WEEK 2: A Conversation with Guest Speakers Babette Pepaj and Matt Meeks by Carolyn Vasheghani

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By UCLA X469.21 Student Carolyn Vasheghani

Carolyn Vasheghani

Babette Pepaj is the brilliant mind behind BakeSpace, the first online food themed social network. For cuisine enthusiasts, it’s more than your quintessential cooking site. BakeSpace is a cooking community haven that allows members to share recipes, create and sell cookbooks, participate in cooking contests and connect through events.

Babette Pepaj

During her presentation, Babette discussed many strategies for creating content that is engaging, in sync with her audience’s interests and likely to augment her site’s brand image.

One way Babette creates appealing content is by collaborating with film and TV marketers on campaigns that use soft sell strategies. Such campaigns work especially well on BakeSpace since it is a creative environment. What I thought was exceptionally valuable from Babette’s presentation was how powerful video, especially when it’s live, can be. Video’s impact on social media is higher than ever now that technology is becoming more accessible and advanced. Platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook all feature live streaming tools that can expand a brand’s identity and create deeper connections with target audiences. In my opinion, this capability is invaluable, since creating an emotive experience that enables customers/clients to become participants who feel emotionally inclined to get involved.

Matt Meeks

Matt Meeks

Matt Meeks is the chief digital and marketing officer for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He creates a link between the Catholic Church and its regional audience through social media marketing. Of the immensely valuable information Matt provided during his presentation, I found his description of the marketing funnel to be accurate and didactic. He highlighted the importance of creating a clear marketing plan in conjunction with the funnel to improve effectiveness. Matt also highlighted how algorithms help target niche audiences. For example, Facebook enables advertisers to customize ads for very specific audiences.  Matching messages with different niches in this way can help elevate a brand’s influence.

Although they represent two very different industries, Babette and Matt both called attention to the importance of content and the tools available to brands on social media platforms. Their discussion wasn’t just insightful – it also sparked creative energy.

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