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SVTweetup Takeaways


Content consistency was the key theme (and sweet music to my ears) at last night’s Silicon Valley Tweetup at the Women’s Club of Palo Alto. 

Hosted by One Medical Group, the panel discussion included Jennifer Leggio (Sourcefire, Forbes), Lasandra Brill (Cisco Systems), Ted Sapountzis (SAP) and Michael Brito (Edelman). Ideals were discussed, arguments were made, but one theme remained the same: relevant, non-gimmick content is key in social (business).

1. Consistency and Repetition. Jennifer Leggio consistently repeated in our minds throughout the night. The Sourcefire firecracker said she doesn’t have marketing people write on the blog, supporting her ideals that content should not be a direct promotional tool and blogging just for SEO’s sake is stupid.

2. Behavioral Change. Edelman Digital’s Michael Brito (my former social media professor, holla!) said he thinks the biggest push must be made internally with behavioral change being the priority when it comes to a consistent voice in content. It’s something Cisco’s Lasandra Brill knows a thing or two about managing several hundred channels and departments in a robust corporate business. Brito added an example of Barack Obama’s “Change” message from the last election and how this year’s election lacks a clear message for either party.

3. Quality, not quantity. Commenting on the current state of social in business, SAP’s Ted Sapountzis said that businesses are understanding this content concept more today but that we still have a ways to go. “People are asking better questions and not just paying attention to vanity metrics.” Sapountzis concluded the panel saying “Good content is the only good way to grow a community.”

Formula: content – marketing + consistent voice = quality community growth.

Props to this panel for preaching valuable points on this concept, now let’s go make some good content.


The Choir


Obsessed With Innovation

VentureBeat writers are obsessed with innovation. Healthy or not, it’s an obsession that rings relevant to the heart of the San Francisco and at bay with tech’s finest. How could we at SJSU’s Mag Club not visit?

Conceived by San Jose Mercury News reporter Matt Marshall, VentureBeat covers the tech, people and money that innovate our lives. On the forefront of the tech news cycle, Venturebeat’s tech-savvy journalists allowed us SJSU media students to join the obsessive conversation in their small, humble offices where we had the pleasure of speaking with Executive Editor Dylan Tweney and Senior Editor Heather Kelly .

An unlikely sight in tech, VB is comprised mostly of women writers and editors. Geek-chic staffers Heather Kelly and writer Jolie O’ Dell coined the term “Pink-collared”  when referring to the small staff. On the ball, VentureBeat’s Jennifer Van Grove was responsible for revealing Twitter’s secret offer for Instagram that made Facebook pay $1B.

Editors make a conscience effort  to make shareable headlines that will attract clicks. Following a story posting, they retreat headlines to make it twitter and google search-friendly. For instance, they will make a headline read “Facebook IPO Zuckerberg” as opposed to “Zuckerberg Earns Facebook’s IPO On A Grand Scale.” While it may seem awkward, it’s definitely an effective sneak tactic. But more than SEO, Tweney advocates readability as a must-have. “Readability always trumps SEO. You can’t go wrong with read-friendly material.”

As far as community management, Tweney admits they need more engagement. But, close-fetched dreams aside, the team is in good direction with eventual hopes of breaking into more lifestyle and entertainment-based content. “I’d like to show how we live better with technology.” And, I’d say they have a good chance since seeing exploding responses from stories such as SNL’s hilarious club-hopping character Stefon who now has a Yelp account. While it’s not hard news, the staff’s quirky writing voices make for a promising broader obsessing-spectrum.
Big thanks to the VentureBeat team for hosting us!

VB Quick Stats (Averages):

  • Staff of 20
  • 12-hour news day
  • 40 stories a day
  • 4 or 5 stories a person
  • Postings till about 7 or 8 p.m.

 Tweney’s advice for young, prospective obsessors:

  • Be aware that first impressions are important when communicating through initial emails.
  • Show reporting experience. Working on a school newspaper is a plus.
  • Don’t include too many links of your work, but just use between three and five of your most relevant work.
  • Always following up.
  • Show you can write things fast. “I push people really hard at first to gage what they can do best. I like timing people” Tweney says.


A Social Business Plan for Tory Burch Brand & Foundation

In this weeks Social Media class, us students presented our semester-long social business plans for the brand of choice. Seeing a deficit in fashion designer Tory Burch’s social business plan, our group chose to take on the challenge of improving her presence as well as that of her foundation The Tory Burch Foundation. With measurements and content, we built this model utilizing the various social business practices from that of the class and professor Michael Brito. Hope you enjoy viewing it as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Foot in door? Check.

I, like many, will be exiting my college institution in just a few short weeks and hope to hit the ground running toward this whole “being an adult” thing. Luckily, our social media class had a virtual visit from Spredfast Social Media Director @Jordanv. She hit some key points for the next generation of new-grads on getting into this simple gone robust industry.


Getting Your Foot in the Door:
1.  Follow favorite brands. Observe what they are doing well or what they could improve.
2.  Embrace cool data. Try to find one new quality a month.
3.  Use the platforms you have. Nothing’s worse than a vacant WordPress or outdated posts.
4.  Show that you have an opinion. Blog about the latest trends and topics of whatever industry you are pursuing and express your opinion.
5.  Find  a community. Join clubs or associations to network and learn more. Get connected to relevant groups on LinkedIn.
6.  Embrace the “social” in social media. Reach out to those in your channels, even if you don’t know them.
7.  Be a jack of all trades. It is great to specialize in a particular Employers are now expecting people to be able to write, market and have technical knowledge.
8.  Intern, intern, intern! And take initiative in whatever tasks you’re assigned to do.
Interview Questions to expect for a job in social biz:
1. What’s working in social business?
2.  What could you do to make social business better?
3.  What are your favorite brands using social media and why?
4.  In social media marketing, what’s successful, declining and of importance?
Answering these questions will show that you are paying attention to what’s going on in the world and have an opinion!


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