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2017 Social Media Week

Clay Travis

The sixth annual UT Social Media Week (UTSMW), held February 27 – March 2, had far-reaching impact as evidenced by in person and social media attendance at the week’s keynote and sessions (see the week’s statistics below).

Clay Travis, national radio host and FOX Sports analyst, delivered the UTSMW keynote on March 2 to wrap up the week. In his talk, “How to Go from Zero Readers to Over a Million a Day: My Online Writing Life,” Travis explained how he used social media to build his personal brand. A recap of his keynote can be found in the March 5, 2017 Daily Beacon cover story.

Travis hosts Fox Sports Radio’s Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis, a three-hour national radio show. He created the blog Outkick the Coverage and maintains strong engagement with almost 300,000 followers on Twitter and millions of readers of his blog.

The week’s panel discussion topics ranged from politics to sports to crisis management to entertainment. UT and CCI social media professionals were among the panelists representing organizations such as ESPN College GameDay, POLITICO, World Food Championships, and the Tombras Group.

Other speakers included:

Wildfire Team - SMW17

  • Hadas Gold, POLITICO media reporter
  • Bob Welton, UT  sports director of player personnel
  • Donald Page, UT Athletics Department assistant director of digital media
  • Katherine Hughes, ESPN associate editor of social media
  • Bruce McCamish, local photographer known for his photos of the Gatlinburg wildfires
  • Kristin Farley, WATE 6 On Your Side anchor
  • Marshall Ramsey (BS/Bus. Admin. ’91), award-winning cartoonist

University experts led workshops providing students with hands-on experience in creating infographics and doing research. UT Social Media Week 2017 was sponsored by WATE-TV, Bacon & Company, Dunkin Donuts, Threds, and the VolShop. A full schedule for UTSMW 2017 can be found on the Social Media Week website. Check out #UTSMW17 for more information related to UT Social Media Week.

Ed Patterson’s (BS/PR ’89 and emeritus member of CCI’s Board of Visitors) generous financial support of UT Social Media Week was a key factor in making UTSMW 2017 such a great success. “Much of the week’s activities were made possible by Ed Patterson’s vision and financial support for which we are very grateful,” said ADPR Associate Professor and UTSMW Planning Committee Chair Courtney Childers. “The impact these sessions have on our students as they interact with and learn from top social media professionals is remarkable.”

Key audience statistics for the week include:

  • 700 public social media posts using #utsmw17 were logged in the last 30 days. 88.3% of sentiment was positive regarding the event per Salesforce Social Studio.
  • 6,404 accounts on Facebook were reached during the last 30 days.
    • For the Clay Travis keynote, 5,800 people watched his Facebook Live broadcast. 
    • 28,700 people viewed his keynote on Periscope. During both broadcasts, he mentioned and thanked UT, CCI and UTSMW multiple times.
  • On Twitter alone, hashtag #utsmw17 generated 420 tweets, reached 405,541 accounts and generated 1,769,286 impressions during the past week (
  • The Tennessee Today UTSMW story was the 2nd most read story for the week ranking only behind the John Currie AD announcement story.
  •  Students from at least 22 classes across campus attended the event.
  • 26 social media experts participated as speakers, moderators or panelists
  • Total in-person attendance across the week’s events was 1,200+. 
    • The UTSMW keynote presentation was filled to capacity at 380 with 50 attending in the overflow classroom. In addition, over 250 students attended the Clay Travis Meet & Greet that followed in the CCI Lobby. 
  • Sessions were streamed live and will be archived in the near future at
  • Significant local media coverage came from WATE-TV, WVLT-TV, the Knoxville News Sentinel and a front-page Daily Beacon story.