Alumni Spotlight: Eli Langer Uses Social Media to Help Small Businesses Succeed
Pursuing his passion helped this Touro alum start his own media company—and a career he loves
From a sports blog to CNBC to starting his own media company, Lander College of Arts & Sciences Alumni Eli Langer shares how he turned his love of all things digital into a fulfilling career--and why you should always pursue your passion.
I've always been interested in people. Marketing is a great profession to get into if you want to meet new and interesting people each day. But how I got into marketing was an interesting journey.
In 2008, as I was wrapping up my last few undergrad semesters at Lander College of Arts & Sciences, I started a New York Mets blog. I was a big fan of the team growing up and found myself calling into sports radio shows each night.
In March 2009, someone suggested I begin sharing links to my blog posts on this new site called Twitter. I signed up and was immediately amazed by just how small the world had become; I was able to communicate one-on-one with reporters, celebrities, and so on.
For about nine months I assisted CNBC's Darren Rovell, who covers the world of sports business, with his social media campaigns. I didn't get paid, but that really wasn't my focus. I wanted to network. Before long Rovell got his own TV show and brought me on part-time to run his social media channels. I then transitioned into a full-time role with the network for nearly four years.
After learning a whole lot at the cable news channel, I wanted to re-tap into my creative side and returned to helping small businesses with their digital marketing. I took a job as Chief Marketing Officer at Aron's Kissena Farms, the largest kosher supermarket in Queens, NY.
A year or so in, we realized there were literally tens of thousands of independent supermarkets across the U.S. that had marketing budgets but didn't know the first thing about marketing in today's mobile-first world. Remember, these are supermarkets that are currently spending millions of dollars a year on printing and distributing circulars to your home each week, only to end up directly in the garbage.
Reaching people via e-mail and across Facebook and Instagram costs a business considerably less than a print marketing campaign and it's the reason we created Harvesting Media.
My advice to students would be to teach yourself as much as you can about the digital marketing tools at one's disposal. Whether it’s Google AdWords, Facebook's Ad Manager or ConstantContact, the only two things between you and becoming a pro at using these tools are time and passion. If you can find the time and muster up the passion, you'll be surprised at just how much you can learn.
What I loved most about Touro was the connection between students and teachers. It created a fun and educational learning environment during the two and a half years I spent at the Ave J campus. I even keep up with a couple of my teachers, one who lives across the country now. I'm particularly grateful to Professor Lydia Kraus, who helped me take my English writing to the next level. The best part? Professor Kraus will still correct me if I make a grammatical error in a Facebook post. I never stop learning!