Using Twitter for Customer Service

By: Megan Hamilton
When most people think of how they use Twitter I’m sure it’s just an app to get out your aggression over the traffic you’ve been stuck in for hours or vigorously using every single character you have for celebrating a team’s win, or maybe even for shouting out a happy birthday to your best friend? I’ll tell you how I use Twitter; it’s a way to pass time. Continue reading “Using Twitter for Customer Service”

Tips for Students with a Passion for Social Media

By: Amy Cabanas, Matteo Fialdini, Kathrin Hanke, Andrew McClure and Jacqueline Williams
1Sarah Dalton works as both a Marketing professor at UMSL, where she graduated with her MBA in digital marketing, as well as in the marketing field. She describes herself as organized and creative, and is an active user across social media platforms, as well as, a blogger on her personal blog
When Sarah found out about the opening for a social media professor, she took the opportunity to spread her passion about social media to UMSL students. Sarah is excited to be contributing to the UMSL Digital Marketing Conference which will be held on April 21, 2016. We caught up with Sarah to ask her about her career, her love for social media, and her thoughts on St. Louis’ growing digital marketing scene.
Check out the interview below!
1. Do you feel UMSL’s digital marketing MBA program helped in preparation for your current job and teaching?
I don’t think I would be anywhere without my Digital Marketing Certificate. Those classes really took me to another level. When I went to school we didn’t have those classes in undergrad. So, they really rounded out my marketing education and taught me things like blogging, digital marketing, digital strategies, measurement of digital media and of course more social media. Without those subjects I don’t think I would be where I am today.
2. Where do you see St. Louis going in the digital marketing scene, and how does UMSL fit into that?
We are in the Midwest so we might not always be in all the trends like they are on the east and west coast, but I think we are definitely getting much closer. With all the great people around, it’s so easy to collaborate on ideas and with local agencies. I see the digital scene getting stronger and stronger in St. Louis, and UMSL could not be doing any better. You don’t see these kinds of classes at other schools. As UMSL continues to grow these programs and add classes, the UMSL digital marketing students will continue to be a step ahead!
3. You have your own blog, Do you think having a personal blog is essential for social and digital marketers?
Yes, I think a blog is a great way to spread the word about what you think about social. Even if you don’t necessarily know what to say, you could talk about things you see other people do, provide recaps, or blog about guest speakers. It’s a great place to showcase your writing style and what you care about in social media. If you are too afraid to start a blog or don’t think you have the time to maintain it, you can always publish on LinkedIn Pulse.
Sarah also shared some other interesting thoughts and advice with us marketing students. “Having your own blog really shows companies that you know how to build a WordPress site, that you understand content, and that you have written a few blogs. It’s just a really easy way to showcase yourself,” Sarah said.
Sarah also often references her own marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk, author of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook – “Gary started from the bottom and built up his social media enterprise into what it is today,” said Sarah.
Lastly, Sarah highly recommends marketing students get involved with the AMA St. Louis-The American Marketing Association, and attend the UMSL Digital Marketing conference on April 21, 2016. “MDMC16 will be a full day event of all things digital marketing. People come in from all over the country to speak to us. It’s a better value than any other conference I can think of,” she said. “And it is FREE for UMSL students (but unfortunately now sold out)!”
Follow Sarah on Twitter: Sdaltonstl

#STL Thought Leader Brianna Smith Talks All Things Digital Media

By: Nicole Atencio, Minji Choi, Je Ewing, Chase Kohler, & Tiara Wilkerson
2On April 21st, the Midwest’s largest digital marketing conference will be held at Union Station in St. Louis. On our journey to discover how marketing has shaped this community we were introduced to Brianna Smith, a thought leader in the digital marketing industry and a local supporter of UMSL. She is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the 2016 Midwest Digital Marketing Conference. Continue reading “#STL Thought Leader Brianna Smith Talks All Things Digital Media”

