Thursday, May 21, 2015

Results of Community Based Team Projects

by Asilah Patterson & Marcos Camarillo


This semester our group focused on a social media marketing campaign for Darcy Lear who is a Spanish Lecturer at the prestigious University of Chicago. Here business, offers a variety of services including academics (writing coach for PhD candidates), job/career transitions (resume critiquing and interview preparation), and on campus workshops (interview preparations, professional school applications, and job search documents).

In a time like now when social media is extremely popular, we knew that we needed to utilize the most commonly used outlets in order to ensure that Darcy’s services would be publicized to the fullest. One major source that we utilized was Darcy's Twitter page, which was very beneficial to our project. Twitter allowed Darcy to be connected to other professionals that offered similar services while simultaneously promoting her own. Marcos and I were also aware of the “peak” hours of Twitter (which can be classified as the time of day where individuals are the most active on the website) and we recognized that Darcy needed to produce tweets during this time. We took into consideration the busy schedule of Darcy and decided to use a database called Hootsuite which gave Darcy the ability to plan her tweets from days to even weeks ahead. The database would automatically post her tweets which enabled her to market her services without the constant stress physically tweeting every three hours.

One important aspect of Spanish 332 that we also decided to use was the “hashtag”. In class, Professor Abbott spoke about the importance of the hashtag and how it has the ability to expose a smaller business to a broader audience. What is so fascinating about this is that it is completely free of charge. We were able to promote Darcy’s services faster and more efficiently.

In total, this campaign was very successful. Darcy has increased her Twitter followers and has received some clientele from this project. Although her numbers did not increase drastically, we are very content with our results. It takes time to build a strong foundation for a social media marketing campaign.

So what?

One thing that we have definitely learned from this experience is the importance of time management. In order for a social media marketing campaign to be successful one must constantly be engaged on various outlets of social media. We are full aware that life can be very busy so utilizing databases like Hootsuite, or SocialOomph will make marketing less time consuming.

We also recognized the importance of having multiple accounts on different platforms. During our project, Marcos and I completely forgot about our Facebook clientele and this is problematic because we could have potentially lost clients. By not staying actively engaged on both websites, we put our Facebook campaign at risk. We are now fully aware of how beneficial it is to pay close attention to multiple outlets of marketing.

In short, Marcos and I learned that there are easier ways to produce desired results. We also learned that it is imperative to be familiar with new technology so that it is easier to maneuver throughout the databases (Twitter, Facebook, Hootsuit, SocialOomph, etc.). As technology continues to evolve, I am certain that newer resources will be created for small business owners like Darcy Lear.

Now what?

With the videos and tweets we helped Darcy compose, we are also reaching out to a wide variety of people. The videos are posted on YouTube offering interview skills techniques in bothSpanish and English. Since YouTube is so widely used, the chance to reach out and affect others outside of the Champaign-Urbana community dramatically increases. A lot of the time, person who are looking for jobs aren't sure of how to appropriately respond to a lot of the questions. With help from such an academic professional, like Darcy, were able to best assist those needing guidance for their interview processes. Working with social media and Darcy has helped us learn a lot about the "twittersphere" and the plethora of people we actually reach out to. Even if we're not able to personally help these people, they can use any of the other videos Darcy's posted as references or also look up Darcy's Twitter for informative consulting and advising tips. Within the community it's important to spread the word about projects and people like Darcy. Being in such an academic setting, the advice is very useful for those seeking employment post-graduation or throughout their education. Although Darcy's Twitter followers have increased a lot as well with Facebook subscribers, there's still a long way to go. To maximize the effectiveness of Darcy's consulting, the course and community should follow and subscribe to her page. The easiest thing about this all is that it's so simplistic. It's either on Facebook, Twitter, or Darcy's blog so it's really accessible to the majority of people. Hopefully Darcy Lear's social media can grow to help a lot more people than just the Champaign-Urbana and UIUC community and that others may gain such insight from the very useful information.

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