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Social Media Savvy

Facilitator:  Keith Ecker

Workshop Syllabus

What's a retweet? What does it mean to "like" a page? Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are essential to a writer's marketing campaign. Publishing houses expect prospective authors to use social media to build their own online fan base. Meanwhile, self-publishers can use social media as an affordable tool to promote book sales. Don't be behind the times. Join the Web 2.0 world, and learn how to harness the immense power of social media.

Week 1: Social Media for Authors

What exactly makes something social media? In our first week, we'll define social media and discuss how its unique qualities can serve to benefit writers and authors. We'll also review the breadth of social media options, highlighting the uses and advantages of each. Finally, we'll discuss your goals as writers and how to achieve them through the use of social media. If you have not already done so, we'll establish Facebook profiles and Twitter handles in preparation for the following weeks.

Week 2: Using Social Media

This week we get our hands dirty by working with Facebook and Twitter. We will go over the unique vocabulary and functionality of both sites. Not only will you discover just what a hash tag is, you'll actually learn how to create one.

Week 3: Putting the "Social" in Social Media

Social media is only as effective as you make it. And there are some proven methods you can employ to increase its effectiveness. In this class, we'll discuss just how to capitalize on the full potential of social media by focusing on the "social" aspect of the technology. You will learn how to search for and connect with industry groups, publishers and other writers using Facebook and Twitter. You will also engage in interactive online dialogue with each other to help widen your online social circle.

Week 4: Anchoring Your Online Identity

Connecting your social media outlets is the key to building a strong online presence. In this class, we'll discuss how you can solidify your online identity by connecting your blog, Facebook page and Twitter account. We will also explore how these different tools can be used together to further raise your profile and spread your message. Finally, you will learn how to establish Google alerts so you can better track the effectiveness of your social media efforts.


This course is designed to provide writers with a working knowledge of social media sites, particularly Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, the course aims to teach students how to capitalize on the unique qualities of social media to promote themselves and their works. In four weeks, we will define social media, establish Facebook and Twitter accounts, learn how to network using Facebook and Twitter, and combine social media and blogging to create a strong online presence.

Prerequisite: None

Required reading: None

About the Facilitator: Keith Ecker is the principal of Hungry Eyes Marketing, an agency that provides publicity and marketing services to writers, authors and publishers. He is the former online editor and technology editor of the national legal magazine InsideCounsel and has written about technology for a number of multinational software companies and consultancies. In addition to his agency work, he currently manages social media operations for Essay Fiesta, a popular Chicago-based reading series, and the Chicago Story Collective, a performance reading troupe.


Registration: Select the payment service you want to use.
Workshop Duration: 4 weeks  

Scheduled Sessions for 2011:


January 3rd

February 7th

March 14th

April 18th

May 23rd

June 27th

August 1st

September 5th

October 10th

November 14th

Payment Services via Paypal:

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Books recommended on this page are not required reading for participation in the course.

There are no recommended books for this course.

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