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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Social Media – 3 Free Tools to Grow Your Business- Part 1

As I promised last week, here are my comments about Alan Brusky's presentation about social media. Alan is the Founder and Creative Director of Fireleaf Design and an excellent speaker on social media and more. Please follow him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and on Flickr because you can learn more from this dude who is also a brilliant photographer!

The power of social media is unreal. Today social media is part of communication and institutions need to integrate new communication tools into their marketing and recruitment strategy along with online media (web presence through promotional videos/news stories on the institution’s website) and traditional media (including newspapers, TV and radio, direct mailing). The goal is to network, interact, collaborate, and attract a global audience, including a technologically sophisticated audience who uses social media. I noticed most institutions, including USF employ social media tools for marketing and recruitment. USF is also present on iTunesU with a lot of free educational podcasts, including the podcast I created, Multimedia Tips , a podcast pn technology and media, USF students and professors, and local photogs who use technology and media effectively in communication.

Unlike the one way communication in traditional media, social media means interactive communication through multiple channels. The key is to keep interacting, collaborating and networking with other people. Social media if fast and cheap, and it pays off if messages are clear, consistent, and engaging.
This is the basic model some companies are implementing to generate most of their business through social media. Successful businesses are that relies on online advertising and Creativelive. This last one is an online education platform that relies heavily on social media to spread the word about their courses in photography, video and web design. The best photographers and videographers offer workshops and courses online. Workshops are free if the audience watches them online live because the organizers realized the power of tweets. A local example is Rafael Concepcion (RC) from the Kelby Media Group who sold his last book in a couple of days on Amazon thanks to the retweets on Twitter. RC uses his audience on Twitter (he has about 6,300 followers) to branch out to his other businesses (books and workshops). In addition, Columbia Journalism School has built on social media and has created social media courses and workshops. The dean of student affairs at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, Sree Sreenivasan’s free panels on new media on BlogTalkRadio circulate the name of this institution to a global audience and impact student recruitment.

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