Social media consultant Chris Farlow came to campus Thursday, September 20th, to make a presentation to the social media marketing class. Chris has worked with companies such as TGI Fridays, Best Buy, Proctor & Gamble, and many others who are giants in their respective industries. He talked about his consulting work with these companies and the large role social media plays in these large corporations, ranging from things such as employee to employee interaction and scheduling, all the way to customer service.
Chris has been in the internet media market since 1995, at which point the internet was still in its growth stage. As you can imagine, Chris has seen quite an evolution in social media. At first, he explained to me, he would do things such as meet with executives and explain to them exactly what the Internet was and the difference betwen the Internet and AOL. As the Internet has grown, so has the complexity of Chris’ work. He is now involved in very complicated things involving implementation or evolution of corporations’ social media avenues.
With a graduate degree in Psychology with a concentration in Communication & Social Behavior, Chris was involved with research on the attitudes and influences of health behavior modification (i.e. preventing underage drinking or encouraging users to stop smoking). He described how this research related directly to what he has been doing in his career. In his line of work people to people interaction and the influence of famous or popular people are what make a particular social media campaign succesful. He also talked about the differences between entering the internet media workforce in ’95 and starting a social media career today. His best advice was to become a part of a social media community, because employers are now looking to fill internal social media positions with people who are already involved and knowledgeable about creating and running social communities. Chris encouraged, “Call yourself a social media guru,” explaining that how one brands himself is how he will be viewed by potential employers.