Week 4 Guest Speaker Roundup – by Christine Morente

A Conversation with Jessica Gottlieb & Stephanie Michaels

By UCLA X425 Student Christine Morente

Those attempting to become social media influencers should take these two key messages to heart: First, attend events, and always engage and reach out to your readers/followers. Second, be honest and never break their trust.

This excellent advice came from mommy blogger Jessica Gottlieb (@JessicaGottlieb) and Stefanie Michaels (@adventuregirl), a self-described techno-geek who created and writes www.adventuregirl.com.

Although the two clearly have different approaches to social media — Gottlieb often tweets sponsored content, while Michaels opts not to — both have strengthened their brand via their website/blog, Twitter and Facebook pages and YouTube channel.

For example, Michaels, the “go-to girl for everything travel,” has nearly 1.5 million followers with a true reach of 450,000, according to klout.

And here’s why. “I’m always engaging, I’m always following and commenting on posts,” Michaels said recently at UCLA x425. “It’s hard to keep people engaged. (If you don’t) you lose them.”

However, she cautioned that just because someone has a lot of followers doesn’t mean he or she has clout, or social influence. Michaels called out Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) who has nearly six million followers and 6,318 tweets, but only had 47,621 impressions. She said that’s because there is no real engagement on his part.

Meanwhile, Gottlieb said disclosure is best when tweeting sponsored content. The blogger became famous for leading an online movement against Motrin and its babywearing ad campaign in 2008. She believes keeping her tweets “honest” is important. For her sponsored content, she either adds an #ad at the end, or write that she has a financial relationship with a company. Gottlieb suggested bloggers and tweeters interested in monetizing their content look at cmp.ly for disclosures.

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