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Belmont Graduate Program Offers New Social Media Course

The Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business at Belmont University began offering a new course this semester, “Social Media Marketing Strategies and the Recommendation Age,” which is believed to be the first graduate level course in social media to be developed in the Nashville area. The class is being taught by instructor Bob Hutchins, local author and owner of BuzzPlant, a marketing agency specializing in social media and online marketing.

Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Business Dr. Joe Alexander said, “We see Bob as a pioneer in the industry and believe he will greatly impact the learning experience of our MBA students.”

Hutchins noted, “I’ve spent 20 years working on marketing campaigns and strategies for clients, and only in the last five have I seen how great of an influence social media has on the business world. I’m proud to be involved with Belmont and help our rising industry leaders see the opportunities social media has to offer.”

As industries continue to cut back on marketing budgets, recent solutions have been anchored in the realm of social media. Hutchins defines this new era as the “Recommendation Age”—consumers are once again taking recommendations from their fellow consumers and having these conversations online.

Taught by a professional in the field, students receive relevant, authentic examples of what is happening in the social media field around Nashville. Hutchins brings examples from his own organization into the classroom for lectures. “It allows students to see real campaigns close up. It also allows me to share what worked, where we made mistakes and how we succeeded. This ‘hands-on’ approach makes the experience less academic and more real world,” he said.

Students are grateful for the experience to learn from such a professor. Kathleen Goff, a student in Hutchins’ class enjoyed the class so much she took an internship at BuzzPlant. She said, “I learned a ton about the impact social media can have and the ways in which you can track it.  I was also fascinated by… learning about how important social media is to spur on communication and conversations between people about your product.”

For 25 years, the Jack C. Massey Graduate School of Business at Belmont University has been an avenue for practicing professionals to develop the tools and strategies necessary to advance in their careers. Acquiring an advanced business degree through practical, ethical and entrepreneurial coursework has facilitated the professional development of more than 1,800 business leaders in Nashville and beyond.