Meet #umbsocial Speaker – Robert Bochnak

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Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and the Tufts University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. For the past two years, I’ve managed social media—Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram—for the Harvard Business School’s (HBS) Alumni Office as an Assistant Director of Alumni Marketing and Communications. Before HBS, I was a Senior Writer and Communications Manager for the Tufts University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). Along with managing social media for the school, I was the co-editor-in-chief and contributing writer of Alma Matters, the magazine for Tufts arts, sciences, and engineering (AS&E) graduate alumni, editor of Graduate E-News, the e-newsletter for AS&E graduate students, and project manager for a number of GSAS marketing materials. I was also the editor and writer of Grad Matters, the blog for GSAS alumni.

In my free time, I like to hang out with my children and wife, play golf (poorly), and write about social media through my blog, Social Media Matters.

Bobpic2When did you start to work in social media?

I began my social media work in 2010.

How does a typical work day of you look like?

Each morning, I typically “run my numbers.” This involves reviewing alumni social media activity from the previous day and adding this information to my tracking sheets (for more on tracking sheets and its relationship to social media ROI go to Once I complete this process, I spend the rest of the day reviewing my Twitter lists looking for engagement opportunities, pushing out questions to our alumni on Twitter, posting content on Facebook and LinkedIn, and conducting social media research.

Do you have a role model in social media. Someone who inspires you?
I wouldn’t say I have social media role models, but I do appreciate people who pursue creative projects in this area. A perfect example of this is my colleague Allison Matherly from Texas Tech University. She helped spearhead the #IAmARedRaider project which I’m a HUGE fan of.

What is the hardest thing about social media?

Being okay with failure. I do a lot of experimentation on social media and sometimes my strategies work and sometimes they do not. But even when I fail, I try to learn something from the process so I increase my chances of success the next time around.

What do you see as some up-and-coming trend in social media?

An increased focus on big data in social media. I’m not sure what this will look like but it seems like a likely direction.

Did you make any social media mistakes in the past or is there anything you would avoid in future?
Yes, I’ve definitely made mistakes in the past! I’ve actually blogged about a few of them at and

To be successful in social media, you need to ….?

Take chances and always be willing to try something new.

What is your favorite book and why?

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s a terrific read.

What is your favorite quote?


“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” –Albert Einstein


“I AM AN F.B.I. Agent!” –Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) from Point Break

What is your favorite movie and why?

Shawshank Redemption. Great dialogue, great music. Let’s just say it gets REAL dusty at the Bochnak residence when Red and Andy reunite at the end of the film.

Where can we find more about you and you work?

You can learn more about me on LinkedIn at and by reading my blog, GradMatters, at

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