MHB WEEKLY: By the students, for the world

Tony Adam at the SMASH | April 25, 2011

On April 7th, 2011, the MHB program hosted a social media summit at the USC Davidson Center in downtown Los Angeles. The first-ever SMASH, or Social Media Advanced Skills Huddle, amassed industry professionals, graduate students and professors for short lectures and brainstorming huddles. In the continuing MHB Weekly coverage of the event’s distinguished speakers and key ideas, today looks at statistical social media whiz Tony Adam.

Mr. Adam is a jack of all social media trades, and he recognizes not only the value but also the necessity of artists and businesses taking to social networks for visibility. He is the Director of Online Marketing at MySpace, a position where he flexes his skills in search engine optimization, viral strategy and web communications. Before that, he worked with major companies including Yahoo! and PayPal in similar roles. He also founded the social media consultancy Visible Factors, and he acts as a freelance advisor to internet startups and maintains a wealth of outlets for online authorship: his blog, his Twitter feed and his SEO-focused contributions to Search Engine Land.

Mr. Adam began his presentation with the wise words of Tom Landry, the famous Dallas Cowboys coach with two Super Bowl rings and the record for the most consecutive winning seasons in the NFL. “Setting a goal is not the main thing,” Mr. Adam quoted, “it is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” According to Mr. Adam, almost all individuals — entertainers, heads of companies, graphic artists — can use social media plans in their publicity portfolios, and can arrive at meaningful data with the proper tools for measurement and analysis. Musicians, he argued, need to be on MySpace. Those specializing in women’s products need to be on Kirtsy. Any kind of video production needs to find its way to YouTube, and photographers need to be on Flickr. And despite this diversity of sites, all web entrepreneurs need to speak the language of statistics to gauge their relative rates of engagement and success.

As for free tools, Mr. Adam suggested Google Analytics and StumbleUpon statistics. For a price, companies can invest in bit.ly Entreprise — a way to “benchmark all social media efforts” — and Alterian SM2, a business intelligence product for social media monitoring. Use of these services can provide meaningful information: by tracking MySpace data, for instance, Mr. Adam realized that the heaviest traffic time on Twitter was around 4pm, so he reserved tweets about contests and promotions for that specific hour.

To conclude his presentation, Mr. Adam shared the example of BillShrink, a site for cell phone comparison that he consulted. By creating an infographic, which combined the goals of advertising and engagement into a visually-appealing online poster, the company was able to position itself as one of the premiere sites of its kind — and it received media coverage, like a Mashable feature, in the process. An effort like an infographic, which reorients a conventional PR tactic for the web, shows the power in creativity and in trusting the internet as an ad space.

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    Established in 2009 at USC, the Master's of Science in Human Behavior is designed to equip students with knowledge of consumer psychology, social media and market analysis skills. This is our blog. Subscribe

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