The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 3B
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 3B
LSA junior Rebecca Steiner is the president and co-founder of the Digital Media Club.v
From selfies to
How a campus
teaches social T
By ADAM DEPOLLO
Daily Online Arts Editor t
A recent Business Insider T
report found that Americans e
spend, on average, 114 billion min- s
utes on Facebook every month. t
That's just under six hours for s
every man, woman and child. But
I don't need to tell you that your r
average college student can knock p
those six hours out in a weekend. s
Social media use is ubiquitous
amongst millennials - you can't ii
really have a social life without it - o
but sites like Facebook, Twitter and w
Tumblr are being picked up with r
ever-growing frequency by busi- e
nesses, both large and small, as a e
way to connect with customers and w
expand their brands. Unsurpris- c
ingly, these businesses are looking g
to our generation and its uniquely
obsessive relationship with social h
media to help them break into the h
digital age. t
Of course, there's a difference h
between spending two hours a day
obsessively refreshing your Twit- d
ter feed and being the Social Media -
Chair at Berkshire Hathaway. For- w
tunately, there's a new group on -
campus to help University students Y
make the transition from compul- f
sive selfie-poster to social media s
mogul: the Digital Media Club.
ident and co-founder of the club,
explained that the club grew out of s
LHC 329, "Social Media and Busi- e
ness,"an elective class for her Infor- e
matics major. The class, offered'
through the Ross School of Busi- h
ness, was taught by Law, History & p
Communications Profs.AmyYoung p
and Mary Hinesly. W
"(In the class we spoke about) c
social media's role in businesses," n
Steiner said. "Not only for the mar- C
keting and external aspects, but S
also the internal aspects: inter- w
nal communication, how to share y
business plans, using Reddit, using
Yammer (an intra-company social t
media platform), how to implement m
Google Docs, Google Chat, all of a
those things, all of these new digital s
media outlets, to improve the work- so
Owing to Drs. Young and Hines- b
ly's extensive network of contacts n
n the business world, the class fea- companies and organizations
ured insights from many industry that they're connected in - big
rofessionals - such as Univer- organizations, corporations who
ity alum Dick Costolo, the CEO of have kind of already gotten in the
rwitter, - and opportunities for forefront of the digital media game
tudents to work with corporations - but also people who would want
ike Kellogg's. At the conclusion of to recruit from us and learn from
he class, however, the professors us," Steiner said.
aw an opportunity to continue Equally important to develop-
he work their students had done ing skills and providing network-
iver the course of the semester. ing opportunities, however, is the
rhey asked Steiner, along with sev- establishment of a community and
'ral other members of the class, to resource network for the Digital
tart what would become the Digi- Media Club's members.
al Media Club at the start of this "We don't want to make it like a
emester. club - more likea community that
Steiner sees the club as avaluable provides resources. That's kind
esource for students who already of our thing: We want to provide
'ossess significant digital media resources for our members and
kills. really give back for us, for what we
"Our generation, we're just more do,"Steiner said.
f what we do, our activities, what existed - it held its first workshop
ve like to do for fun, without even on Feb. 6 - it has already begun to
ealizingit wehaveso muchknowl- develop a following. Its Facebook
dge," she said. But, as she also page has accumulated just shy of
xplained, "There comes a point 150 likes and about 30 members are
vhere you need to establish your listed on its Maizepages account.
redibility:Youcan'tjustgointothe But the club is looking to expand
ame and say'We're experts."' beyond just the University's under-
Throughout the year, the club graduate population.
olds biweekly workshops aimed at "We want to have workshops for
elping members further develop graduate student MBAs and pro-
heir digital media skills and learn fessors on how to use social media
ow to capitalize on their abilities. for them, how to use Google Does,
"We did 'The Secrets of Linke- Google Drive for them" she said.
