WEEK 1: A Conversation with Guest Speaker Serena Ehrlich by Aylin Sozer

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By UCLA X469.21 Student Aylin Sozer


Aylin Sozer

Aylin Sozer

Our Week 1 guest speaker was Serena Ehrlich, with whom we had a great discussion about social media and the distinction between verbal and visual communication. According to Serena, studies show that most people prefer to watch a video rather than read text (though she explained how she’s an exception – preferring to read instead of watch). She also discussed how to optimize content and engagement on several major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Serena Ehrlich

Serena Ehrlich

When it comes to Facebook, Serena said its best to upload video directly to the site rather than link to it in posts. This is because Facebook is more apt to make sure such “native” video is shared in newsfeeds. It’s also very important to keep in mind how Facebook’s algorithm works to determine which content makes it into each user’s feed; the algorithm sorts through information to find the most relevant content for each user. For brands, it’s important to understand how Facebook has changed into a paid platform where brands must pay in order for their content to get seen.

We also discussed how as the world shifts to social media, consumers increasingly rely on fellow consumers to inform their purchasing decisions. Instead of relying on information from companies (as they did in the past), consumers now look to each other. They also look to their favorite influencers, who in some cases have built massive followings on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and other platforms.

It starts with identifying micro audiences (very close friends, family members, and others who can become early fans). For brands trying to reach their micro audiences, Twitter tends to be a more efficient platform. Just about any individual, group or brand from anywhere can become an influencer. Celebrities are often used to market products because they are highly respected and highly visible. When a celebrity uses a product, the brand gets the exposure and respect that comes from a celebrity endorsement.

We all now live in a time when everything is online, and anyone can target an audience and post information. The trick is knowing how to find the right audience and post the right kind of information that will get the desired reaction. A social media editorial calendar is an important tool that can help marketers create content that drives people to their website.

Thanks Serena for sharing your so much great knowledge!

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