Bauer Business Focus on Internet Marketing: Optidge

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Producer’s Note: Last January, Bauer Business Focus debuted on KUHF as a weekly radio segment featuring faculty and business experts from a wide range of industries discussing everyday to paramount business issues. Subsequently in the spirit of the radio segment, UH Bauer College inaugurates a web video version and companion to expand Bauer Business Focus. These web broadcasts capture engaging conversations held over the semester with business experts who come to Melcher Hall and bring an industry-specific focus area perspective. We are glad to feature this new version of Bauer Business Focus on mybauerpride.com.

Danny Gavin created his company, Optidge, to do “a little of everything” for businesses looking to connect with customers online.

The recent MBA graduate of the UH Bauer College of Business talked with Executive Professor Steven Koch about the many ways social media can yield returns.

Recently, Gavin worked with the Houston Symphony to create a blog done by six of those on its recent British tour to involve fans in a way traditional ads could not.

“On TV, you can get your message out. But on social media you can engage people and be engaged by them,” Gavin said.

As with all relationships, it requires commitment. Whenever he’s hired to create something online, one of the early questions is: who will be in charge of content? Regular helpings of compelling new content are needed to maintain interest.

“Whatever you do you have to use it. If you have a Facebook page and you do not use it, that’s worse than having nothing at all, Gavin said.

Gavin’s strength is on the analytical side with techniques to measure how many people visit a site, their interests and ways to draw more potential customers. The return on investment depends on understanding their behavior.

“You have to figure out where customers are hanging out and that’s where you need to be,” Gavin said.

A business needs to be clear upfront about its goals and employ tools to measure the response, to the extent that’s possible.

“Some things are trackable and some are not so trackable,” Gavin said. “There are a lot of aspects of social media you can track, but PR and buzz are hard to measure. It’s like a billboard in Times Square.”

Gavin’s advice for students looking to get into the social media business is: focus on skills – those in the field need to be strong either on the analytical side or the communications side – keep up on news in the business, do an internship, and be active in it.

“When I went in for a job interview they were impressed by the number of my Twitter followers and the traffic on my Facebook page. You wouldn’t think that would be important in a job interview, but you have to get immersed in it.”

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