Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business pilot MOOC from Salford Business School and self-reflection

Have you ever heard of a MOOC? It’s currently a trendy buzzword in field of online higher education - short for “Massive Open Online Course” – the latest phenomenon aimed at large-scale interactive participation and widely accessible for everyone from everywhere. Sounds promising enough to you? You’re gonna feel more excited to know that Salford Business School Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business MOOC is free to join!

The link to this online course can be found here: link to landing page

Thinking of using Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business?

As the name Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business suggests, this course provides tutorials and introduction to help you create your personal/international business brand online. It’s suitable for beginners to social media marketing, even if you never thought of using the digital world to promote yourself or your international business. Of course! Literature knowledge about social media marketing is required before you start the course.

Taught by Dr. Aleksej Heinze with many guest speakers from the industry, the course was launched on September 2nd 2013 including 12 modules. The videos are divided into smaller sections and there is a small exercise at the end of each section to test your knowledge.


Aleksej Heinze teaching his MOOC

Here is the list of all 12 subjects I have learned after the MOOC:

  1. Personal branding online
  2. Twitter
  3. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  4. Use of social media for international business development
  5. Facebook
  6. YouTube
  7. LinkedIn
  8. Google+
  9. Copywriting online
  10. Online legal considerations
  11. Reporting and monitoring online
  12. Blogging

Personal branding

Started with essential concepts about personal branding online, I learned very useful tips to build my digital profile, for example: which job skills are my strengths and which ones are my weaknesses and how to organize them. Obviously, in the digital age, having a professional profile on the Internet can  give you much higher chance of getting a job or growing your business.


In this subject, I was taught how to create a Twitter account, not only to use for personal purposes but also for business development. After watching the video, I realized that many businesses are currently using Twitter as their main channel for marketing, as it is free and effective to engage with their audience. Using harsh tags and tweets, the possibility of promoting business content as well as promotion news, events, new products or getting immediate feedback from audience is exerted very quickly. Here is my twitter account optimised – screenshot:

Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business Vanessa Van Huynh

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

I never knew that keyword selection was so important until I joined this MOOC. Aleksej taught me how to use Google Adwords to employ keyword research for my personal profile optimisation on a web page as well as social media profiles. This has great benefits to a business, which wants to be found for keyword that their consumers are actually looking for. SEO techniques to optimise those keywords include, for example, using SEO in creating in-text URL links for my website, optimising primary and secondary keywords in title, heading, description and tags.

For example, this blog post is optimised for these keywords:

  • Social Media Marketing
  • MOOC
  • International business
  • Salford Business School

Here is how the keywords were used in the URL, Title, Description and Heading 1 of this blog post:


Title: “Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business” Salford Business School Pilot MOOC and self-reflection

Description: In the description, the keywords “social media marketing” and “international business” was repeated 3 times for optimising purpose.

Heading 1: Thinking of using social media marketing for your international business strategy?

Use of social media for international development

In this module, I learned about the benefits of having a social media plan to develop international business. To create an appropriate engagement plan, the factors of cultural differences and identifying the right social media platforms to use are very important. In addition, marketing strategies and integrated SEO are advised by Aleksej and other guest speakers for a successful application of social media plan. For example, my social media plan is to use list of networks and how often you engage and how you monitor them.

Below is a list of networks I created as part of my social media plan:


Usually, I have been using Facebook to stay in touch with my friends but obviously Facebook also has a major impact on branding as well as growing a business. This MOOC has taught me how to create a business page on Facebook, so that I could generate more audience using status update, picture and video uploading, event creating, etc. Besides, having a clear engagement plan also is a critical point to know when you want your business to succeed. Finally, I have learnt to use Facebook Insights tool to monitor and report my business’s developing process. LINK to my Facebook:


Using YouTube’s video is a great way to engage with your audience and show people the story of your business. This module has taught me how to create a YouTube channel, how to manage my videos (upload, edit and delete a video), how to optimise a video using title, URL in text, tags, etc.; and most importantly how to generate traffic into my videos. Here is the link to my YouTube Channel (although I haven’t posted any videos on there yet):


LinkedIn is a great social media platform to join if you are searching for a job. It also has high potential in helping your career prospect by connecting to the right people and joining the appropriate groups. As a business platform for professionals, LinkedIn would be the place you look for insider’s connection from companies around the world. I am using LinkedIn to stay in touch with my student friends from Salford Business School as well as optimise my profile using the keywords and skills potential recruiters will be looking for. Here is a link to my LinkedIn profile:


Another social media platform that has become popular since 2011 is Google+ and in January 2013 it is suggested to be the second largest social media platform after Facebook. It is advised that using Google + community is also a good approach for international business growing as it is widely accessible for everyone who has a Google account. In this MOOC, I was taught to create a Google+ account, how to use circles and how to engage with audience on Google+ and when I have my blog I would link this to my Google+ account to maximise the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) impact.

Copywriting online

This subject was a pleasant module despite of the dryness people usually think of when it comes to studying copywriting. The AIDA model was a great concept, which I have used for this blog post:

  • Attention – I started with a question to draw attention from readers.
  • Information – I am listing all 12 modules and my reflecting on them.
  • Desire – I am highlighting the element of each module and showing to you how important they are.
  • Action – I am prompting you to comment below and share your own blog post with me along with others who took this course.

Online legal considerations

When you are building multiple online profiles on the Internet, it is important to keep in mind that there are a few legal considerations to remember. In this subject, I learned about: Data protection laws, Advertising Standards Authority equivalent in your country, Employment laws for recruitment and content as publication; and social media policy; which I found very helpful for my business development. I am now more careful when I communicate online using social media since “anything you say here can be used to against you in the future!”

Reporting and monitoring online

Besides having an excellent social media strategy for your business, reporting and monitoring the whole process to keep track on your work and improving it gradually are also vital. Aleksej has taught me how to monitor company feedback as well as deciding which networks to monitor, how to set up Google Alerts, so I have set up my Google Alerts for my name, which also my primary keyword for personal branding: Vanessa Van Huynh.


At some point in the past, many of us might have been sharing our opinions on a personal blog.  However, blogging platforms are not only good for personal expression, they are also a great place to connect with our audience and share our product offerings if you are an international business. The main point is you need to know which platform is right for you. As advised from Aleksej, an introduction about how to create a WordPress account has been taught in this MOOC. Besides, structuring a blog post according to AIDA model and an engagement strategic plan were meticulously explained as well. This is my blog post written on WordPress which uses the AIDA model to optimise for Salford Business School website and I hope you found it useful in illustrating the use of social media marketing in practice.

I have shared with you my reflection on the experience I had from Salford Business School MOOC.

Are you willing to try this Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business online course? How do you think it will benefit for your international business? Let me know in the comment below or write your own blog post and share it with others on the #SSMMUoS on Twitter!

Thank you for reading my blog and good luck!

August 18, 2013

By Vanessa Van Huynh