Archive for the ‘Social & Digital Media’ Category

Inspiration and Lessons Learned from the 2018 Midwest Digital Marketing Conference

By: Weber Shandwick St. Louis

Despite the dreariness of last week’s weather, some brightness shone as marketing students, industry professionals and marketing and communications leaders gathered for the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference in downtown St. Louis. Weber Shandwick’s Digital Account & Engagement Lead Obele Brown-West led an engaging discussion on how brands and organizations are leveraging AI on social media to create compelling new content that drives commerce.

Reflecting on Obele’s presentation, I wondered how much have I purchased through social media? How did these ads even target me as a consumer? This world of social commerce isn’t necessarily new, but it’s fascinating how easily it has crept into our daily lives and how rapidly it evolves. Obele mentioned that “this presentation will probably be antiquated by the time we leave this room.” As quickly as things change in the social commerce landscape, that’s definitely a possibility.

Combining the right tools and technology with social media means transforming the way we shop in our daily lives, and transforming how we convert consumers in our professional lives. Social platforms shake up the consumer experience and directly correlate to bottom of the funnel marketing objectives.

While my bias may tell me that my colleague’s presentation was the best of them all, there was still a lot to learn from many other experts attending the conference. From crisis management, to visual storytelling, read some of my colleagues’ thoughts and takeaways from the conference below!

– Rodney Pruitt, Associate, Client Experience Digital

Social Media Crisis Management Panel

Reputation takes years to build and minutes to dissolve in the wake of a crisis. Social media managers need to have the tools and know-how at the ready to manage an issue quickly and effectively, even if they are not crisis communications experts. While most PR professionals know just enough to be dangerous when it comes to managing a crisis, there’s still a lot to learn, much of which can only come from experience. A panel of local crisis powerhouses shared their insights on how to prepare before a crisis or issue, based on their many years in the trenches. Here’s what they said:


—Read More at the Weber Shandwick Blog—


New Up and Coming Social Media Platforms

By: Andrea Siecinski

Social media is a relatively new concept, but it has quickly become a way of life in this century. It is hard to break through the noise of the big platforms that are present in today’s society. Many venture in creating the greatest, new social media platform but do not make it due to the competition. There are some social media platforms that are making a splash and turning heads lately, though. is an app that started in 2014 and is a platform that is popular with today’s teenagers. is a site that allows its users to lip sync or dance to a song for 15 seconds and post it. According to Adweek, it is starting to rival other social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. Even Katy Perry is using it to promote her music.


Vero, which means truth, is the most recent social media platform to get a big break. It has become very popular and has got a lot of hype as of late. Vero is a place to share all sorts of media and ideas. Its feed is chronological, which has been lost on other platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Vero is also ad-free at the moment which is hard to find on other platforms.


Hive is a platform that allows its users to connect and follow people with similar interests. Users create a profile based on their interests, and Hive connects them to people nearby with similar interests. It is being marketed as a way to connect people and to create new friendships. It will also be a spot to get advice on those topics of interest. It has recently been promoted by football player Terrell Owens, and Peter Kraus of the Bachelor.

These platforms are making some headway in the social media world. Who knows if they will thrive as much as Facebook and Instagram have, but they are finding success despite how hard it is to make it. The platforms are unique in their own way which has brought them some success.


Guest Editorial: May I Have Your Attention, Please?

By: Steve Bauer 

UMSL Marketing Advisory Board Member since 2013 &
Global Lead, FleishmanHillard’s Social & Innovation



Time. It’s our most valuable resource. How we choose to spend it is up to each of us.

But there’s a lot competing for our time… and for our attention. Studies have shown that the average person sees up to 10,000 brand messages a day. And while that frequently-shared factoid claiming that people now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish is certainly debatable, you can bet that as content marketing continues to rise, dealing with information overload will only become more and more challenging for the audiences we’re trying to reach.

For the past few weeks, marketers have been frantically talking about the impact of Facebook announcing they’ll be prioritizing posts from friends and family over content from brands and publishers. But this shouldn’t really come as a surprise. We’ve seen this day coming for years now.