Top March Digital Marketing Events in STL

By: Nicole Atencio, Minji Choi, Je Ewing, Chase Kohler and Tira Wilkerson
The month of March is jammed packed with digital marketing events happening in the St. Louis area. We found the five must attend events that will expand, educate, and entertain you in all things digital marketing. Get ready to mark your calendars!
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Educational Panel: Marriage of Creative & Media
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
8:30am – 10:30am
314 Digital presents an education panel where industry leaders discuss the best practices regarding the facilitation of conversations and the relationship between the Creative and Media departments. The event includes a complimentary breakfast and it is free to the public.
Click here to register for the event ->>

Facebook Ads Strategy Workshop

Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Blank Page Marketing presents a digital marketing workshop where business minded individuals will learn Facebook ad strategies and how to utilize Facebook ad tools to drive successes toward your business goals.
You can RSVP here ->>
Social Media on TAP
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
5:30pm – 7:30pm
The Social Media Club St. Louis hosts a monthly meetup featuring local speakers. Join the Social Media Club this month to hear Pulitzer Prize winning photographer, David Carson, speak on how one photographer got pulled into the biggest stories of the year.
You can register for the event here ->>
What is Your Brand Saying? One Day Brand Intensive Workshop
Saturday, March 26, 2016
9:00am – 4:00pm
Response! Targeted Marketing presents a brand intensive workshop that will teach entrepreneurs key elements about the power of branding through social media. Small business experts Matthew Ricketts and Barry Coziahr host the event, and answer questions to grow your business.
You can purchase tickets here ->>

Power of Personal Branding With Angela LaRocca and SMCSTL

social media club st. louis

By: Katy Todd

Social Media Club of St. LouisAngela LaRocca featured UMSL Digital Advisory Board member and Brand Manager of Unidev Angela LaRocca as their February speaker. IT was a packed house at Llewellyn’s Pub in Webster Groves, which hosted this month’s event. As a crowd of social media enthusiasts packed the room, Angela spoke about her path to success and how social media has advanced her career. Continue reading “Power of Personal Branding With Angela LaRocca and SMCSTL”

Early Bird Registration Now Open for UMSL Digital 2016 Conference

midwest digital marketing conference
We’re thrilled to announce that registration is now open for this year’s State of Digital Media Marketing Conference, a production of the University of Missouri – St. Louis, College of Business. This coming April 21, 2016 marks our 4th year and we are going to be bigger and better than ever. Here are just a few of the highlights: Continue reading “Early Bird Registration Now Open for UMSL Digital 2016 Conference”

