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Online course

The Power of Social Media

Explore the impact of social media on the world and learn how to put it to good use in everyday life.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

The Power of Social Media

Why join 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.

Download video: standard or HD

What topics will you cover?

  • How the major social media networks are evolving
  • What our social media profiles say about us
  • Introduction to the properties that allow networks to be described and compared
  • Analysis of a simple Twitter-like social network to identify which of its participants is the most powerful and influential individual
  • Using network analytics of social networks as predictors of events in the real world
  • Building a personal brand or community around a product or cause
  • Advantages and disadvantages of using social media for marketing purposes
  • The role of social media in the development of our own professional networks

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explore the various properties of networks in order to understand more about how we can measure online power and influence
  • Identify influential individuals within a network
  • Explore how social media can be used for good, not just at a personal level but at a societal level
  • Develop your own networks in a professional way to help your own career development

Who is the course for?

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.

Who will you learn with?

David Millard

I am an Associate Professor of Computer and Web Science at the University of Southampton, UK. Researching online social systems and digital storytelling.

Lisa Harris

Curriculum innovation, digital literacies & digital marketing @UniSouthampton. A Director of Web Science Institute. Fascinated by disruptive technology in business & education. #JISCsocial50 #PFHEA

Who developed the course?

Southampton is a place for ambitious people keen to stretch their intellectual abilities and help change the world.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $84 you'll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

Image access mobile

  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

Image certificate mobile

  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your LinkedIn or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete.

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 & Sarah Hewitt discuss the role of social media in recruitment from the perspective of employers & potential employees