WEEK 2: A Conversation with Guest Speakers Babette Pepaj & Matt Meeks by Shutatsu Matsuda

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By UCLA X469.21 Student Shutatsu Matsuda

Shutatsu Matsuda

Our Week 2 class session featured a couple of great guest speakers.

Babette Pepaj (founder of BakeSpace.com and the TECHmunch Food Blogger Conference) and Matt Meeks (chief digital officer for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles) shared the kind of practical knowledge that comes only with their many years of real-world business experience.

In this blog post, I’m going to share what amazed me most, especially from Babette’s story.

Babette Pepaj

Babette is contributing to food culture by helping people use social media to share their culinary passion. Her ideas and innovations intrigued me, most notably her use of sponsored cookbooks. Such content enables brands to connect with consumers via recipes that are very sharable and naturally lead to conversation. On BakeSpace, sponsored cookbooks communicate the brand message in a form that doesn’t look or feel like an ad.

Babette also described how BakeSpace uses multiple platforms to drive traffic, syndicate content and engage its community. For example, she explained how Pinterest and Instagram appeal to home cooks with mouth-watering pictures. This point convinced me that strong images are critical for reaching food-related audiences. It also reminded me how there are many food-related services in Japan that use photo-based apps to show off great looking food.

Matt Meeks

Matt Meeks

Babette’s talk also helped me better understand the power of real-time social media. Before her discussion, I underestimated the capability of live services and platforms. But my understanding evolved after Babette showed us samples of her live video chats. I now look forward to using such platforms someday.

I am very excited to apply the tips and insights I learned to my company, which I plan to launch this year. Thank you Babette and Matt for sharing your knowledge.

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