Students Helping Startups: Free Social Media Marketing Program – Apply Now

Students Helping Startups is an innovative new program at Howard University in Washington, DC. Here’s the concept: There are lots of students learning about marketing and social media, and they need projects to take on for the semester. At the same time, Professor Angela Hausman noticed there are lots of startups out there who may enjoy some help marketing their product or service. So why not match them up?  Students get real-world experience and startups get actual help.

Students enrolled in the social media marketing class at Howard University will develop plans for startups and early stage small businesses. Firms selected for Students Helping Startups receive a free social media marketing program worth $50,000.

Startups are so focused on operational and funding issues, marketing often falls through the cracks. But effective marketing is critical to the success of most startups and small businesses. If selected for Students Helping Startups, you’ll get a complete social media marketing strategy and implementation through Dec. 1, 2011.

Here’s what’s included in the program:

–  A blog or static website created in WordPress
–  A presence on social media marketing platforms such as Facebook
–  Consistent branding across social media platforms
  Social media engagement based on a social media calendar
  Possible add-on such as Google Adwords promotion, if funded
  A listening and monitoring program tracking brand sentiment and monitoring effectiveness of the free social media marketing program
Limited general marketing advice such as target marketing, branding, monetization, integrated marketing, and new product development
Interim and final written reports including passwords, calendars, and other material allowing the firm to continue engagement at the end of the program

 What kind of companies are the Students Helping Startups looking for?  Here’s their criteria:

1. Companies with a great idea and high growth potential.
2. Companies with a product or service already live (something they can work with) although they’ll consider firms interested in using social media for funding.
3. Companies that can dedicate some time to work with the students.

 Students are making final company selections late next week so apply soon: Students Helping Startups

Additional details:

 Students Helping Startups is a free social media marketing program that runs from Sept. 1, 2011 through Dec. 1, 2011.  Afterward, implementation reverts to the startup.
 Students must satisfy course requirements, not those desired by the firm.
 Students sign non-disclosure agreements to protect the intellectual property of the firm.
 A donation to the Howard University, School of Business Marketing Department would be appreciated once firms reach a point where it is possible.
 Students Helping Startups is a collaboration between the Howard University School of Business and Tech Cocktail.

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Written by:
Jen Consalvo is the Cofounder and COO of Tech.Co. She previously worked in product development for almost 13 years at AOL for audiences of millions. Follow her on Twitter at: @noreaster.
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