Author Profile

Rachel Ullstrom

Rachel Ullstrom Rio SEO
Account Director, Social Technologies

Rachel Ullstrom is an account director for earned media technology at Rio SEO. As a self-proclaimed “data nerd,” she spends much of her time diving into big data to create a results-driven, data-centric approach to earned media. Rachel also has experience in education marketing and a passion for long-term audience engagement. Based out of Seattle, she spends most of her time with the world’s cutest dog and volunteering as an advisor and mentor for young women. Tweet her @rachieracherton.

Articles Contributed By Rachel Ullstrom

Algorithmic Filtering: What the absence of #Ferguson trends teaches us
A few weeks ago, I began seeing troubling bits of news in my Twitter feed about Ferguson, Mo.  After watching an escalation of news in my twitter Twitter and Facebook feeds over a matter of hours, I was baffled by the absence of the news as a trending topic. , and apparent absence from my feed on Facebook. How could everyone I know (and follow) be watching the events in Ferguson, and have it still not surfacing among trends on social networks? 

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Vibrams, Yogurt, and Deadlifts: When Word of Mouth is Dangerous
With potential new consumers and existing product fans increasingly connecting with one another, it is important to see word of mouth marketing no only as part of your discovery and sales funnel, but also as a critical part of your liability model. Engaging with consumers directly and controlling your message are the best ways to ensure consumer intent is aligned with reality, while limiting your exposure to misrepresentation due to well-meaning fan(atic)s. 

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Why #BringBackOurGirls May not be as Impactful as it Seems
Twitter activism has been getting a lot of press as of late, particularly related to the #BringBackOurGirls trend advocating for intervention to rescue the young women kidnapped in Chibok, Nigeria just weeks ago. For the sake of this post, I am going to set aside the obvious tragedy, and focus on the social trend itself and the context immediately surrounding the incident and the trend.

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Owned, Paid, Earned: More than the Sum of their Parts
One of the things I’ve been pondering lately revolves around the digital marketing and social media buzz words:  Owned, Paid and Earned.
While these words imply different channels, marketer relationships with those channels, media formats, their audience reach and persona types, I believe it is time to stop considering them mutually exclusive silos. 
Tweets that originate from content  published on your website, as well as Facebook likes, Google +1s, retweets and shares of brand-published content, are still your content and the dialogue is still largely driven by this branded content. Digital marketers need to focus equally on audience reach and engagement, creating a content strategy that crosses all platforms. This certainly includes owned media as a syndication lever.

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“Guest Blogging” and Trust are Not Mutually Exclusive
Matt Cutts’ recent post on his personal blog articulated a devolving pattern of spammy “guest blog” practices. It was a fairly thorough exploration of a common problem of paying for content simply to gain links. While it was a complex argument, and a solid point of view - it was summed up everywhere in four words: “Guest Blogging is Dead” which is not exactly what he said.

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Banksy and Street Art as Word of Mouth

As a marketer and social media analyst, I know finding your audience and message can be daunting. This October we saw some great social media trends, and some interesting discussions around word of mouth nationally, but none was more interesting to me than the case of Banksy’s New York “Artist in Residence” project titled “Better Out Than In.”  It struck me how much the street art community relies on word of mouth, and how the general public uses that buzz to actually determine the worth of the work.



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The End is Near, Chicken Little

Every month or so, another article pro claiming the “end of social media” is published in reaction to some small change in subscribers, participants or popular sites. It’s the sort of argument I imagine was popular among stair makers when the elevator was invented. These ‘chicken littles’ (in this case the Daily Mail) recently noted that investment in social sites was down in July and asked if it was “the end of the social network.”


End of SM

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The Data-Driven Brand Newsroom: Building an Audience-Relevant Newsroom

The “brand newsroom” is a concept that has received a lot of press lately, and while there is certainly proven value in using short-term interests to hold attention in the long term, many niche and smaller consumer brands find the “newsroom” to be out of reach. By using advocate and social audience insights to inform a topical strategy, you can build a program that engages in real time with a focus on long-term relationships.



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