies.

As many of you already know, when I’m not doing my regular brand naming, storytelling, and strategy gig with Brandvelope Consulting, I moonlight as an instructor in the Social Media Certificate program – teaching professionals how to use social more effectively – at Ottawa’s Algonquin College.

In the next two weeks I’ll be starting two new versions of the Applied Social Media in Business class – the one week Accelerated version starting on Monday, and the seven week evening program starting Tuesday, July 2.

The Applied Social class is all about studying and developing real world social media case studies. We try to help our students understand in practical terms how social fits into real world workplaces and business strategy situations. From customer service to research, content marketing to old-school promotional marketing, small business to agencies to big brands. We try to cover a mix.

But the case study needs to be REAL: And this is where we need your help.

You see, I’m insisting that my students write case studies about real word social media campaigns, causes, and strategies. And these students are almost all entrepreneurs, mid-career professionals, 0r communications managers themselves, so the feedback they provide is consistently solid and valuable.

So please consider volunteering to be the subject of a social media case study!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Volunteer in the comments: give a brief outline of how your business uses social, and your contact info in the comments below (Twitter is fine).
  2. My students will choose from the options and contact cases that interest them.
  3. They will set up a brief 30 minute interview with you by phone, Skype, or Google Hangout.
  4. The interview will follow the basic outline below.
  5. The student will develop a Case Study – highlighting your challenges and approaches, and ending with their ideas and recommendations.
  6. The student will share the final Case Study (confidentially) with you. And it will be up to you and the student if it gets shared beyond that.

Outline for my student’s Social Media Case Studies and interviews

1. Business profile:

  • Type of business – describe product / service / cause.
  • Position of interviewee – how they – and their boss – define success at work (beyond social).
  • Unique challenges this business or team faces.
  • Business goals that can be used as Key Performance Indicators.

2. Social marketing situation:

  • How active and strategic have they been on Social?
  • Platforms? Content? Campaigns? Niche audiences?
  • Who does the work and how engaged are employees / management?
  • How successful have they been at setting and measuring KPI?

3. Opportunities:

  • Where do they see Social going?
  • What would they like to try if they had time, staff, and/or resources?
  • What do they need to get better at.
  • This is the final section the students will be developing in their Case Studies. And these will be outsider recommendations as if they were consultants helping a client improve their Social Media strategy. So these need to be based on solid critical thinking, but constructive in nature.

Links to the Algonquin Social Media Certificate Program:

22 thoughts on “Social Media Case Studies: my students want to write yours!”

  1. Great idea, Dennis. 
    I volunteer CIRA for a social media case study. CIRA very active with social media, using numerous platforms to achieve our objectives (increase sales, brand value, thought leadership, etc.) and would appreciate some outside recommendations. 
    You can find me on Twitter @mebuell

  2. I think this is a great idea for students. The company I work for is a real estate team, and many real estate companies struggle with social media as we cannot sell a tangible product online. We currently use facebook (Woolcott Team), twitter (@nobodysellsmore) and tumblr ( We are currently using these mediums as a way to connect with people in our community and to brand ourselves where people spend most of their time – on social media. If this sounds like a project your students would be interested in, I can be reached at [email protected]

  3. This sounds interesting (and beneficial to me as well).  My name is Delta Jones.  I am owner/found of Just Play Toy Rental (  Am relatively new to the social media world but am loving it so far.  Just started blogging as well (see blog link in website above or  Am also on Twitter (@jptoyrental) and have a Facebook page.  JPTR is a company with a very strong philosophy about children and the importance of unstructured play.  I would appreciate some suggestions.

    1. @jptoyrental Wow! Toy rental. That’s an interesting concept. I imagine there are a lot of questions to answer from folks like me. Thanks for stepping forward!

  4. Dennis – this sounds really cool. I’m thinking…..when do you need a decision by? Not sure if we do Spin Sucks or if I determine the legalities of putting forward one of our clients maybe…..

    1. @belllindsay Cool! Spin Sucks is awesome, but maybe a bit too “inside baseball” to treat it as a whole. Maybe a student could focus on a campaign, project, cause, or book launch you’ve been part of?