Instagram: Then and Now

On October 6, 2010, co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger released a free mobile app to the world known as, Instagram. The two developed the simple application in San Francisco, California; naming the app after the combination of words “Instant Picture” and “Telegram.” Quickly gaining traction, the app gathered enough attention to accrue one-million users by December 2010, and ten-million users by September 2011. During the same year Instagram was awarded, “iPhone App of the Year.”
For nearly two years since its inception, Instagram remained an application available exclusively to the iPhone. In April 2012, Instagram made a huge move allowing people who owned Android phones to now download one of the most popular mobile applications in the world. With this flood of new users and surge in popularity, Facebook decided to seize the moment and purchase Instagram for one-billion dollars: $300 million of it was in cash, and the rest was invested in Facebook’s stock.
After Facebook’s hefty investment, Instagram continued to explode in popularity. By integrating new features into their still-photo dominant system – the application kept evolving through the introduction of Instagram Videos, as well as the ability to now view Instagram media from the web. These simple yet groundbreaking additions to the app pushed the company to have 150 million users by the year 2013 – to now having doubled that with 300 million active users as of August 2015.
As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” For some, a simple post of a picture is all the person needs to convey the exact message they are trying to send to their followers. With other forms of popular social media such as Twitter and Facebook; Instagram separates themselves from the pack by focusing their attention on making photos the main form of communication among their users. Through the use of filters and simple yet very clever photo editing tools accessible right from the application; the user can make their picture look as if a professional photographer took it and edited it.
Many celebrities, as well as companies – make full use of Instagram’s large following by advertising their products and themselves to reach the masses much more effectively. Celebrities who have large followings on Instagram include, Taylor Swift (the most with 48 million followers), all of the Kardashians (Kim has 47 million – Khloe has 32 million), soccer stars Neymar and Christiano Ronaldo with 32 million and 31 million respectively, as well as many more who have well over 10-20 million followers a piece.
These staggering numbers obviously mean that these people have a lot of social influence when it comes to their followers. Companies of course then look to these people to help promote their company or brand whenever their celebrity has the opportunity to take a quick selfie and write a caption about it.
One celebrity who does a very good job at promoting himself as well as other ventures is, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Becoming most popular in his early days as a professional wrestler in the WWE, ‘The Rock has since gained even more popularity by staring in many action films such as, “The Fast and Furious” franchise; as well as “San Andreas”, and “Hercules.” With 28 million followers on Instagram, ‘The Rock’ has one of the largest influences when it comes to the app. Sharing pictures of his everyday life, as well as hilarious videos of him on set or working out – ‘The Rock’ makes sure to make his presence known in the Instagram community, and many companies take note. He recently announced that he partnered up with Ford motor company as their official Spokesman of Service. This announcement of course came through the use of Instagram by using a picture of him standing, arms crossed, with the Ford logo floating beside him. Simple posts like these influence the minds of thousands of followers who happen to take a glance as they scroll through their ‘feed.’
Companies not only make sure to post through the use of their sponsored celebrities, but also make sure to post pictures on their own Instagram accounts. Many major companies that make products for consumers now-a-days have their own official accounts, keeping their potential buyers up to date with the latest clothing, gadgets, and services that they are willing to exchange.

Companies such as Nike and Victoria’s Secret (23 million and 22 million followers respectively) make sure to constantly flood their followers’ feed with new and upcoming products that can be purchased on their website; if not the store. Accounts such as announce product deals that can be viewed first from Instagram.
It is through these simple pictures and captions that celebrities and organizations alike hold a very large influence on society. By tracking how many likes a picture gets and understanding who the target audience is, companies can position themselves to appeal more to followers who will in turn, hopefully, become customers.

Angela LaRocca Discusses UMSL Digital and Importance of Social Media Marketing

 By: Kelly Kunzel, Mary Hoffmann, Annie Valli, Justin Zieg
We sat down with local celebrity and UMSL Digital Personality, Angela LaRocca, an UMSL Digital Advisory Board member, to speak about UMSL Digital and the importance of social media marketing. In speaking with Angela about her role and the importance of social media marketing, it was hard to ignore the passion in her eyes upon the first question about her involvement. Though her various responsibilities with UMSL Digital, she spends a lot of time on camera based on her experience as an actress.  Aside from her role as a board member on UMSL Digital, she is also a Brand Manager at Unidev.
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What is UMSL Digital?
LaRocca “has a lot to offer” and there are so many ways to get involved. It is not only for students, but UMSL does an amazing job at involving staff and the community to bring St. Louis together. Videos are something LaRocca favors on the UMSL Digital blog due to her rigorous experience as an actress in several short films. The UMSL Digital blog also supplies various online blogs discussing anything from social media readiness to current events in Ferguson. There is something for everyone on UMSL Digital and so many ways to get involved.
Why should I care about Social Media Marketing?
Social media isn’t just for sharing photos with your friends. Business thrive online and social can be the best place to spread brand awareness. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are great because it’s so easy to share content from person to person. Gone are the days of cold calling and newspaper ads. Businesses can spread the word online just with the click of a button and cut costs while doing so.
LaRocca says in the future, brands should not only stay relevant, but stay ahead. Don’t just discuss what’s current, but make sure to be ready for what lies ahead in the future. Start your presence online early to be able to best “define yourself”. Not only does this apply to company brand management but also your personal brand.
This was said best by Angela, “know who you are before others decide for you.”

