Guest post by Yin W
I have had the opportunity to work with Dr. Ward aka DR4WARD as a research assistant at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University for the Spring 2013 semester. We have been working together on a large project to create curated digital and social media content and
resources. Here is a link to the curated resources: @DR4WARD Curated Marketing, Digital, & Social Media Resources: Infographics, Slideshows, Flowcharts, Video, Studies, Etc. Continuing last year’s project, the goal is to create a structured interactive social media platform for curated content of higher education so that students, colleagues, alumni, staff and professionals can find and share digital and social media resources more easily for teaching, research, and learning. Particularly this year, we are expanding our project by sharing our resources with more college students and professionals in China. We are exploring how well can Chinese students accept social media as a social learning platform.
Throughout my RA session this semester, I have published over 360 blog posts for curated digital and social media resources on the DR4WARD blog to learn and practice social media marketing skills. During the process of blog posting I also learned different information demands from audiences of different fields and backgrounds. I especially practiced cross-cultural communication skills via curating information about the U.S. and sharing on Chinese social media platforms and vice versa. After my attempts and contributions, Chinese social learners are increasingly interested in global marketing, and US social
learners are getting more interested to learn about Chinese market. The DR4WARD blog contains up-to-date content on social media, marketing, advertising, PR, future/digital trends, design, and higher education conditions in different countries and cultural background. The major formats of the curated content include infographic, slideshow, chart and video. These visualized formats can effectively attract attention and interest from audiences of different fields and cultural background.
I have been exploring how to expand the project in China since 2012 fall. We finally decided to launch Renren and Sina Weibo personal profiles starting this year. Renren, the equivalent social media platform of Facebook in China, is popular among Chinese college students and young professionals. Recently many celebrities have launched their professional profiles on Renren, too. The Renren account, named 威廉沃德 (the Chinese translation of William Ward), was launched in February and have contained 84 posts that link to the DR4WARD blog. The goal is to attract interests of college students and social learners in China in global marketing and advanced social media information. We are also hoping to see that the Renren account can direct more traffic to the DR4WARD blog. By the end of April 2013, the Renren account has gained 63 page views and 41 connections to Chinese students who are interested in social learning and global marketing. The Renren posts contain multiple formats including title of blogs, images (charts or infographics), videos and hyperlink to the DR4WARD blog. It is visualized and can direct to the blog easily.
Sina Weibo, the equivalent social platform of Twitter, has more audiences of different professional fields and demographic groups. Many professionals of IT, marketing, advertising, healthcare, higher education are active on Sina Weibo and they are interested to learn advanced and fresh knowledge and information in digital field. Our goal of launching Sina Weibo is to gain more audiences of different areas that might be interested in our curated digital media content and thus direct more traffic to the DR4WARD blog. The Sina Weibo account, DR4WARD, was launched in mid April and has shared 14 posts of the DR4WARD blog and gained 11+ followers. The Sina Weibo posts contain multiple formats including title of blogs, images (infographics, charts and videos) shortened hyperlink to the DR4WARD blog. Similar as Twitter (and includes even more content), it is well visualized and can direct to the blog easily.
Hootsuite is an important tool for cross-cultural digital communications. Right now there are already Hootsuite applications for Renren and Sina Weibo. As the functions are displayed in English, it is very convenient for international users to manage a Renren or Sina Weibo account via Hootsuite. Similar as posting on Twitter and Facebook, Hootsuite allows shortened links and uploading images to post on Renren and Sina Weibo.
I have learned how to use social media monitoring resources using advanced tools on Twitter, Pinterest and G+. As the Google search result is the top 1 place where the majority of people find information and resources, our search engine optimization (SEO) techniques are very important. We meta-tag each blog post and curate the posts according to category and keywords. We also share the content on many social networks including Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Facebook.
Continuing the Pinterest project last year, I have pinned over 600 posts
on Pinterest. Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that allows you to share and curate things you find on the web. For DR4WARD’s purpose, we are using it to curate the valuable content from the blog. The boards allow us to share content with our audience while driving traffic to the DR4WARD blog and encouraging engagement. Users can choose to follow a single pin board of their own interests instead of following everything on Pinterest. Since the beginning of 2013, with my efforts, DR4WARD's Pinterest account has gained 600+ followers and helped driven a large amount of traffic to the DR4WARD blog.
With the successful practices with social media tools such as Pinterest, SEO skills and content marketing, by the end of the semester the DR4WARD blog has gained 375,775 lifetime pageviews and over 57,358 pageviews in the last 120 days.
Stay tuned for more progress next semester!
Guest post by Yin W