When it comes to learning, nothing beats real-world experience. Everyone knows that.
Unfortunately, real-world experience can be very hard to get. It’s not easy to find a major brand that will hand you the keys to their marketing, especially their social media.
At Stukent, we found a way around this problem. We call it Mimic Social.
Mimic Social is the world’s first social media marketing simulation. It lets students stand in as the social media marketing manager for a fictitious brand called Buhi Bags.
In Spring 2017, we had our first beta users. We’ll be the first to admit that the simulation wasn’t perfect, but it was an excellent tool for teaching social media, and it was leagues ahead of anything else out there. Students were able to post content to different platforms and see how it impacted revenue, customer engagement, brand awareness and more.
We received feedback that the simulation was repetitive and that the students didn’t get much direction.
We’ve listened to all of the feedback about Mimic Social and we’re ready to give the people what they want.
The 5 Biggest Improvements to Mimic Social
It’s hard for me to tell you how big this is, folks. The words TREMENDOUS, HUGE, PHENOMENAL and ABSOLUTELY MEGA come to mind.
Let me break it down.
#1 Analysis Rounds
Professors told us that students were breezing through the simulation and not even looking at their results, either because they didn’t understand the results page, or because they didn’t care.
Neither of those will be an option with the new analysis rounds.
Students will now have to answer questions about the results of their campaigns. These questions will help them understand the effects of their decisions and learn from their results so they can do better next round.
We previously allowed for up to 12 rounds. Since adding the analysis rounds, we now allow for up to 24 rounds: 12 posting rounds and 12 analysis rounds. We recommend at least 6 posting rounds and 6 analysis rounds (12 rounds total). Instructors should remember that every even-numbered round is an analysis round so students can review the work they did in the previous, odd-numbered round.
These questions will prompt them to look at the results page:
The point of any simulation is for students to learn; these analysis rounds are going to be a huge part of that. We believe your students will learn to be data-driven social media marketers.
#2 Weekly Tasks
A common complaint was that the first round of the simulation was awesome, but it got repetitive after that because there wasn’t any variation or additional direction.
We’ve solved those issues by giving students a boss to report to, and he’s quite a handful!
Every week, he’ll give students a new task to complete with a new area to focus on.
These tasks will help students explore different aspects of social media marketing — especially when it comes to different ways of testing the variables that affect the success of their strategy.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows with the boss though; he’ll give the students a piece of his mind when he thinks they deserve it, especially if he’s feeling the heat from the CEO.
Be careful what you wish for 😉
# 3 Helpful Blog Posts
Remember when we talked about that boss?
It turns out he doesn’t think he’s the fountain of all human knowledge. Plus, he doesn’t have time to hold students’ hands while they learn to test different strategies. Instead, he’ll refer them to blog posts written by yours truly.
These posts cover helpful topics like social media metrics, managing a social media budget, analyzing how content performs etc.
Best of all, the blog is written especially for the simulation so you know the information is directly applicable to Mimic Social.
The weekly memos tell students what to do, and the blog tells them how to do it.
#4 Updated Algorithm for Realistic Results
We’ve done our research and found realistic benchmarks based on real data. We’ve used this data to model our simulation results after the real thing.
With these more accurate results, students can do a better job of gauging their own success and the success of their teams when they enter the industry.
#5 Updated Interface
We didn’t receive a lot of major complaints about our interface. In fact, many of you said that you quite liked it!
That warmed our little hearts right up, but we don’t want to only meet your expectations, we want to surpass them in every possible way.
That’s why we went ahead and made upgrades to the interface.
Here are a few of them:
-Reorganized the Insights Table to focus on the Key Metrics of Awareness, Engagement, and Revenue.
-Select a Channel with One Click
Before, you had to click the channel and then click “yes” every time you posted on the channel. That was annoying. Now, “Yes” is the default. This is just one example of the many small changes that make the simulation easier to use.
-You Can Now Reuse Content
In the past, students could only use an image once. As you can imagine, this made it very difficult to run tests without changing multiple variables at the same time. No more!
-Added Important Information to Post History
The original Post History section was missing important information like the time-of-day and the day of the week that a post was published. We’ve added these things to help students make better decisions. We’ve also added a tab just for Post History to make it easier for students to look at their published posts across all platforms.
These are just a few of the changes we’ve made to the interface to make it more intuitive and easy to use.
Let’s recap the updates real quick.
Here are the major updates to the Mimic Social simulation:
- Analysis Rounds
- Weekly Boss Memos
- Helpful Blog Posts
- Updated Algorithm
- Updated Interface
Pretty cool, right?
Are you interested using Mimic Social for your class this semester?
If you answered “Yes”, click below to get free access and try it out for yourself.
If you’re still not convinced, please let us know why in the comments section. We believe all marketing students need this simulation and we want to do everything we can to get rid of any barriers that are keeping you from using it in your class.
Note: Free access to the simulation is available for professors only.
Photo of Jamie Dimon by Steve Jurvetson. licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jamie_Dimon,_CEO_of_JPMorgan_Chase.jpg
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