We speculated that organic reach would eventually be zero when Facebook announced it was going public in 2012 and again in 2013 when brands and publishers saw the first big dip in organic reach. In today’s world, paid is no longer just an option for brands on Facebook. And other platforms will soon catch up to speed.

Paid strategies can definitely help ensure your content gets seen by the right audience. But being seen doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone is actually paying attention.

So how can you break through the clutter when there’s so much competition for just a few precious moments of people’s time?

—Read Full Article VIA Fleishman Hillard— 

Meet College of Business International MBA student, Kristina Medvedeva!


Kristina Medvedeva was ready for her solo intercontinental move to St. Louis well before booking a plane ticket in 2014.

She had done her homework. A master’s degree in North American studies, fluency in English and an independent spirit – one cultivated after leaving home at the age of 16 to pursue a bachelor’s degree – primed her for the transition.

But even with a resume full of preparatory experiences, the Russian native says no amount of time or research could have fully readied her for life as an international student in America.

“When you are in a different country, you are out of your comfort zone constantly,” Medvedeva said. “All the time – every single moment – you are out of your comfort zone. It doesn’t matter how comfortable you get, at points there will be situations that will be unusual for you.”

Though by now, the University of Missouri–St. Louis MBA candidate thrives in new and occasionally uncomfortable situations.

— Read More VIA UMSL Daily —

Importance of Taking Business Courses for Students Of Other Majors

In Your Business”, a podcasting series by UMSL Business, continues to feature people, who are experts in their fields, discussing issues the audiences can relate to. In a recent podcast, UMSL Business Interviewed Dr. Carl Hoagland and Mr. Tyler Beffa.

Dr. Hoagland is a former Emerson Electric Company Endowed Professor in Technology and Learning, Director of Technology for the UMSL College of Education and Co-Director of the Bachelor of Educational Studies (BES) program. As for Tyler, he is a BES student at UMSL, who is taking a business course at the College of Business as part of his program.

At the beginning of the interview, Dr. Hoagland explained that the Bachelor of Educational Studies program was originally developed in 2007, but was renewed in 2013 with some modifications. The program is basically aimed at students who want to pursue a career in education, but do not want to work in a traditional classroom setting. The program offers four emphasis areas, such as Youth and Adult Development, Park & Museum Programs, Exercise Sciences and Wellness, and, finally, Early Childhood. The fifth track, Social Entrepreneurship, is currently being developed in collaboration with UMSL’s College of Business Administration.

Being a current BES student, Tyler stated that his choice of UMSL, in general, was based on the affordability of the programs offered at the university. As for the BES degree, Tyler has always wanted to pursue a career in informal education, and the BES program turned out to be a perfect fit for him. Other education programs are traditionally focused on formal teaching, whereas BES helps students to obtain a broader understanding of education and prepares them to work in various agencies: Students acquire different skills applicable in many educational settings, from educating and working with kids, youth and adults, to management and marketing skills and writing grants.

During the interview, Dr. Hoagland stressed the importance of taking business courses for the BES students. He explained that understanding how businesses operate and having some business skills, such as creating a marketing or social media strategy, putting together a small budget, and managing others is essential in the informal ed agency setting, where the majority of the BES graduates work. A business background is beneficial for many graduates, even for those who do not intend to work in the for-profit organizations.

Tyler is currently taking a Social Media Marketing course with professor Dr. Perry Drake. He stressed that even in education all stakeholders such as parents and special education teachers should understand and support the significance of social media in the contemporary society and be able to keep pace with the new technology to embrace its benefits. Tyler stated that the course he is taking aided him in understanding how to build social media strategies as well as how to develop a social media presence for an organization. He further explained that utilizing such platforms as Hootsuite in class helped him to learn how to manage and schedule created and curated content on various social media profiles. Dr. Hoagland, in his turn, justified the benefit of taking a social media marketing course for non-business majors by giving an example of Edison Research that estimated that 81% of the American population has social media platforms, which stresses the need to understand social media.

The interview, in general, was very informative in terms of explaining and justifying the need for various non-business majors to take business courses. Possessing business skills and understanding business processes gives an edge to students of non-business majors while looking for jobs after graduation. Go here to listen to the complete interview.

