Oct 31st

How college students use social media

I recently had the opportunity to moderate a panel discussion for the UCLA Social Media Group, which I manage and run. We had a diverse mix of undergraduate and graduate students from UCLA and discussed how they used social media in their personal and academic lives. Our topics ranged from usage and behavior, privacy, advertising and the value of interaction with brands, companies, campus departments and student services.

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Oct 23rd

Case study: How UCLA became a trending topic on Twitter during Commencement

In May of 2011, UCLA Marketing & Special Events was approached to help create a more engaging and dynamic Commencement experience online through the use of social media.

With only a few short weeks to make this happen, we began to think strategically about what opportunities and tools existed given our limited time and resources.

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Jul 27th

Creating a more social event calendar with Facebook and UCLA Happenings

About a year ago on Happenings, UCLA’s event calendar, we implemented Facebook’s “Like” button (we renamed ours “Recommend”) for every event to help create a more social and engaging site. It’s been a huge source of engagement for our users and is the 5th largest referral source of traffic to our site.

Yesterday, we launched a new feature called “Most Recommended” that takes this one step further.  Users can now see every event that has been recommended in Happenings from the most popular to least popular. It’s a truly crowd sourced list, showing popular events happening around UCLA as recommended by our users. Even though it may seem very basic, it’s a direction in which the web has been heading towards for some time.

Bing has already integrated Facebook’s “Likes” within its search results  and Google with +1.  As the web continues to evolve and integrate closely with social, we’ll see even more extremely personalized and targeted recommendations for everything from social connections, product recommendations, news and information. We’ve just begun to scratch the surface.


Nov 5th

Will Facebook Places be the tipping point for location-based services?

Facebook deals on a mobile phoneBack in August, Facebook launched a location-based service called Places, which allowed users to check-in to any location using their mobile phone. It was nothing new at the time. Location-based services such as Foursquare have been around for a while, but the number of users using these services has remained relatively small.  A recent study released by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that only 7% of adults who go online with their mobile phone use a location-based service. (Note, this report was done between August and September, right as Facebook Places was being launched)

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Oct 4th

Using Facebook’s ‘Like’ button to drive web traffic

Facebook Like button

A while back I wrote about UCLA Happenings implementation of Facebook’s Social Widgets using the ‘Like’ button, and how it can lead to higher click-through rates, traffic referrals and more engagement for websites. To quickly recap, “The ‘Like’ button lets a user share your content with friends on Facebook. When the user clicks the ‘Like’ button on your website, a story appears in the user’s friends’ News Feed with a link back to your website.”

A recent article by CNN talks about the impact of the ‘Like’ button and the results are impressive:  “ABC News reported a 190 percent increase; Gawker’s traffic shot up by 200 percent; Sporting News said their site traffic was up by a shocking 500 percent; and NBA.com said that Facebook had become their second-largest referral source.”

Since implementing in April of 2010, UCLA Happenings has also seen a large referral of traffic from Facebook.  Facebook has become one of our top ten referral sites for traffic and continues to be an important factor in keeping users enagaged on the site.

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