Week 2: A Conversation with Guest Speakers Corianda Dimes and Andy Sternberg

Margaret DeSantis Scalamandre

Margaret DeSantis Scalamandre

By UCLA X425 Student Margaret DeSantis Scalamandre

Sound Advice and Helpful Sites on Tuesday Night

First, a little bit about me. I’ve written, produced and directed many direct response campaigns (otherwise known as infomercials). I’m enrolled in #uclax425 because the direct response business is originating sales exponentially through social media. To stay relevant I need to fully understand and implement a social media campaign. I’ve also created two products that I intend to launch through social media before the end of summer.

With that said, here is my take on last Tuesday night’s lecture.

Corianda Dimes

Corianda Dimes

The guest speakers were Corianda Dimes (@corianda) – Digital Manager at Golin Harris, and Andy Sternberg (@andysternberg) – social media / interactive content producer.

Instructor Erik Deutsch kicked off the discussion by telling the class that Corianda and Andy were going to share their tricks and tactics for building social media followers. Yes! The Holy Grail of social media was about to be revealed. I was ready, pen in hand, to take copious notes.

And then this is where I was going to make a few snarky comments about the discussion that followed. At first blush it was all over the place. But after reviewing my notes I realize that the discussion was extremely helpful, covering several important points and  helpful websites.

At lightning speed – Corianda rattled off these tidbits.
“Understand your audience!”
“Match the demographic to the platform!”
“Define your business goals!”
“Calendar your posts!”
“Research whom Influencers have added to their lists!”
“Understand Search Engine Optimization!”

Got it, will do.

Andy Sternberg

Andy Sternberg

Corianda and Andy also mentioned many, many, many websites that either follow social media trends, analyze the effectiveness of a particular social media effort or help create content. Some of these tools seem very helpful, and almost all are free. Below is a list of just some of the sites that were mentioned and that I believe I will actually use. Please keep in mind I am not a professional, but then again (according to Corianda) no one is.

  1. Wefollow.com – I love this site! Wefollow.com allows you to research prominent people in a particular field. It’s super easy to use and understand, and it’s free. In my opinion, it’s the best site mentioned all night to find influencers.
  2. Klout.com – Just like wefollow.com, Klout.com researches prominent people and gives them a score based on their level of influence. I didn’t like that the site forces you to register through Twitter or Facebook before you can explore. Klout.com is not as easy to use as wefollow.com, but it’s certainly helpful.
  3. Topsy.com is an analytics site that researches what’s trending on Twitter. It’s super easy to use and understand, and it’s free.
  4. Tweetreach.com is very similar to Topsy.com, but with more in-depth analytic. It’s also not free. Monthly subscriptions start at $84.
  5. Storify.com is a combination social media platform and content creator. You can easily create a story from resources available on the web, and then publish that story on storify.com’s website. Storify.com will automatically post a link on your Twitter, Facebook, etc. accounts. The interface is not easy to pick up, but I think with a deeper dive, storify.com can be very helpful for creating content. And it’s free!
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