Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Event Recap - Social Media Marketing Career Panel (Part 1)

Another successful event has come and gone, and GGU AMA Marketing Club would like to thank all of you for attending! A big thank you also goes to our wonderful panelists: Michael Brito, Jenna Jantsch, Julia Joslyn, and Kathryn Ross. They were very informative and engaging!

For those of you who missed the panel, here's a detail recap of the event and some key takeaways:

Panelists' thoughts on social media and its role in marketing
  • Social media is a growing field, not just a trend.
  • Social media is about conversations, in real-time. Successful brands know how to hone in on key conversations, even if there's a million entries per minute.
  • Social media is the portal through which brands can connect and interact directly with their customers. It is imperative that brands listen to their customers and take action based on those conversations.
  • They key to utilizing social media is learning how to operationalize it. More explanation for this term will follow shortly.
  • Lots of companies get what social media is all about. However, some companies don't understand how to leverage the tools made available through social media.
  • The old 3F's (friends, fans, and followers) rule isn't applicable anymore. Brands' networks are rapidly expanding due to social media; everyone and anyone can be talking about your brand, not just the 3F's.
  • Social media is about advocacy. In order to drive sales of products/services, you need to first  create advocacy. This means getting people to say positive things about your brand.
Issues in social media
  • There is a disconnect between consumers and the reality behind the brand's engagement.
  • There is a disconnect between departments when it comes to taking ownership of social media. Conflicts over the operationalization of social media often arises when different departments don't communicate with each other about their respective social media campaigns.
  • Companies cannot successfully engage in external conversations (social media) until internal conflicts are solved.
  • Lots of brands listen to conversations, but few take that insight to the next level and improve products.
Starbucks, Dell, and GM are some of the very few companies who went beyond just listening to "conversations." They actually made changes to their products to better accommodate their customers' needs.

For example, here's an article on what Starbucks is doing to improve customer experience. Critics speculate that these changes are Starbucks' response to overwhelming complaints about its "factory assembly line" approach to making coffee.

How to get into the field of social media
First step: get a Twitter account.
Second step: brand yourself.
  • Personal branding: Personal branding is key when entering the field of social media. Employers will ask, "Do you have a blog? Are you active on Twitter?" A great way to get your foot in the door is to immerse yourself in social media. Start talking; develop a voice that is distinctly you. As Jenna points out: the person who gets the most attention is the one who can "make the loudest noise." If your voice is unique and your contributions add value to the conversation, someone will notice you. Twitter is a great place to test your "voice" online. Once you feel more comfortable with multiple platforms, you can really start developing your personal brand.
  • Utilizing social media: Beyond the ability to brand yourself, you must also demonstrate the ability to effectively utilize social media tools. Michael's example of a recent hire who knew her way around Twitter and search engines shows how your knowledge of these tools can easily impress potential employers.
  • Introducing social media to new companies: Jenna believes that companies across the board are in different stages of social media. Most companies understand social media. Some however, are just starting out and they need experts! You can join these companies and bring social media into their marketing strategy.
  • Making connections, using social media. Another way to get your foot in the door is to connect to experts on LinkedIn and Twitter. Most experts have connections throughout the field (and most importantly, connections to recruiters). If you play your cards right, you might even get recommendations from them!
  • Drinking from the fire hose: Social media might seem overwhelming, but the best way to get over this is simply to immerse yourself. Soak up the technology, learn about new platforms, surround yourself with seasoned professionals. Jump in and absorb as much as you can.
  • Putting in the time: Julia's natural curiosity and dedication to learning landed her the job of her life. Her main advice is to lend yourself to any open projects and become an integral component to the company. She states, "If they like working with you, they'll keep you on board!"
  • Taking ownership, and feeling confident in what you are presenting: A level of professional risk comes with being a social media marketer. Still, the fear of a bad outcome shouldn't stop you from taking ownership of new campaigns. 
  • Social media isn't always on the fast lane: There's a fast lane as well as a slow track, and you can choose the path with which you are most comfortable. You won't become overwhelmed if you choose the company that is on the same pace.
About our panelists

Michael Brito
Michael brings over 12 years of experience in digital marketing to his role as VP of Social Media where he provides strategic counsel to one of Edelman Digital’s top accounts. His principal areas of expertise include digital marketing, social media, and integrated brand marketing communications through the social web. Prior to joining Edelman, Michael served as a global social media strategist for Intel Corporation. Michael has also worked for Yahoo!, HP and Sony. Michael earned his MS in Integrated Marketing Communications from GGU. Check out his blog on social media at http://www.britopian.com/.

Jenna Jantsch
As a social business consultant at Ant’s Eye View, Jenna is responsible for helping mid to large-size companies use social media to transform their customers’ engagement with the brand.  Prior to joining Ant’s Eye View, Jenna was the Social Media Marketing Manager at Vertical Response.  There, her work with social platforms increased the company’s NetPromoter score 4 points and contributed 200 new customers per month.  Jenna graduated from Colorado State University.

 Julia Joslyn
Described as a “search and display advocate,” Julia is the Senior Director of Sales at Technorati Media. Best known for its blog search engine and blogging platform Technorati.com, the company also owns an ad network and two other websites, BlogCritics.org and Twitterati.com. Prior to Technorati, Julia worked for the ad agency AKQA in search engine marketing. She holds an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications degree from GGU.

Kathryn Ross
Kathryn has worked for Delta Dental for eight years in a variety of marketing roles. As the Integrated Marketing Manager, she is responsible for developing B2B marketing programs, communications, and campaigns. Within the last year, social media has been added to the marketing mix and Kathryn drives the company’s social marketing strategy and execution.  She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA with a B.A. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing.


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