Social Media Networks

SOL15 Social Media Networks

  • Topics


    Course background

    Social media can be defined as the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. Online communities, social networking sites, and blogging are just few examples of social media networking. The rise of social media is changing the nature of marketing, and it is getting more and more important to understand how online communities and networks are organized and how they work. The idea of "one to one" communication between one marketing organization and one consumer was largely true in television advertising in which a single message was broadcast to a large number of apparently relatively passive and unconnected individuals. However, binodal models of one-to-one marketing are currently in the process of being succeeded by models that also incorporate the one-to-many and many-to-many communications of multimodal networks due to the appearance of networked computers and computer-mediated communications. Through online word-of-mouth, consumers often exchange and transact with companies only after mediating "official" marketer-derived information with "unofficial" social information coming from unofficial "influencers" such as other consumers.


    Therefore, there is an increasing trend towards using social media monitoring and analysis tools that allow marketers to search, track and analyze conversation on the web about their brand or about topics of interest. Social media network analysis is becoming one of the central issues as it helps marketers to recognize how influence spreads within and between actors in the social media networks. As a result marketers can get a better understanding of such social media-related marketing communication processes as word-of-mouth, seeding campaigns, brand evangelism, and blogging/microblogging.


    Course content

    The purpose of this course is to introduce bachelor students to the core concepts of social media marketing and teach them practical skills of a strategic analysis of social media networks with the NodeXL analysis tool. The NodeXL ( is a free network analysis tool developed by the Social Media Research Foundation. It offers network analysis within the context of the familiar Excel spreadsheet and therefore is suitable for non-programmers. Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, email, the World Wide Web, and Facebook data can be quickly imported into NodeXL. Networks can then be analyzed and visualized using tools similar to those used to create a pie chart or line graph. By using NodeXL a marketer can create a network graph of his brand¿s followers and calculate the metrics in order to find the most influential/central individuals in this network, map their connections and cluster the network according to different factors (e.g. demographics). This information extracted from social networks and media analysis can then be used for developing effective marketing strategies.


    To begin with, a set of lectures will be organized where the lecturer will introduce the core concepts of social media and explain the main metrics used to understand the structures and dynamics of social media networks. Then, in several workshop sessions the students will learn how to use NodeXL for analysis of Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, email, the World Wide Web, and Facebook data. After that, the students will work on a course project where they will use the NodeXL tool to analyze an online community/network of their choice. Course project seminars will be offered to provide active supervising of a student project.

  • Learning outcome

    Learning outcome

    Upon the completion of this course the students will:

    • Have an overview of the core concepts of social media and social media marketing
    • Understand the basic concepts of networks, social networks and social media networks
    • Have the practical skills of strategic analysis of social media networks
    • Be able to explore the core features of the NodeXL network analysis and visualization tool
    • Know how to use the NodeXL tool for analysis of Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, email, the World Wide Web, and Facebook data
    • Be able to identify general types of social media networks along with the key people and groups within them in order to understand social media-related marketing communication processes as word-of-mouth, seeding campaigns, brand evangelism, and blogging/microblogging

  • Teaching


    The course will employ three types of learning activities:

    • A set of lectures discussing core theoretical concepts in social media and social networks
    • Hands-on workshop sessions on NodeXL network analysis tool providing the practical details of operating the NodeXL
    • Course project seminars offering active supervising of a student project based on the NodeXL analysis tool

  • Required prerequisites

    Required prerequisites

    No previous knowledge on social media networks is required.

    This course is suitable for students with interest in social media, or social network analysis. It is also appropriate for those who are involved in studying social structures and their change over time.

  • Credit reduction due to overlap

    Credit reduction due to overlap

    SOL15 is the equivalent to VOA047 and students will not get credit for both courses.

  • Requirements for course approval

    Requirements for course approval

    In order to complete this course successfully, students must meet the following minimum criteria:

    • Do the readings
    • Participate in class discussions, workshop sessions and course project seminars
    • Submit final paper on time

  • Assessment


    Final grades will be based on the following assessments, weighted as indicated:

    • Course paper based on the NodeXL analysis project (groups of 3 students) - 50%
    • Individual multiple-choice exam based on the theoretical concepts learned during the course - 50%

  • Grading Scale

    Grading Scale

    Grades A - F.

  • Computer tools

    Computer tools

    Participants will need access to a computer/laptop connected to the Internet and will be supplied with a free NodeXL software.

  • Semester


    Autumn. Not offered 2017.

  • Literature


    Main book:

    • Hansen, D., Shneiderman, B. and Smith, M. A. (2011). Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL: Insights from a Connected World. Elsevier, Morgan Kaufmann: Burlington, MA.

    Supportive literature:

    • Watts, D. J. (2004). Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age. W. W. Norton & Company: NY.
    • Course package readings:
      • Watts, D.J. and Dodds, P.S. (2007). Influentials, networks, and public opinion formation. Journal of Consumer Research, 34 (December), 441-458.
      • Dichter, E. (1966). How word-of-mouth advertising works. Harvard Business Review, 44 (6), 147-166.
      • Kozinets, R.V., de Valck, K., Wojnicki, A.C., and Wilner, S.J.S. (2010). Networked narratives: Understanding word-of-mouth marketing in online communities. Journal of Marketing, 74 (March), 71-89.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Course responsible

TBA, Department of Strategy and Management