Original image design by Eric Crawford
For author and professor Dustin Kidd, mass media isn’t just a hobby; this Temple professor literally wrote the textbook on the sociology of pop culture. Pop Culture Freaks covers topics of race, class, gender, sexuality, disability all in the context of commercial and media culture. In his acknowledgements, Dustin thanks the ChatterBlast team for “guiding me gently into the world of social media,” but it’s Dustin’s enthusiasm and dedication to building a successful presence that has shined through.
“I’d been using social media in a personal way,” says Dustin. “I had a WordPress and Tumblr but no clear voice. I was using them as spaces to experiment.” He knew that having a consistent and focused voice needed to become a top priority. “I didn’t know how to crystalize my voice and brand … I wanted to work with someone who was not just an individual but had centralized knowledge.”
Working closely with Dustin, CBM developed a content and engagement strategy that is manageable for an individual without a marketing team. We knew it was important to keep fresh material flowing and to create a reference ‘library’ for developing and updating new chapters. And of course, being able to do this is quickly and efficiently as possible was key since Dustin has a busy teaching schedule.
Through dedicated playlists on YouTube and Spotify, as well as chapter and topic-specific boards on Pinterest, Dustin is able to “gather and use new data on a continual basis to keep the topics constantly updated outside of the text.” YouTube has allowed Dustin to highlight current clips into topical playlists, and Pinterest has proven useful for quickly compiling topical information into new boards for use on all social networks.
Instead of a static website, CBM recommended a Tumblr account for both blogging and for linking out to other social channels. Dustin has found best online casino that his content on Tumblr has been well received—one of the images from the book generated more than 2,200 reblogs!
Original image design by Eric Crawford
Connecting with other influencers and thought leaders was also a priority for Dustin—and he wanted to monitor online conversations. CBM created a connective strategy and highlighted important social media accounts and topics to target, so that Dustin could easily have quality conversations. “I would not have looked for [that information] on my own, and it’s allowed me to connect with a strong group of influential people right away, ” he says.
On campus, the social presence has helped Dustin connect with colleagues by providing an ongoing wealth of resources to draw from. “It’s been amazing to have people I deeply respect reposting and engaging with my content,” Dustin shares. “It’s given me good visibility, and the confidence that what I’m sharing is interesting to the correct audience.”
Dustin involves his students in the material through social media as well, asking for tweets on sociological commentary (not graded for content) and tracking discussions with the #TemplePop hashtag. “I’m trying to get [students] into the space and feeling comfortable. They know how to use the networks, but they aren’t used to there being expectations,” he explains.
So what’s next?
“I’m aware of the limitations for most of these networks now,” says Dustin, “because I’m running up against them. I’ve been enjoying experimenting in every space at this point.”
He has since launched his own presence on Instagram and Flickr, built an email list and ramped up Twitter engagement. And Facebook? It’s not as useful. “My Facebook page gets less traction than I anticipated,” he admits. “It’s easier to focus on creating content and making connections on Twitter.”
“As I get more familiar and make more connections, I’m finding that more and more peers are present on various networks and it’s been great finding them. I have a better sense of the social space now and that is going to have a large influence on the next iteration of the book.”