Welcome back to Web Marketing Wednesdays (WMW), Southwark Consulting’s weekly roundup of news and notes from the digital marketing world! This week: Facebook buys WhatsApp, LinkedIn unveils a new policy regarding ‘influencers’ and a couple of marketing gurus offer helpful tips for social media newbies. As our regular readers know, the aim of this column is to provide a concise rundown of key news items and tech tips for business school admissions and marketing staff. Without further ado let’s get to the web marketing news…
This has been a busy week for social media (is there ever a slow week?). We kick things off with news that came out today about Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp – the instant messenger/chat service that many argue is doing to texting what Skype did to long distance phone calls. For details of how Facebook hopes to integrate WhatsApp into its portfolio, check out the TechCrunch article. In short, for the time being, Mark Zuckerberg and company hope to continue WhatsApp’s explosive subscriber growth (currently the chat service handles about 19 billion outgoing messages each day). So why does this all matter to admissions officers? Well, it’s not unthinkable that schools will begin engaging with applicants via chat services in the future, and just as MBA programs have come to depend on Skype for phone calls and interviews with candidates in far flung places, they may soon look to services like WhatsApp to spread the word about info sessions, application status updates and more.
In other news, LinkedIn has announced that all users will soon be able to share content in the way that the network’s ‘influencers’ currently do – expanding the platform – and thereby the opportunity for professionals to shape discussion and gain followers. This news, coupled with the continued roll out of LinkedIn’s University Pages should give schools yet another way to engage with candidates. Speaking of engaging with candidates, we should remind readers that while social media provides a host of new ways to reach prospects, it’s always important to keep an eye on some of the more traditional tactics – such as email. Harvard Business School recently demonstrated the opportunity that those more traditional channels offer for schools to be transparent with the applicant pool.
We’ll wrap up this week’s edition of WMW with two helpful articles for those of you who still feel somewhat new to the social media domain. The first article, entitled 6 Tips for Getting Started in Social Media, offers great advice about not spreading yourself too thin, being consistent in your posting frequency and remaining respectful of those you interact with – among other tips. The second article, entitled 5 Reasons to Love Continuing Your Social Media Education, focuses on the benefits of keeping on top of trends (which you are clearly doing by reading WMW!) and encourages social media novices to embrace the social media arena even if it’s daunting at times.
That’s the latest news from the world of web marketing. We’ll see you all next week for the next wave of news and tips!