Social Media Plans for Small Businesses & Local Non-Profits

Teaching & Engagement, 2016


Many rural Nebraska small businesses and non-profit organizations do not have the expertise or resources to implement social media plans, which can limit their organizational reach. This project will implement a service learning component to an existing course, where students work with organizations to develop and implement social media plans, in partnership with the Economic Development Council of Buffalo County.



During the two-year project timeline, 60 small businesses and non-profit organizations from the Kearney area were assisted by over 700 UNK students who worked in teams to develop social media plans for the organizations. The service learning project was incorporated into a capstone course offered through the Computer Science and Information Technology department at UNK. A positive impact from this project is that the service learning component of students working with organizations and small businesses is well established into the course and sustainable in ongoing years.

Post assessment results show that of the 60 organizations and small businesses in the project, two requested to re-do their social media plan and all the others expressed satisfaction with their plans. While final surveys are still being collected, results will be published in the near future once results are analyzed.

The research goals of this project were to study the impact of the interventions in increasing implementation and sustained use rates of social media plans developed through service learning. A long-term study continues to evaluate the sustainable impacts of this project.


Project Team


Media Coverage

Class schools firms on social media | Kearney Hub, March 2017


Contact: Sherri Harms,