Anthony J. Pennings, PhD


Hootsuite and the Social Media Curriculum

Posted on | September 21, 2015 | No Comments

I’ve been training people in Hootsuite for the last three years. The desktop and mobile dashboard system was designed to integrate and manage social media applications like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter. Some others you might recognize are Foursquare, MySpace, WordPress, TrendSpottr, and Mixi. While it has some competition, it is still the best social media management tool available.

Hootsuite is promoted as a brand management or communications management tool that is handy for day-to-day social networking management and/or campaign management. It can be used at a personal level, for social media consultants working for several clients, and for media management at large-scale enterprises.

I was originally exposed to Hootsuite at my first SXSW in Austin, TX in the spring of 2012. I was invited by my colleague David Altounian, who taught it in his classes at St. Edward’s University and was on a pre-conference discussion put on by Hootsuite University about social media and education. The image below features Hootsuite moderator Kirsten Bailey, Dr. William Ward from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse, Lea Lashley of Southern Methodist University and David Altounian from St. Edwards University.

Hootsuite University at SXSW

They discussed the value of social media education, problems in getting academia to recognize or respond to the social media environment, teaching skills vs. principles, and does social media change the marketing discipline.

A few years ago I posted my thoughts on important curriculum issues for social media education. It is now an NYU course that I have taught online, and I’m currently teaching Hootsuite in a Political Communication class at Hannam University in the Republic of Korea. These are the general areas that I proposed should be considered in a program on social media.

– New developments in social media technologies and techniques;
– Key communication and economic attributes that power this medium, including important metrics;
– How social media can be used as part of an organization’s communications strategy;
– Key skill sets and knowledge students can acquire for entrepreneurial innovation and employment in this area;
– Legal, privacy, and other unfolding social concerns that accompany this dynamic new medium;
– Issues of social change, citizen engagement, and democratic prospects;
– Research implications of social media and the theorization and methodological skills needed to conceptualize research projects.

I guess I would add the importance of learning a social media management tool like Hootsuite, Spredfast, or Sprout Social to that list, even though it is suggested in the first topic.



AnthonybwAnthony J. Pennings, PhD is the Professor of Global Media at Hannam University in South Korea. Previously, he taught at St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas and was on the faculty of New York University from 2002-2012. He also taught at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand and was a Fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii during the 1990s.


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    Professor at State University of New York (SUNY) Korea since 2016. Moved to Austin, Texas in August 2012 to join the Digital Media Management program at St. Edwards University. Spent the previous decade on the faculty at New York University teaching and researching information systems, digital economics, and strategic communications.

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