Social media strategist shares insights on Google and its capabilities beyond a search tool


Victoria Reitano speaks in Huntley Hall on Monday. Photo by Xiaoxia Yin, ‘19.

by Xiaoxia Yin

If one types “Washington and Lee” into Google Trends, he or she can find not only simple information, but also comparisons and an analysis of how people follow Washington and Lee online by time, region and topics.

Victoria Reitano, a media entrepreneur based in New York, visited Washington and Lee last week and told students about a suite of Google tools that they can use to create content and market them-selves. Reitano said she uses these tools to help promote the clients of her company, CreatiVix Media.

Reitano has been trained by Google Inc. to teach college students how to use Google more effectively.

One of the useful tools is Google Trends, which allows for tracing the popularity of topics over time. Reitano said that its immediacy, depth, breadth and accuracy make it a good tool to figure out the top-ics currently bubbling up.

Reitano said she thinks a lot of organizations today struggle to find big topics of conversation. But Google Trends can solve that problem because it conglomerates those topics, she said.

“You can find your own creative spin on it and still be part of the conversation,” Reitano said.

Reitano explained how people can work on the same document through Google Docs. She also said the advantage of a management system like Google+ is that people can share different information with a various groups of people.

“Google Docs are great ways to connect with writers and editors as a digital newsroom,” Reitano said

Reitano said researchers and journalists often gain insights or sup-porting data for stories using Google Consumer Surveys.

She said Google Consumer Surveys prove what users want by pre-senting ideas directly. She gave examples of survey questions such as gender, geography and income level. She also explains on the user side about how to gain access by answering questions.

“More importantly, it [Google Consumer Surveys] is free,” Reita-no said. “And it is not just for sellers distributing consumer surveys but for anyone [who wants to find] interesting content for producing sites.”

Reitano said Google search refinements allows users to find more specific information by file types, domain and related sites and organize their searches based on these titles.

Google Alert is the best way for individual users to conduct a “social search,” Reitano said, and get information just for personal use.

Professor of Journalism Pam Luecke said Reitano’s suggestions can benefit all students going into the communications fields.

“Ms. Reitano is adept at all of the social media skills that our stu-dents will need as journalists or strategic communicators,” Luecke said. “We are grateful to the Society of Professional Journalists for partnering with Google to make experts like her available to our students.”