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Billy McDonald has spent the past two years of his college career monitoring Web traffic. He has worked diligently to discover the most efficient method for integrating social media into everyday marketing strategies.
McDonald will graduate with a double major from MSUM in May. He will receive a degree in mass communications with an emphasis in public relations, as well as a degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing.
In January 2011, McDonald accepted the position of social media ambassador for Dragon Athletics. During his time with Dragon Athletics, he has discovered that social media is responsible for 25 percent of the Web traffic for the Dragon Athletics website.
In order to conduct his research, McDonald worked on multiple dashboards, which allowed him to manage multiple accounts, browse the Web for valuable information and monitor keywords posted on Facebook, Twitter and Google. With the use of “Google Analytics,” traffic created from a special formatted click-through on a social media site is easily measured and studied.
McDonald has always taken an interest in social media. “I used to joke that Facebook was my major during my freshman year,” says McDonald.
After taking a year off from school, he came back and added mass communications with an emphasis in public relations as his second major in addition to his degree in business administration.
During his time away from school, McDonald spent much of his free time researching media and learning Internet codes. It was then that he discovered a social media-driven career was what he wanted to pursue.
Before finding success with Dragon Athletics, McDonald paved the way for himself at Absolute Marketing Group, a full-service communications firm dedicated to creating effective marketing campaigns for Fargo area businesses. While working for the company, McDonald promoted Twitter and Facebook pages along with a text club for the local Pancheros restaurant. McDonald was responsible for the text club’s growth from 50 members to 800 members. It was after this experience that he bought his first book about social media.
Recently, the mass communications department at MSUM has added a class about social media, which McDonald applauds. However, he wishes the class had been available previously so he could have enrolled in it. “Social media is an integral part of mass communications,” says McDonald.
All of McDonald’s progress is just a small-scale trial of the type of social media marketing he hopes will become large scale for the entire university.
“The larger implications of my findings is that social media is always evolving, so there is no way to forecast its growth in our culture perfectly, but surely it’s not going away.”