By: Tabby Miller
Matthew Ray, co-founder and creative director of ChatterBlast Media, spoke to TU-AMA about how he started his own company and the importance of social media. ChatterBlast Media is a media company that refocuses brand positioning through use of social media. They have 14 full-time employees, and their clients include Comcast, the Philadelphia Parking Authority, NBC Universal, universities like Drexel and the University of Pennsylvania, and events like the Philadelphia Flower Show and the Philadelphia Auto Show.
Ray graduated from Temple University with a degree in political science and a minor in journalism, public relations, and adverting. He’s worked for self-publishing company Xlibris and global medical published Elsevier. At Elsevier, Ray was pushed into pursuing sales, but what he really wanted was a career in marketing. So, Ray left Elsevier and worked for HX Magazine and TLA Video. With the recession in 2009, Ray stopped working with TLA Video and couldn’t find a company that was hiring, so he decided to start his own business with his friend Evan Urbania, a Drexel graduate. During this time, not a lot of companies were using social media to market themselves and their products. Urbania and Ray saw their social media consulting business as having a lot of potential. The first thing the two did was pour all of their resources into developing a website. Within two months, the Fox School of Business’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute reached out to ChatterBlast Media and asked them to speak to Temple entrepreneurs. This experience taught ChatterBlast about the importance of web discovery and helped them to further their company. Temple University gave ChatterBlast access to office space and mentors that would help them grow their brand into what it is today.
ChatterBlast follows a four step process to helping clients. Step 1 is discovery: finding out what the clients wants and needs are, even if the client doesn’t quiet know themselves. Next is the research stage where ChatterBlast looks at all the available social media channels and determines which ones best fit the clients needs. Each social media platform is suited for reaching different audiences and demographics. The third step, strategy, is where the team develops the campaign that they carry out in stage four, implementation. Stage four also includes consulting, workshops, and training.
Culture is very important to ChatterBlast Media. The team at ChatterBlast is very dedicated to being community focused. They’ve raised over $100,000 for the National MS Society over the past four years and continue to be involved with non-profits. Ray tells students that showing involvement to non-profit organizations is one of the best ways to market yourself and your company. ChatterBlast Media also values being an educator. Three members of the ChatterBlast team teach classes on social media at local Philadelphia universities. Ray himself teaches social media marketing at Temple’s School of Media and Communications. ChatterBlast Media also offers classes through ChatterBlast University where anyone can learn about social media.
Social media can be used for improving company image, storytelling, customer service, talent recruitment, and reaching younger generations like millennials and generation Y. Because social media is so important for a company’s online presence, it’s important for businesses to understand how it works. Ray shares that the biggest mistakes companies make when attempting to utilize social media are not having a clear strategy, a lack of creativity, and not listening to what consumers are saying. It’s easy to just put out information, but it’s much more rewarding to a business to listen to what consumers are saying online.