Business students at Walsall College have been completing background checks and data audits on the world’s most popular social media platforms. The activity was part of a project brief set by a Staffordshire University lecturer.
Dr Ijeoma Onwumere of the University’s Business School led on the brief. This came from a milk shack business trying to decide which social media platform to advertise their product on.
She encouraged students to present their research findings and recommendations in an infographic, podcast or video format.
“The project aimed to show students how businesses can strategise by using information they have about existing or target customers. Raising awareness of who they are and the products or services they offer,” said Dr Onwumere. “I wanted them to dig deep into the operational and analytical sides of the different social media platforms. This was particularly in relation to how browser activity and data is used by advertisers to engage on a one-to-one level with customers.
“The students explored each platform’s advertising functions thoroughly. They presented their work in an engaging and informative way.
“I enjoyed seeing what they had achieved.”
The social media project was one of many activities being carried out as part of the students’ Virtual Work Experience Week. This is a programme developed by the work experience team in conjunction with local organisations.
Mia Stevenson, one of the students taking part in the project said: “We haven’t yet looked at social media audience targeting techniques. It opening up my eyes to just how much personal data is so easily available to these platforms.
“I see both the good and bad sides to this. It’s improving my awareness in this area.”
Mia added: “Work Experience Week has been useful. It’s given me some career inspiration. Having learned more about corporate business, especially business management, it’s an area I’m considering exploring at university.”