WEEK 1:  A Conversation with Guest Speaker Dana Block by Kasia Olechowska

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By UCLA X469.21 Student Kasia Olechowska

“You can’t be afraid of social media because it’s everywhere.”

Kasia Olechowska

Kasia Olechowska

With this advice, Dana Block, group account director at Allison + Partners, opened her discussion by focusing on challenges and opportunities in digital communication. A few of the key aspects she emphasized include:

  1. The continually growing role of bloggers and celebrities in shaping product stories. She pointed to Matthew Espinosa, Maiah Ocando and Jessica Gottlieb as examples of prominent bloggers targeting different generations.
  2. The similarities and differences between the most popular social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram). She reviewed how content is created and distributed and shared on each, as well as the effectiveness of advertising. She also mentioned the rising potential of messaging applications such as Snapchat and WhatsApp.
  3. The emergence of the new social media leader, which is Instagram; it’s currently the fastest growing community. Along with Pinterest, it’s also the best platform to communicate with a female target group.
  4. The power of personal branding, citing examples like Anna Todd, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé. Dana discussed how non-celebrities can use these examples and apply best practices to raise personal performance on the internet.
Dana Block

Dana Block

At the conclusion of the strategic and tactical part of the discussion, Dana brought up the topic of social media’s return on investment. She suggested using tools like Sysmos, Radian6 and Marketing Cloud to optimize and track social media efforts. She also mentioned Google Analytics as a primary research and monitoring tool. Her discussion ended with the most popular question of the day: how can we measure the cost versus the benefit? And that was the bottom line.