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Emory Serviss

Program Champion for the Auburn University Department of Marketing


Emory Serviss is an adjunct instructor and Program Champion of the Department of Marketing at Auburn University. He believes every student wishing to enter the advertising field should have skills in coding, graphic design, and verbal and written communication skills. Writing is an important skill for your toolbox, Serviss says, and every employer will check your toolbox when you apply for a job. To help his students cultivate these essential skills, he added a hands-on assignment to his Marketing on the Internet class that would give his students experience with digital marketing, content marketing, and social media.

The assignment involves writing a Buzzfeed post inspired by a specific holiday, developing a social media strategy, and accumulating at least 1,000 views in one week. He also has students analyze their strategies in order to make adjustments and write a reflection paper at the end. This gives students the opportunity to write from a promotional or advertising view.

Although the point of the assignment is to create a digital marketing strategy and accumulate views through social media, he added that if you don’t write a good headline or good content, your Buzzfeed post won’t be shared. Social media influencers have to like your article if they are going to pass it along to their followers. He explained that one important thing to keep in mind when writing viral content is to write for your target audience. Additionally, it’s important to “write in the moment, in the right way.” This means that you should be aware of what is trending, but also make sure it is still leveraged for your target audience. For successes and failures that students had in making their posts go viral, check out this article.

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