The Hands Movement On Social Media

By: Isela Sanchez

The hands-focused social media movement is on the rise! Hands have always been a big part of films and other on-screen productions, but recently they have started to play a huge role on social media. Hands are the symbol of artisanal craftsmanship and entrepreneurial zeal. What exactly is zeal you may ask? Zeal is a strong feeling of interest and enthusiasm that makes someone eager or determined to do something.

The number of videos using hands as the “stars of the show” is increasing at large rates. Thus, the trend of using hands as the focus in many cooking videos took off in 2014 with the rise of video sharing on Facebook. “A quarter of video views on Facebook pages of media companies go to these sorts of instructional videos. No faces. No bodies. Just hands,” writes Amanda Hess in her article for New York Times.

This blog originally appeared on UMSL Digital Mindshare. Click here to view the full blog.


Why Marketing Is The Right Career Path For You

By: Afnan Tahir

Many people question whether marketing is a right career path for them to choose as they consider a degree in marketing.

Studying marketing presents various career opportunities that include advertising, public relations, brand management, and market research. A degree in marketing has proved to be essential as it equips students with knowledge that will enable them to contribute excellently to the business world and the development of the community. The marketing department is one of the most critical elements of every company, and students who pursue a marketing degree have career opportunities in corporations from varied fields. Therefore, career choices in marketing are limitless.

This blog originally appeared on UMSL Digital Mindshare. Please click here to read the full blog.

Service Automation and The Robot Age In Business

UMSL Business’s podcasting series “In Your Business” always features interesting people, who are experts in their fields, willing to share their expertise with broader audiences. For the latest podcast UMSL Business interviewed Dr. Mary Lacity to talk about the robot age, service automation, and how these systems impact business processes. This blog originally appeared in UMSL Digital Mindshare, click here to view the full blog.

From UMSL Alum to the Donut Master

By: Jordan DeMars and Dan Klevorn

For the podcasting series “In Your Business”UMSL Business interviewed Jason Bockman – one of the founders, and now the owner of Strange Donuts, who graduated from UMSL. During the interview, Jason talked about his entrepreneur career and how it has led to the creation of his current business.

This blog originally appeared on UMSL Digital Mindshare, click here to view the full blog.

Be Ready For a Digital Disruption

By: TJ Sheffer

In a recent podcast “In Your Business”, UMSL Business talked with Rick Speakerman from Purina, Steve Bauer from FleishmanHillard, and our very own Professor Perry Drake about the disruption caused by modern technologies, how it is affecting, specifically, the field of marketing and communications and why it is imperative that colleges are properly preparing students for the new business world that is emerging ever so quickly.

Digital disruption is defined as the change that occurs when new digital technologies and business models affect the value proposition of existing goods and services. As Dr. Drake mentions in the podcast, many people think of it as something negative because of the word “disruption”, which is in reality not a bad thing at all. To be more precise, it is even beneficial for both, consumers and companies.

The contemporary disruption is good because it keeps the company sharp by developing a new set of competencies and skills to keep up with the changing digital world. The landscape of business has shifted from the way companies communicate with consumers to where the product is sold, such as, for instance, e-commerce. Even if the product or service stays the same, the technology used in its production, promotion and selling may change dramatically.

Rick Speakerman, who has been the Lead of Digital Strategy at Purina for 27 years, states that the largest disruption in his industry is caused by the access to information which consumers have, which in its turn influences purchasing decisions. Steve Bauer, who has 18 years of experience in Social Media Strategy, believes that the digital disruption has made life easier for the consumer’s stand point. He also believes that the biggest disruption comes from the company’s perspective. For companies, the way they market, produce, sell, and interact with customers has fundamentally changed over the last ten years. Therefore, it is vital for these companies to stay ahead of the curve and rebuild from the ground up to keep up with the disruption we are facing.

For those who may be interested in taking courses that can enhance the knowledge of digital disruption and many other topics in digital marketing, UMSL is a great option to consider. Professor Drake is responsible for crafting and teaching courses, such as Digital and Social Media Marketing Strategy and many others.

Click here to listen to the whole interview.