The Skinny on Social Media and Branding

Earlier today I had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion about social media, branding, and advertising at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. It’s something I’ve developed an interest in and love to discuss with groups both large and small. Doing so with friends makes the experience even more enjoyable, as was the case this afternoon.

Below is a quick write-up used on the UNO campus that previewed the event; my notes from today’s panel are below.

“Advertising, Branding, and Social Media – Oh My!” is the focus of a Wednesday, Nov. 3, panel presentation for Adam Tyma’s Introduction to Mass Communication class.

The presentation, which begins at 1 p.m. in 101 College of Public Affairs and Community Service Building, will feature the following panelists:

Dusty Davidson, BrightMix

Megan Hunt, Princess Lasertron

Jerilyn Kamm, UNO School of Communication

Wendy Townley, UNO University Relations

“The worlds of marketing, advertising and public relations have been acutely changed by one thing: social media,” Tyma said. “Join our panelists and classmates to learn about, ask questions on and discuss this changing world with those who are seeing it, teaching it and living it first hand.”

The event will also be updated on Twitter, using the hashtag #JOUR1500Pnl3. Contact Tyma at (@adamwtyma on Twitter) for more information.

Discussion Notes from Today’s Panel
Social media simply cannot be ignored
Branding is storytelling
Social media makes storytelling easier, reaches more people (locally, regionally, nationally, globally)
Allow others to say you are cool; it’s more effective than you saying you are cool (encourage others to tell your story)
Storytelling must be honest, “truth in advertising”
Know your audience
Be responsive to comments online, the good and the bad
Always maintain your own online identity separate from the product/service/organization you are promoting
By discussing a trend/idea/topic online or by engaging in the conversation on a regular basis, you can become a “thought leader” (example: Design Crush by Birdhouse Interior Design)
It’s OK to pimp others in your industry

I’d love to know your thoughts on social media and branding. A few questions to consider:

• What’s the future of traditional advertising, marketing, and public relations?
• How has social media impacted the way we spend our dollars?
• What does branding mean to you?
• Is it smart to brand yourself?


3 thoughts on “The Skinny on Social Media and Branding

  1. Traditional advertising and media are by no means defunct as some claim. While traditional outlets been forced to undergo dramatic change in a short period of time, social media outlets are simply a new – albeit powerful – way to augment and create transparency when combined with traditional sources. For example, traditional press releases combined with Facebook updates, Tweets and a more in-depth blog posting.

    I think the greatest change that social media has brought to the table is in the way that everyday people interact with brands. Whereas advertising has been a one-way communication up until, say, 2006 or 2007, now brands are forced to listen to what is being said out in the real world via WOM. Whether they want to listen to not, the conversations are already happening.

  2. Have you ever considered submitting a proposal for a conference outside of communication, pr, advertising? I was thinking you could easily submit something about how to use social media to connect to students at any of the advising conferences. I know this is a hot topic, but not sure that any group has as much know-how as you!

  3. I agree with Katie. There are a couple of people chatting about social media, but I’m not sure I agree with them. I think you should get out there and do it!

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