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City Connections: IIT Stuart Students at 2014 Chicago Social Media Week - Part 2

IIT Stuart Hongxiang (Grey) GuoSeveral IIT Stuart undergraduate and graduate students attended Social Media Week Chicago this September, a week-long series of events that takes place in cities around the world featuring experts, iconic brands, and leading thinkers sharing their ideas and inspiration. Thank you to Hongxiang "Grey" Guo, a student in IIT Stuart’s M.S. Marketing Analytics and Communication program, for sharing her experiences and insights from the week.

IIT Stuart: Tell us about the sessions you attended and what you learned.

Grey: Firstly, Thanks very much IIT Stuart for giving me this opportunity to attend the following sessions during Social Media Week 2014 in Chicago, I am also very happy to share my experiences with you.

Personal Branding for Good: How to Create a Personal Social Media Brand that Benefits Your Organization’s Mission:
This session was a panel of Chicago’s non-profit leaders who have used social media to build on their personal brands to be impactful advocates, cheerleaders and stewards of their organizations’ missions. From their personal experiences, good or bad, I learned that you need to be intentional, be curious and be thoughtful to build an excellent personal brand, especially on your content, your pictures and your attitude. In addition, Twitter and Facebook are also very important social media tools for building your personal brand.  

Social Creativity: What Is It? Who Should Make It? How Do You Make an Impact With It?   
This session attempted to deconstruct social media creativity--what is social creativity, how to approach creativity and how to execute them, giving us a general knowledge about the value and impact of social creativity.

Maximizing Traffic and Sales with Advanced Social Media Tools
La’Shon Anthony, the speaker of this session, covered a general introduction about hashtags, Twitter chats, SMS messaging, Social Mention, Simply Measured, Tweriod, SocialBro and other social media tools.

Return on a Share: Uncovering the Value of Your Social Audience
This session introduced some scientific methodology to quantify the monetary value of social sharing. 

Get Hired & Thrive: How to Build A Successful Career In Social Media
This session was organized at Groupon’s office and there were real recruiters and social media/marketing leaders from Groupon to share their experiences of a candidate searching and job seeking through social media platforms. It was a great session covering 1) how to balance your personal brand in social media platforms, avoiding either overselling or being too simple; 2) how to differentiate yourself in the interview; 3) how to build a mutual connection through an informational interview; and 4) how to keep yourself fresh in the industry using social media tools. All of these would help us to perform well in the future job search.

Predictive Analytics: Harnessing Twitter to Forecast Trends
This session demonstrated how algorithmic technology combined with big data from millions of tweeters to forecast movements in the stock market. A super cool new technology!

The Intersection of Law and Social Media
This session presented three different legal issues related to social media, including social media policies & employment laws, online reputation and disclosure rules. Speakers used many practical, common cases to give us a much clearer introduction about the law issue on social media.

Tweet Me: Using Social Media to Mobilize People and Customers
The speakers, professor Edward Lee of Chicago-Kent and assistant professor Libby Hemphill of IIT, highlighted some challenges organizers and entities would face when trying to mobilize and sustain a campaign through social media, based on an empirical analysis of the ongoing efforts of political activists to engage the public about the NSA surveillance controversy by the use of Twitter.

Recruiting and Hiring Via Social Media
In this session, I learned how to efficiently improve social media platforms for job seeking from a recruiter’s view point. Tom Gimbel, CEO of LaSalle Network, pointed out that 77% employers use social media in the hiring process, then separately introduced how to fit your profile in LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to match a recruiter’s search. In addition, he also mentioned how to manage an organization’s social account to improve the efficiency of Social Media. 

IIT Stuart: Were you able to take advantage of any networking opportunities during the week?

Grey: I went to the opening and closing networking party, met many speakers from the sessions I attended and talked with some of them, such as Edward Lee (Law school professor of IIT), we had a conversation about his analysis and about how he started in social media. These events provided great opportunities to improve my networking skills and communicate with professionals in the marketing industry.

IIT Stuart: How have you been able to connect content from SMWChicago to what you're learning in class?

Grey: I am taking Predictive Analysis and Social Media Analytics courses in this semester, although sometimes I was unfamiliar with SMW content, it was still a good chance for me to have a general understanding about how to use theory into practical business, what problems we may meet during the process, how to overcome these problems and keep yourself current on  the cutting-edge technologies and skills.

IIT Stuart: Will what you learned inform how you utilize social media personally and professionally? 

Grey: Through Social Media Week, I realized that Twitter and Facebook are also very important social media tools to improve networking and job seeking, especially for a new user, we need to pay attention to: having a great background, avoiding absolute political issues, sharing your major/interest/industry related content, avoiding overselling yourself, culture fitting, frequency of update, your communication styles etc., all of these details are key components to be considered when we build personal and professional brand. 

IIT Stuart: Would you recommend IIT Stuart students attend next time? 

Grey: Yes! I was much honored to represent IIT Stuart and attended these excellent activities. It would be a wonderful experience and you should not miss it next time! 

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