Week 2 Guest Speaker Roundup – by Jennifer Wong

A Conversation with Serena Ehrlich, Executive Director, Attention

By UCLA X425 Student Jennifer Wong

On week two of the Best Practices in Social Media Class, the energetic Serena Ehrlich (@Serena) visited the class for an in depth discussion about free resources to help us organize and aggregate the massive amount of information from social media.

There is an incredible amount of information being shared among users on the Internet these days, especially with the rise of social media and the age of information sharing. It has become nearly impossible to digest, shift through or respond to the information we’re presented with.

Serena was one of the first PR professionals to delve into Social Media and figure out how to use it for PR purposes. She has therefore learned all the ins and outs for how to use Social Media in an effective manner. Serena differentiates between the older and known method of using social media, for blogger outreach, and a newer method of user engagement and awareness via app building.

Serena gave the class several useful tips and tools to help us start engaging with users. The most important tip for creating good content that will make the user engage is to present people with information in a multitude of ways. Each person has his or her own preference for content consumption, so providing content in multiple forms including photographs, text and video will cover a wide range of users.

By creating content in these different ways and placing it online on sites such as Twitter and Facebook, interested users can start circling the content because everyone wants to be at the forefront of important news. Also by supporting the content with hashtags, the content can be easily found and searched on Twitter.

She also taught us that we don’t have to be the sole generator of content for our organization. Social media allows for us to quickly find out what people are writing about a company, product or event. There are tools like Storify that aid in aggregating and compiling information that can be found on social media sites like Twitter. Such tools help you generate stories without having to produce the content, while still giving credit to all those who have generated content.

Serena also told us about the most important piece of information when it comes to social media: aggregation and sharing. Everyone wants to be a news hound with the latest information. So by aggregating and sharing their content, you start to engage with users, and thus achieve the end goal for the social media PR professional.

Thank you again to Serena for joining the class last Tuesday evening and sharing so many useful tools and tips!

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