50 Minutes with Jeff Rushton

1 Feb



One of the great things about taking a social media class this semester is having the opportunity to meet and listen to the different experts who are scheduled to speak during our allotted class time. This week, our class had the pleasure of spending 50 minutes with Jeff Rushton. For those of you who are not familiar with Jeff, you can check out a little more information about him here.

Mr. Rushton is the most up-to-date person on the University of Louisville campus in terms of technology. He has experience as a developer and with social media. He is also considered as one of the leading experts in the field. What makes him so great? Well, Mr. Rushton is a “numbers guy” and that means he is all about quantity and quantifying things. One of the rules that you learn from him during 50 minutes is that you must quantify what you are doing when it comes to social media because that is your paycheck.

Throughout his career, Mr. Rushton spent quite some time in marketing and sales using traditional media rather than social media. He is also quick to explain that social media usually “boils” up to something else which can range from trying to get people involved to simply promoting a product. Although individuals or organizations may want people to attend an event or engage in something, the invitation does not have to come through a common platform such as Facebook or Twitter. Mr. Rushton explains the overall effectiveness of social media as simply being a branding experience. Social media is very powerful at impacting such an experience that brands cannot get elsewhere. As students who aspire to find work in social media, we have to remember that brands are essentially looking for a way to connect with their fans or consumers at the lowest possible cost. The Red-Bull brand seemed to be a good example provided by Mr. Rushton. This brand spends a ton of money on cars and other promotional ideas but brands can experience close to the same results through online social media.

For Mr. Rushton, his brand is the University of Louisville. Each month the University of Louisville website homepage has nearly 5 million views with the exception of December and January. The most alarming fact is that only 25%-30% of those views are students. The homepage is similar to the cover of a book and with each click of the mouse a new page is presented. A lot of people seem to care about what’s happening at the University of Louisville.

Mr. Rushton gives many tips or what I like to call rules. When you work with brands or clients, you have to find out where your audience is and what they want to have. You have to find out the most effective medium. More important, timing is everything. You have to figure out the communication threshold for your client and determine where your peak is before you become too annoying. These are things that should always be tested.

Run experiments. Start a blog. Just go do. Engage.

So how does he pack so much information into 50 minutes? Well, he’s an expert!



2 Responses to “50 Minutes with Jeff Rushton”

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  1. Karen’s PR & Social Media Blog » UofL Social Media Guest Speakers: Engagement, Strategy, & Experimentation - February 2, 2013

    […] Several students blogged about Jeff’s presentation on their personal blog. Lizelle wrote about how Jeff discussed the prominence of understanding data both on social media and online (web analytics) to connect with the activities online among key audiences. Understanding the power of engagement was another theme that emerged from the presentation by Jeff, and this was what Heather focused on primarily in her blog post about the presentation.  Highlighting also what UofL did for the Sugar Bowl in terms of social media engagement with athletics / academics and  now with interactive fan posters with pictures from social media was also discussed and shared with the class, so the students got a chance to see an actual campaign tied in with engagement and to the presentation itself as Jake discussed in his post.  Jeff was also described as being the “man behind the social media curtain”  for University of Louisville by Sarah in her blog post. Natasacha discussed several points that were key takeaways from Jeff’s presentation by highlighting the need to experiment, engage, and blog. […]

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