In,' 'The New Digital Resume' "Definitely, in time we'll partner
- how to make a creative resume, up with local businesses and even
vho would want a creative resume larger corporations who want usto
- then we did 'How to Google do some sort of case studyor evalu-
ourself' - what recruiters look ation on them to help them with the
or when they Google you," Steiner skills we're learning."
aid. Ultimately, the Digital Media
The club's focus is two-fold, how- Club is driven by technology's inte-
ver. gral role in modern society and
"The ultimate goal isnto not only modernbusiness.
harpen our skills and to become "Digital media and information
xperts, but to present ourselves as is something that's so omnipres-
xperts," Steiner explained. ent today, and every organization,
As the club develops, it aims to if they don't think they need to
elp its members network with revamp their digital media pres-
otential employers and develop ence, they do. If they're not going
artnerships with businesses. "(We to do it right now, then they will
rant to) be able to tell all of these in a couple months or maybe a
ompanies and organizations that year or else they won't be able to
eed help, 'Come recruit from us. survive," Steiner said. But this
:ome ask us to do a case study,' " view is in no way pessimistic. The
teiner said. "Come and see what club treats digital media asa posi-
e're doing and see if we can help tive force in the world and a way
ou andhowyoucanhelpus." to establish connections between
The club doesn't have a manda- people.
ory attendance policy, but those "I think that we're so lucky to
iembers that show commitment be a part of this digital age, and
nd go to the majority of the work- it's incredibly rewarding to feel
hops will be invited to a club-spon- empowered by my community
ored networking eventnextfall. and my club members to just use
"Dr. Hinesly and Dr. Young have my interests and have a tangi-
een preparing for this event, where ble effect on my surroundings,"
ot only are they inviting different Steiner said.
boils down to maximizing the
amount of eyes that see the con-
Page 1 B tent and the comments, likes,
retweets, shares, etc. the con-
it there is where the Uni- tent generates.
starts making money. Thus, knowing thy audience
nk back to the first timeI and their tendencies is crucial.
d over that bronze Block Say hello to a social media spe-
the Diag as the innocent cialist's best friend: analytics -
s tour guide recited that deep data analysis.
perstition just like those "Primarily it shows us when
sity officials had trained people are online, when they're
nd make sure not to step engaging with us, what type of
'M' or you'll fail your content is performing the best,"
ue Book exam." Fotis, an analytics intern for the
ghed to myself. Of course social media central unit said.
t actually believe that old "Then we can adjust our strat-
tale ... Right?! egy and tailor our content to
t the campus tour with that data."
uds of inculcated respect Online Marketing Strategist
e 'M'. When I headed Shannon Riffe, who manages
the 'M' followed, deter- the Twitter and Facebook chan-
to water those buds nels for the Office of University
een. Enter again, social Development, said her content
does better in the middle of the
notion is critical for any week.
and the large audience "Friday is a little bit of a qui-
fingertips of the Univer- eter day and the weekends are
entral unit is a power- quiet too as far as egagement,"
and boosting tool. The Riffe said. "I think people are at
yes seeing the content is work or in class and using some
re mouths talking about of that time in front of their lap-
gan" - which hopefully top all day to check in online.
tes into alumni dona- On the weekends, they're not
oluntary support, better in front of the computers as
ance at events and more much."
ream media coverage. Riffe said finding the ideal
ully. time of day to post is trickier
similar to the Universi- because the University is a glob-
ified logo template, dis- al institution.
ting a unified message "What is a traditional work
all University channels hour for us is not for a donor or
ial. alum in Hong Kong, but in gen-
nanski, the student eral around the times of 9 a.m.
who manages the cen- to 1 or 2 p.m."
nit's Instagram, Pinter- The scope of data provided
i Tumbr platforms, said by the analytics is startling.
ntent she posts "has to Take Oct. 30, when Jerry May,
back on our brand and vice president of development,
going to be relevant to sent an email to all 44,754 fac-
ts." ulty and staff inviting them to
of course leaves out the Victors for Michigan kick-
important contentious off events. The analytics told
surrounding the Uni- the office that 7,277 (16 percent)
currently. You'll find no of recipients opened the email
n of the federal investi- and 777 (1.7 percent) of those
regarding the Brendan clicked the Facebook event link.
is sexual assault alle- A week later, #Victorsfor-
, nor much about the Michigan was launched con-
al #BBUM movement currently with the event and
egan at the University in the span of the next month
s led to the Black Student reached 2.7 million people
s seven demands. and had 7 million impressions,
have to really pick and which is social jargon for times
carefully what we step displayed on screen whether it
Sunstrum said. "The is clicked or not.
ual issues in content- Judy Malcolm, senior
c areas we leave to the director of executive com-
uals that are content munications for the Office of
s in those specific areas University Development, said
ve it out of social." they had expected maybe one
:roversy is, of course, no million impressions.
r the brand. "ln the past campaign there
was no way that with news-
Data to dollars paper articles, meetings and
announcements, we could
t doesn't mean it's sim- reach 7 million people," Mal-
out garnering more fol- colm said.
re-pins, or likes. While The financial benefit of the
definitely a part of it, office's social campaign has yet
said it's more about to be determined because the
ment. Victors campaign is ongoing.
