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Department of Retailing pilots new social media listening curriculum with Keyhole

Posted on: October 9, 2018
By: Allen Wallace, awallacj7@mailbox.sc.edu

Social media has changed the game for retailers, giving customers a microphone to share their feedback directly and publicly with the companies they shop with. To prepare students for the new digital landscape, the University of South Carolina’s Department of Retailing is launching new social media monitoring courses and certifications with technology partner, Keyhole.

“Social media listening is critical to retail managers and it’s evolving quickly,” says Mark Rosenbaum, Department of Retailing chair. “We have to give students applicable, employable knowledge on this dynamic subject, so we needed an industry technology leader, not a text book.”

University of South Carolina retailing faculty collaborated with Keyhole to create the new coursework and certification program — providing students with an accessible, hands-on learning experience using the latest software for social media listening. Students taking the new courses will build diverse analytics skills including hashtag/keyword analysis, account tracking, sentiment analysis, competitive analysis, influencer marketing, trend and product analysis, and more. Students who pass coursework requirements have the option to earn a Keyhole software certification — demonstrating their expertise in social media listening and providing a valuable addition to their resumes.

“The new coursework empowers students to apply concepts and theories taught in class to address real-world challenges and develop actionable insights based on real-time data,” says Retailing Professor Sang-Eun Byun. “Social media is a rapidly-expanding sector of retail, and this partnership helps our students be best prepared for their careers.”

Keyhole’s software platform is utilized around the world by employers such as Google, Spotify and the United Nations, who use social media listening and real-time analytics to integrate online trend, engagement and influencer data into their strategy.

“We’re excited to partner with a top university to help provide students with applied learning and certification in the modern tools they will actually use once they begin their career journey,” says Keyhole CEO, Saif Ajani. “We are confident that the kind of business insights that are gained through Keyhole will help students excel in their roles from day one.”

The new education tools are being piloted in University of South Carolina retail management classes this year, and the training has potential to be expanded to the graduate level and to retail management programs at other universities. The partnerships is part of the Department of Retailing’s overarching digital innovation initiative, which also includes a transformational $7 million software donation and training partnership with JDA, and education partnerships with Wix.com.