Notice: All students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to arrival for the Fall 2021 semester.
Notice: All students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to arrival for the Fall 2021 semester.

COMM 431/HUM 399 – Social Media, Social Food

*WARNING: this course cannot be taken together with COMM 430 – Social Media: an Italian Perspective

What is “Social Media”- and how will developing media skills help students plan successful careers in the world of food?
The world of social media has its own specialized vocabulary for food studies as well as other fields. Key terms such as “social media strategy”, “engagement” and “web content marketing” will form the basis of our study.
More importantly, we may say that social media today are a “must” not only for any business company seeking a place in the market, but also for anyone willing to emerge professionally and build a career in a society where most people expect to have whatever they need whenever they want.
In the past, in a crowded place like a local market, sellers had to shout at the top of their voices to get attention from buyers and customers. Nowadays, thanks to the Internet, the small market downtown has enlarged its boundaries worldwide and mere shouting has been replaced by advertising through social media.
The “Social Media, Social Food” course will provide a perfect example of the importance of social media in the food industry.

Course Objectives
While in Florence, students will learn how to use social media for business and professional purposes, making the most of their presence in this world capital city of food.
Florence’s traditional food markets, restaurants, and groceries offer unique opportunities to engage with the local community and explore the global-local linkages of food, from production to consumption, with a historical and contemporary perspective.
As is well known, food, wine, lifestyle and leisure are ingredients of Italian culture. “Social Media, Social Food” students will thus have the chance to contribute to this tasty menu of life by using social networks. They will learn how to blog in a professional way as food bloggers do; how to plan a social media strategy for a food related company; how to use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for gaining publicity at a local and international level, both for their own future careers in the food industry and ISI Florence activities.
Furthermore, they will learn how to organize digital events involving the institute’s many partners (companies, brands, associations, institutions), and how to analyze the results of the activities they planned and how to develop new ideas.
For instance, students will contribute to digital events such as: “Markets of Florence” and “Food in Florence”. In doing so, they will be exposed to major components of Florentine food culture and have the opportunity to provide a detailed account of activities through blogging and social media posting.

During orientation at the Institute, students will receive a list of textbooks and/or course readers they are required to purchase. Students should not purchase any texts before orientation.

Course descriptions may be subject to occasional minor modifications at the discretion of the instructor.