Megan Taylor’s online community

Contact: Abbie Griffith

Megan Taylor

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—If you type in #community into TikTok, Instagram or your preferred social media, Western Michigan University senior Megan Taylor of McBain, Michigan, will certainly be in your feed. Inspired by well-known companies like Nike for their impactful campaigns, Taylor is ready to take on advertising and promotion once she graduates and to build a community.  

“When Nike released their ‘Dream Crazier’ commercial, I watched it thinking it was the best thing ever. I knew I wanted to create something like that,” she says. “I want to make a positive impact with the campaigns I work on. I love how advertising can affect people in different ways, and I enjoy that it’s both a creative and analytical field,” she says.

Always eager to learn more, Taylor has found mentors in Dr. Russell Zwanka, director of food and consumer package goods marketing program, and Greg Gerfen, instructor of marketing, who always answer her questions and empower her to explore all there is to learn in advertising. 

“I always ask so many questions, so I’m grateful when I have professors who are patient with me. Both Dr. Zwanka and Professor Gerfen have been awesome in always answering all my questions as well as providing their expertise in class,” Taylor says.

She has also managed to have a lot of fun with her classmates, gaining advertising experience by going viral online. 

“I had a great team for a Buzzfeed project we worked on in my digital and social media marketing course. We created a quiz about HBOMax’s Euphoria and had respondents answer personality questions to determine which outfit from the show suited them best,” says Taylor. “We learned what titles were the most eye catching and how to create content that looked visually appealing. I had never watched the show, but I had to learn about it quickly so that I could talk about it for the quiz while distributing it.

While her Buzzfeed quiz project was entertaining and exciting, Taylor has been able to apply her teamwork and digital strategy skills at her marketing internship at Silver Lake Visitors Bureau. One project she worked on extensively was the organization’s content calendar. 

“Implementing the strategies I’ve learned in my courses, the Visitors Bureau achieved a 90% increase in reach and 40% increase in new followers on Facebook and Instagram. I also used social listening to respond to comments, which helped to inform our posting strategy. It was really fun interacting with users and understanding how their words impacted what we would post,” she says.

Honing in her skills in the digital world has been important in practicing her craft, and Taylor also began to understand the importance of community while marketing a business. 

“During my internship, I replied to comments across social channels, sourced user-generated content, and planned the content to post—I also got to write blogs for the website,” she says. “I learned the importance of creating a community with your followers. People love it when you personally reply to their comment or feature one of their photos in posts or reply to their DMs. I loved learning how to navigate that.”

The community that Taylor has been developing led to her being awarded a scholarship through Adcraft Club of Detroit—a highlight of her time at Western. 

“When I participated in AdCon, I was awarded a scholarship because of what I learned in my advertising and promotion courses,” she says. “We learned about the barriers that advertising has in reaching consumers. I was asked about this topic during the event and explained the importance of companies building trust with consumers through actions rather than words. Consumers want to feel good about what they’re purchasing.” 

Taylor certainly will leave her mark in more ways than one. Whether it’s through the impactful posts she makes that resonate with viewers or the positive comments she leaves online, she’s creating a bright community. 

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.