As the first group of Social Media Management students complete their coursework, here are their reflections on this experience:
Once seen as a tool for personal amusement, social media platforms are now indispensable marketing tools in business. Thus, with the growing need for social media managers, social-savvy candidates are in high demand. Whether it’s analytical skills or a creative mindset, social media literacy will give any job candidate a competitive advantage. That’s why Academy of Art University’s Social Media Center (SMC) now offers a first-of-its-kind Award of Completion in Social Media Management for students who have completed a series of courses dedicated to the subject. We sat down with five students who were among the first twelve to graduate with the Award of Completion in Social Media Management: Marisa Tania, Krystyn Nakamura, Alexander Tombach, Gabriela Granziera, and Niclas Långsten. We spoke to each about the role of social media in their respective fields of study, the social trends in their home countries, and the invaluable experience they’ve gained at the Social Media Center.
MARISA TANIA, BA FASHION JOURNALISM
SMC: How important is social media in fashion journalism?
Marisa Tania: Social media has provided me with a broader range of reporting tools. Today, social media plays a larger role since companies invest more in their online communication to reach and gain quick insights from their audiences. As individual users, the role of social media today is to democratize our ways of consuming and sharing information. Social media gives us the power to share our thoughts with the world and gives everyone a voice.
SMC: What skills improved while taking courses at the Academy’s Social Media Center?
MT: The first lesson I learned was the difference between using social media as users and as strategists. You are not qualified to be a social media manager just by being an active Instagram user. After taking those classes, I learned all the tactics and the tools that I can apply to do the job in planning strategies to reach social goals. From data analytics, content, and strategies to law and ethics, SMC covered it all.
SMC: Are there any differences in the way people approach social media in the U.S. compared to your home country of Indonesia?
MT: Online shopping in Indonesia is mainly just selling clothes on Instagram. Many accounts usually don’t have any website or online store. If customers want to make a purchase, they will have to text the brand on LINE or WhatsApp to confirm the order and then pay via bank transfer. Here you don’t have that problem; everything is linked to a website. Instagram account stores are an enormous business in Indonesia because of the huge market. I also see the big impact of influencer marketing as the most prevalent way of reaching niche customers in my country.
SMC: Which brand did you pick for your final project, and why?
MT: I chose a monthly subscription of dog goodies, BarkBox. Mainly, I wanted to work on a brand that I believe in, since I am one of their customers. BarkBox has more than 1.4 million followers on Instagram and a massive following on multiple other platforms. They turn user-generated content into memes, which I think is a brilliant move, since they will never run out of material. That also means they don’t need a huge budget to create content. Now that you asked me this question, I think I should reach out to BarkBox with my campaign!
SMC: Was there one tool or case study that stood out during your courses?
MT: In the PRO 315: Social Media Strategies class, there was a guest speaker from Levi’s Global Brand Marketing, Adriana Higuera, who talked about the Trucker Anniversary Influencer campaign. In honor of the 50th anniversary of their original denim jacket, Levi’s chose 50 icons from around the world, including Solange Knowles, Chance the Rapper, Karlie Kloss and Justin Timberlake to customize Type III Trucker Jackets and share their stories. It was intriguing to see how Levi’s set the standard of picking those influencers based on various categories including engagement rate, quality of content and demographics. They shared all those important little tips that you probably never thought about.
Text by Academy of Art University’s Social Media Center Contributing Editors: Margaret Winkler, BFA Advertising and Marisa Tania, BA Fashion Journalism