  5. Very cool idea! I’m a solopreneur, working as a life coach and therapist. I’m on twitter, facebook, mailchimp, and the blog, but life coaching is an amorphous thing to talk about in 140 characters and I hate those twitter streams that are just “inspirational” quotes. I wish I could figure out something that felt different and felt like me and felt like it expressed the personality of my business! Feel free to track me down:

  6. It is great to see that students get to learn from real life experiences. I would definitely be interested in participating in this and the timing is right for us. HSA Canada is a training, consultation and facilitation company. We currently have multiple websites targeted at different niches (education, social services, cancer and health conditions) and possibly more to come). We are using Facebook, twitter, blogging, YouTube and webinars and group sites. We are also just starting to use Mailchimp for newsletters. Right now we have leads and small teams in 4 countries and I am looking at having a greater Canadian presence as the team in the UK is the biggest and produces and shares more than we do. I would love to get an outside view and recommendations. Thank you for the opportunity.

    1. Hi Julie, my name is André Groulx , If  you are still interested in participating I would be please to work with you. Let me know when we can arrange a short interview? 
      Thank you,

  7. Hey, Dennis.
    I have a hobby ecommerce business that I’m trying to leverage social media with – given the end of my school year, though I’ll be unavailable for interview until the first week of July.  If that works for you, I’m game.  If you have a full slate, that’s fine too.

  8. What a great opportunity to engage students and real world professionals. I run a program for the City of Ottawa called “Are you ready?” that focuses on emergency preparedness for neighborhoods, businesses and individuals. In general terms our social media strategy is to share tips and advice about how to prepare for local emergencies and disasters. During an emergency we will turn into an operational focus to share critical information about safety strategies. We are on twitter and starting to get on Facebook but would love recommendations on how best to approach this and really build our program reach through social media.

  9. I love it! As an Algonquin graduate from the Public Relations program, I really appreciate this opportunity to volunteer to support your class. As the founder of Puddle Jump Coaching, I am a Certified Professional Coach, as well as an Associate Coach with Youth Coach Global. My business and passion is helping young people navigate their way through the very difficult teen years.
    Through professional coaching, I offer tweens and teens the opportunity to connect in a non-judgemental way, providing an opportunity to establish clarity through discussion and introspection, while increasing self-confidence. Coaching is different from counselling, it is about finding creative and strategic ways of reaching one’s full potential in life.
    I offer Puddle Jump Coaching as an alternative avenue for students who may find a coaching relationship an effective resource and source of support for both themselves and their parents. 
    Right now PJC is on Twitter, FB, Linkedin, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram (sort of) and Youtube. I am also available on Skype. My marketing collateral has a QR code, and I have a blog on my website. I know that social media is really important, but it just feels like I am falling flat. I feel that there is potential, but I am not reaching it. 
    If this sounds like something that your  class may be interested in, I can be reached at [email protected]. Thanks!

  10. Interesting Idea – Dennis. I run a small consulting company – Agile Pain Relief Consulting. I have a slowly evolving site – which is changing for the better. I have Twitter, LinkedIn and a Facebook page – but only really use twitter intensively. As for strategy – what’s that I’ve been flying the seat of pants for years.
    Contact me either @mlevison or mark at

  11. Hi Dennis – This sounds like a great opportunity for both sides. My name is Darcy and I’m the communications manager for CARE Canada, an international humanitarian and development organization. We are mainly active on Twitter and Facebook, but would be really interested in hearing a fresh perspective. Contact me on Twitter carecanada . Thanks!

    1. @darcyknoll  carecanada Very cool! As I mentioned in the comments above, this round has been selected, but another round starts in a couple of weeks, so a student may choose you yet.

  12. Thanks so much to all who volunteered to be Social Media Case Study subjects – more than 20 here and through other channels! The ten students in the Accelerated Social Media Certificate version of the Applied Social Media class this week have chosen their “targets” for the week, so a couple of you will have been contacted already.
    But for the rest, and those who still want to add your names to the list, I’m starting a new 7-week version of the same class on Tuesday night, so you may yet get your chance! Those students will be making their choices and contacting their targets in a couple of weeks.
    So thanks again, and I’m eager to see the results!

  13. Hi Dennis- I have a couple of possibilities for people that are interested, both for-profit and not-for profit that may work out. The not-for-profit is a Christian environmental organization and the for profit is a native plant nursery. Let me know if you get any bites. – Pete

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