As Szymanski explained
how she uses the analytics
more as loose guidelines than
strict regulations, Frazier and
Fotis had their phones on their
laps and were tapping away.
"Sometimes I get too excited
and I don't want to wait on the
analytics which is so lame but I
don't care - like if I see a real-
ly cute squirrel I'm like, 'Oh I
gotta post it'," Szymanski said.
"Other times I also want to
experiment and I don't want to
stick within what the analytics
is telling me because maybe we
can grab a different audience
by posting at a different time.
Obviously I'm not going to post
on Instagram at 8 in the morn-
ing because nobody is going to
look at that. But do I have to
post at 1 p.m. everyday? - No,
because then it becomes bor-
ing and people expect it. You
always want to be versatile."
Szymanski posts to Pinter-
est 40 to 50 times per week
and to Tumblr at least 40 times
per week, and said she's picked
up her own personal strate-
gies since starting to work the
channels over a year ago.
She went on: "I used to post
on Instagram two, three times
a day but now I'm finding one
a day or every other day is
most effective. I realized that
we were getting more likes on
our pictures if there weren't as
Frazier took over from there
and Szymanski went straight
to her phone. She said she's
solely responsible for the @
umich Twitter account, which
gets the most activity, and con-
sumed because of it.
"I'm looking at it 24/7. I'm
posting there five to 10 times
a day but then responding to
people all the time," Frazier
said. "Writing papers is so
hard. The longest thing I write
is 140 characters."
Frazier has amassed her own
arsenal of gadgets, so far lim-
ited to two phones, two laptops
and two iPads.
I asked her if she had any
"The cofounder of Reddit
was speaking at Rackham ear-
lier this year and I was there
with one of our other interns
who just graduated. We were
both sitting in the back and
without even realizing it, I'm
sitting there with my legs
crossed with an iPad on one
leg, a laptop on the other, and
phones in both hands and I'm
using both of them at the same
time. It's moments like that I
just sit back for a second and I
asked him 'Can you take a pic-
ture of me right now, because
this is not ok.'"
I wondered if she tweeted it
"It's about our content and
the performance of our content Paid to tweet
as opposed to having a million
followers because if they're not I interviewed Frazier, Szy-
engaging with you, then really manski and Fotis together and
what's the point?" it quickly became clear that
Engagement is hard to mea- keeping their large following
sure and varies across the stimulated was an around the
manondifferentrchannels but it clock ioh for the central team.
"Computerized," a previ-
ously unreleased collaboration
between Jay Z and Daft Punk
of many. Daft Punk
creates the same sort of disap-
pointment one would feel if
they brought together a rhi-
noceros and a stallion to make
some sex, and they ended up
with something shitty instead
of a unicorn. Perhaps this song
is a victim of the high bars
both artists have set for them-
selves in their previous work,
but it still - at best - kind of
HOV and the robots teamed
up to produce this single
around the time Daft Punk
was recording the "Tron:
Legacy" soundtrack. Appar-
ently, they were unsatisfied
with the result and chose not
to release it. 'Twas a wise
decision, because when it hit
the airwaves yesterday, the
disappointment led listeners
to question if it was even real.
If only that was the case ...
Yes, these superpowers
really conceived an ugly baby.
There is a complete lack of
cohesion between the two
participants - it's as if one
stops to let the other take
their turn. Daft Punk fails to
do anything original with the
production, and Jay Z seems
totally lost, rattling off dis-
jointed verses about "tappin'
on his Blackberry." The lack
of chemistry impedes both
artists from operating in their
respective comfort zones. This
partnership was definitely not
a match made in heaven and
their offspring is proof. Give
it a listen, and you'll see why
this track was supposed to