Smart Social Media with Raj Rawal

I originally posted this on my blog for my Intro to Marketing class. I thought it was worth sharing with all of you as well! 

This past weekend was Elon University's Homecoming, which coincided with the announcement of the expansion of our Communications School building. The school hosted several communications-related events, including a presentation called "Smart Social Media for the 21st Century: Becoming a Social Media Tastemaker" led by Raj Rawal. Raj, a graduate of the Elon Class of 2012, formerly worked with What's Trending and was Streamline Producer for MissGlamourazzi. He's currently a producer for multiple YouTube artists, a developer of three TV shows, and a social media strategist. 

I learned more from Raj's presentation than I ever have in such a short period of time so I wanted to share some of his tips about how to best utilize social media. 

What exactly is a tastemaker? Someone with over 1,000 followers on social media who has the power to influence people's views. YouTubers, like Tyler Oakley and John Green, are a great example of tastemakers because they have the ability to change people's views and actions. Do you want to have a large presence on social media with a dedicated following of fans who actually care about what you have to say? This is the buzzword that describes what you're yearning for. 

Quality not Quantity 
It might seem cliche, but your content is truly more important than the number of followers you have. Don't waste time following people for follow-backs; create good content that's worthy of being noticed. To gather more attention, use appropriate hashtags and comment on other people's posts. 

YouTube is Golden
According to Raj, YouTube is one of the most important social media platforms right now. YouTube videos get shared on every other platform from Facebook to Twitter. And becoming a successful YouTuber is all about consistency and creativity. 

Building Relationships 
Raj stressed that the most important part of social media is audience engagement and building relationships. He recommended interacting with other users on social media, like Twitter, and building a network. The most successful social media users are the ones who listen to their followers and talk to them.  

Raj happens to be a friend of my cousin's, so we got together to chat. The selfie we took is below (because when social media people get together, they take selfies). You can find Raj on Twitter and Instagram, if you want to find out more about his cool life in LA.

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