Become Friends with Facebook

ThumbFinal_4.9.15By: Ricky Cheers, Lingru Kong, Lyndsey McKinney, Akeeva Pork
Facebook was launched (it was originally called thefacebook) on February 4th, 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and fellow Harvard students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. While the social media platform was initially only for Harvard students, it expanded to include other schools in the Boston area, Stanford and all other Ivy League schools. After this, it was so successful that it became available to all college students in the United States and Canada. However, since 2006, anyone 13 and over is able to have an account (unless prohibited by state and local laws). Since its humble beginnings, Facebook has grown into the one social media site that everyone AND their mother utilizes. In 2012, Facebook Inc. held its initial public offering and began selling public stock, solidifying its status as both a legitimate business and a dominant social networking site. The platform only continues to grow, as it also acquired both the photo-sharing site Instagram and messaging service Whatsapp.
For those who are not familiar with this social media giant, Facebook functions include, but are not limited to, allowing a person to add other users as “friends”, sending messages, posting status updates and photos, sharing videos, creating groups and receiving notifications when “friends” update their profiles. As of August 2015, Facebook has over 1.18 billion monthly active users, a figure that represents great opportunity for marketers everywhere.
There are a plethora of opportunities available for brands to advertise and engage on Facebook. A brand can increase online and local sales by engaging with people on their computers and smartphones, creating targeted ads to reach a specific audience (segment by gender, age, location, interests), boosting posts to reach more people (for a fee), and reconnecting with individuals who have visited its website in the past with a service like Custom Audiences. Businesses can upload customer contact information (email, phone number) and these customers will be sent an ad (if they are registered Facebook users). Additionally, a brand could reach people similar to its current audience with Lookalike Audiences or remarket to its website visitors and send a Facebook ad to those who have visited its website before. Conversion tracking is also a great way to track customer actions and increase online and local sales. With this tool, an organization is able to see if someone clicked on an ad from Facebook and went to the brand website to make a purchase, register, etc. Local Awareness Ads are yet another Facebook device that can boost sales exponentially. These enable a brand to select certain locations, ages, and genders in order to successfully reach potential customers.
Additionally, Facebook is great for promoting an App. Brands have the ability to reach audiences based on age, gender, and devices. More specifically, a brand has the ability to promote app installs and engagement. For example, when individuals click the app ad on Facebook, they will be sent directly to the app store. Additionally, Facebook can aid a brand in reaching people who already have the app installed. These individuals can be sent to a specific part of the app with a click on the Facebook ad (ex: being sent directly to the online store in the app).
Facebook is also excellent for building brand awareness. Not only are there a great deal of users on this platform, it also allows a brand to tell it’s story with engaging video and photos that will surely help it stand out and connect with its audience. Page Insights is also an excellent tool, as it allows brands to improve the way they market to and reach people who like their pages by showing how many likes they have and the amount of new likes, how many people saw their page and their posts and how many people clicked, liked, commented, or shared their pages.
Response rates to customers that engage the business on Facebook
-Telecom – 60.4%
-Airlines – 55.0 %
-Finance – 46.4%
-Retail – 43.6%
-Fashion – 41.5%
-Electronics – 24.9%
-Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) – 18.8%
-Automotive – 17.0%
-Alcohol – 5.2%
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Media – 4.9%
Case Study: Pura Vida
Pura Vida, an artisan bracelet retailer, utilized Facebook to create brand loyalty (and awareness) and increase sales. The brand partnered with marketing firm Sum Digital to retarget prior visitors with ads for recently viewed products from its website and to cultivate advertisements targeted toward Lookalike Audiences in order to attract new customers. These efforts proved to be an immense success, as the brand’s amount of online orders quadrupled over just two months, it reached a seventy percent increase in conversion rate and it managed to achieve a forty percent lower cost per acquisition.
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