Professor explores social media
Published: Friday, September 27, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 27, 2013 01:09
This article is the last piece of a series highlighting this year’s new professors who have outstanding achievements in their career and major plans to bring to UConn.
Connecticut and the School of Business have been in support of new courses in social media marketing, said new marketing professor Jane Gu.
Gu’s research specialty falls into the social media category, working particularly in Internet marketing. She said she looks at topics such as online retailing and smart phone applications.
“It’s not like the old days,” Gu said. “Nowadays consumers take control.”
Gu described marketing through Twitter, Facebook, etc. as “inbound marketing,” which aims to attract consumers to a product’s webpage and become interested in the product, rather than give the consumers all the information like in a TV commercial.
Gu said that because social media is still very new, not much has been studied. For example, she said there was recently a case where marketers were doing fake reviews on their products and were caught and fined by the government. Social media sights have also given marketers a lot of new information about how their consumers like their product. Gu said it is a very promising area to study, and knowing how it works makes students better for the job market.
This semester, Gu is teaching “New Media Marketing.” The course studies how marketers use the Internet and social media to market to consumers.
“I find my students very interesting,” Gu said. “They are from different backgrounds, the business school, and some from communication, some from engineering.” Gu said because social media can be so broad, and her students come from a range of backgrounds, there are a lot of interesting conversations in class.
Gu chose to study marketing because it is such a broad discipline that can be applied to apparel, airplanes, electronics or anything else. She got her doctorate in marketing from New York University in 2007, and has taught at SUNY Albany for the past six years. She came to the United States in 2000 from China.
Even though she is still in the early stage of her career, Gu has several publications in premium marketing journals such as “Marketing Science.” UConn is in her long-term plans, hoping to tenure here, she said.
Gu said she always knew she wanted to be a professor. Her grandfather and mother were professor, and she said maybe one day her daughter, who just stated kindergarten, will be a professor. If not working in academia though, Gu said she has always liked to read and write, and would maybe like to be a novelist.