Week 5 Guest Speaker Roundup by Tora Boström

A Conversation with Jessica Gottlieb, Mommy Blogger at JessicaGottlieb.com, and Beth Mansfield, Director of Public Relations for CKE Restaurants, Inc.

By UCLA X425 Student Tora Boström

During our last class session we had the opportunity to hear from guest speakers Jessica Gottlieb (@JessicaGottlieb), Mommy Blogger at JessicaGottlieb.com, and Beth Mansfield (@BethMansfield and @CarlsJr), director of public relations for CKE Restaurants, Inc. From two different points of view we were reminded of the importance of social media.

Jessica Gottlieb writes about topics that can come up during a typical dinner conversation… “if you have cocktails,” she adds quickly. She does paid blogging for all sorts of companies, and writes about their products (e.g., cars) as part of the paid campaign. She also makes videos to help spread the message, and posts them on her own YouTube channel.

Brands come to her because of her value, which is based on her traffic and search optimization. Her resume on Google search is high up on the list. That is her “media package.” It is important for Jessica to work only on campaigns that she can be proud of, with good values that respect women.

Jessica provided some meaningful advice for building an audience if you are starting a blog;

  • Know your audience before you start blogging.
  • Write posts that are short (on average 200 words), well constructed and keyword dense.
  • Make sure your pages download quickly.
  • Register your domain for at least three years.
  • Write for Google and structure your content in the way that people look for information.
  • Make the format easy to navigate and visually pleasing.
  • Submit guest posts on other blogs in order to get exposure and inbound links

Beth Mansfield told us how Carl’s Jr optimizes its social media without a big budget through relationships with bloggers and targeted press outreach. She works with about 200 bloggers who mostly target young guys who are hungry.

While the Carl’s Jr. online persona targets young males, Beth tells us that the company is always honest about who manages its social media accounts. Their audience on Facebook is looking for coupons for free and discounted food. On Twitter, they are more interested in fun and comedic content. Twitter also empowers consumers to get their opinions heard, which can sometimes be focused on bad experiences with the brand.

Beth works with a guest services team that answers tweets from dissatisfied customers. Whether or not the company responds to such tweets depends on the nature of the complaint and the person behind it. If the person has many followers, there’s a greater chance the company will answer. In response to customers who are more positive, Beth and her team post retweets and sometimes award prizes — usually free burgers. They believe that’s a good way of engaging target.

I definitely feel engaged after having some free coupons!

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