Grad Feature: Socially Savvy
Derek Brott lives by the mantra, “Learn through experiences, educate yourself through opportunities.” At just 26, he has personified his goals through his actions and career progression.
The recent Social Media Marketing graduate has always had marketing in his blood. While a student at East Paulding High School, Derek was a member of several marketing clubs that participated in state and regional competitions. In 2012, he earned a bachelor’s degree from KSU in business administration with a concentration in marketing.
“I’m very passionate about marketing — especially creative and visual media,” he said. “I knew taking this class would be a great way to learn how to promote my services and market myself.”
Derek’s Top 5 Things Learned in Social Media Marketing:
- Locating top news outlets on staying relevant in social media, like Social Media Examiner.
- Connecting with thought leaders and how creating relationships on social is different than face-to-face.
- Selling my services all over the world using social.
- Connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs.
- Staying in the eyes of the customers and fans.
As an undergrad, Derek enrolled in several marketing classes led by Tyra Burton — who also serves as instructor for KSU’s Social Media Marketing certificate program. “She is extremely engaging and very invested in her students,” he said. “She wants to see you do well.”
“What people don’t understand about social media is that it’s not going away,” Tyra said. “It’s also something that regardless of your target market, more than likely they are on social media. So whether it’s somebody’s grandpa or grandson, they are on social media and there is a platform that caters to them.”
Expo to Graduate to Entrepreneur
After attending Burton’s free information session at one of KSU’s Career Training Expos, the aspiring entrepreneur knew the program would be beneficial to his burgeoning business.
“The hardest thing for most people is marketing and branding themselves,” he said.
A full-time technical director, Derek has shifted his focus the past two years on what he describes as his “side hustle.” He is mainly referring to his recently launched social media marketing business – which includes website design, social media consulting and blogging. He also uses his learned skills to promote his DJing endeavors.
Derek is most active on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram and also uses Google+ and Pinterest. Additionally, he is learning new live-streaming apps Meerkat and Twitter’s Periscope. The training he received in class has proved invaluable.
As a social media consultant, he advises:
“You don’t have to be on every social media site. You will drown. I tell people, find the one platform you have the most interaction with and solely focus on that. Once you have that automated, then branch out.”
Social Media’s Here to Stay
When asked about the future of social media, Derek sees it continually expanding. He notes the emergence of wearable tech, specifically with the Apple Watch and Fitbit fitness bracelets. Derek perks up when mentioning how real-time live Q&A sessions are transforming webinars with the use of platforms like Periscope.
However, perhaps the biggest trend in social media is how it’s affected the size of companies.
“Large corporations are becoming smaller through social media as they interact with their fans/customers,” he explained. “They humanize experiences which relates to customers. The ability to niche down your target market is huge in social media.”
Another take away from Derek’s class experience was learning how to effectively use social media research to build and grow his business. “I’m excited about the direction I’m headed. The tools I’ve gained from this class have been relevant and applicable.”
Derek Did It! So Can You!