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Kevin Jonas Speaks to MBAs About Social Media’s Future

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On the last day of their social media course, MBA students at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business heard from two experts in the social media space – Sean Finnegan, who is an entrepreneur, media strategist, and chief strategy officer at true[x] media, and musician, actor, and entrepreneur Kevin Jonas.

Teaching Professor Marlene Morris Towns asked the duo to speak to her class, which has studied social media strategy, tactics, and implementation throughout the mod, about the future of social media. Together, Finnegan and Jonas discussed the reach and influence of social media in today’s media and marketing landscape. They introduced their business model that attempts to harness and sell a social audience in the same way as a traditional advertising buy.

Their belief is that people and brands are now media platforms – whether celebrities or non-celebrity influencers – and can be treated as any other media platform, with measures of reach, frequency, and a segmented and targeted audience. Between Finnegan’s years of experience in media, particularly media sales and digital, and Jonas’ experience as a social media strategist and active influencer, the two have keen insights into the digital space and millennial consumers.

Some of the key learnings that they shared included the importance of native content as the most effective way to engage consumers and build relationships with them as opposed to just selling. According to Jonas, content that focuses on the three things that millennials are interested in – looking good, feeling good, and doing good – will resonate and keep potential consumers interested and sharing. At the core of his Twitter success (with more than 4 million followers) are his two key imperatives: 1) be authentic and 2) don’t be scared of having a conversation. Jonas also stressed the importance of collecting and using analytics with an emphasis on strategic use of analytics to guide decisions as opposed to merely counting “likes” “favorites” and “follows.”

Their model, Ambassador Exchange, combines and leverages their media and entertainment industry experience to match brands with influencers, celebrities, and many of the major players in the entertainment, media, digital, and mobile markets to effectively maximize and quantify the effectiveness of social media campaigns.