Contact FutureLearn for Support The Power of Social Media - Free online course Skip main navigation
We use cookies to give you a better experience, if that’s ok you can close this message and carry on browsing. For more info read our cookies policy.
Watch the trailer
Download video: standard or HD
About the course

Social networks have emerged over the past 10 years in various forms to play a fundamental role in our lives.

But do we actually understand these networks? And are we using them in the right ways?

This course will teach you not just about the qualities and differences between social networks but also the impact they can have on our lives.

Understand different social networks

On this course you will explore the various properties of networks in order to understand more about how we can measure online power and influence.

Through doing this you will discover that networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have very distinct qualities. You’ll learn how organisations can use these qualities to learn more about the people participating in the network, and the communities they represent, and will be encouraged to reflect on what your participation in online social networks tells the world about you.

Explore how social media can be used positively

The media are quick to report on negative aspects of social networking such as cyberbullying or identity theft, but we hear less about the benefits that occur when networks are used to enhance employability or raise awareness of good causes. On this course you’ll explore how social media can be used for good, not just at a personal level but at a societal level.

Learn how to manage your own social networks

Throughout the course you’ll learn different ways for managing your own networks in a professional way to help your own career development.

In fact the course itself is a social network. We encourage you to interact with other learners from all around the world to directly put into practice the lessons of the course and build your own online networks for learning and professional purposes.

Learn with well-known experts in Web Science

You’ll learn with well-known experts from the University of Southampton’s Web Science Institute, including lead educators, Associate Professors Lisa Harris and David Millard, and contributors, Professors Dame Wendy Hall and Sir Nigel Shadbolt.

Other University of Southampton Web Science courses are Web Science: How the Web is Changing the World and an Introduction to Linked Data and the Semantic Web.

Requirements

The course is intended for existing users of social networks, who want to understand a bit more about how their social network activity might be used by others, and also how it can be made to work more effectively for them.

It will appeal to computer science, web science, business studies or marketing graduates, students and practitioners wishing to expand their knowledge.

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.

Certificate of Achievement + transcript £49.00

Statement of Participation £24.00

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join:

  • Welcome to the course
    Welcome to the course
    video

    This course explains how by understanding networks better we can exploit social media. Watch Dr David Millard & Dr Lisa Harris tell you more.

  • What are networks?
    What are networks?
    video

    Watch Dr David Millard explore what we mean by a network, and look at some of the examples of networks around us and their characteristics.

  • Recruitment in a digital world
    Recruitment in a digital world
    video

    Watch Dr Lisa Harris, Nic Fair and Sarah Hewitt discuss the role of social media in recruitment from the perspective of employers & potential employee