Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Whitworth journalism alumna to release book on social media for businesswomen

Whitworth alumna Sophie Sestero, '11, is sharing her expertise in social media marketing in a new book aimed at businesswomen. SNAP: A Social Networking After Party, which will be released later this year, has also inspired a seminar series sponsored by the Idaho Women's Journal.

SNAP stemmed from an article Sestero wrote for the Idaho Women's Journal last fall. After reading Sestero's work, the magazine's publisher, Karleen Andresen, told her the topic deserved more space than just an article. They collaborated on the idea of a book, which Andresen agreed to fund.

"The concept of SNAP is to make sure we take material that could be, let's be honest, a little boring, and make it fun to read by adding whimsical titles, artwork, and content," Sestero says.

SNAP is dedicated to two groups of women: those who would like to learn to use social networking but are nervous to get started, and those who are more experienced in the field and wish to incorporate social media into their businesses.

Currently, Sestero is an assistant account executive at Ritter Public Relations in her hometown of Boise, Idaho.

"As I break into Boise's business community, I'm surprised to find the number of people who are resistant to creating a Facebook page or a LinkedIn group for their companies when they could benefit so much from it," Sestero says. "However, I'm also finding it important to know what sites and services are not relevant for some companies. For instance, not every company needs a blog if they will not be updating it regularly when they could simply post content on Facebook or Twitter."

Idaho Women's Journal will use the information discussed in the book as the foundation for its seminar series, in which women can attend meetings on social media marketing and ask questions about getting started with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogs.

Sestero was inspired to write SNAP after helping her mother, an Idaho businesswoman, understand the world of social media marketing. She says she hopes businesswomen will come away from her book feeling that they now have the opportunity to get started in social media marketing.

"I hope SNAP inspires businesses to take the plunge, and women to personally start using social networking," she says. "If one person is able to find connectivity and feel more involved with friends and family because of this endeavor, it will have been worth the whole process."

Sestero received a degree in journalism and mass communication with a minor in visual communications from Whitworth. During her time at Whitworth, she served as an editor for The Whitworthian student newspaper.

"I firmly believe a Whitworth education is an exemplary one--one which prepared me to jump into any task with both feet and made me adaptable enough to learn to cope with any situation," Sestero says.

SNAP: A Social Networking After Party will be available later this year as an e-book to keep up with constantly changing websites, services, and layouts, Sestero says. Pre-orders are available on the Idaho Women's Journal website.

To learn more about Sestero's book or to follow her own social media, visit her blog http://sophiesestero.wordpress.com/ or her Twitter account http://twitter.com/#!/SRSestero.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.