Upcoming Speaking Engagements

How to Source and Target the Right Content to the Right Audience

Social Fresh
December 2018 - Winter Park, Florida

A university is a complicated institution with widely varied audiences of students, stakeholders, fans, and more. In this session, Sonja will review how Duke University decides which content type works best for each audience, how they create and collect that content, and how they measure the impact of their content strategy across channels and audiences. 

Panel: Fresh Perspectives on Social Media Strategies

North Carolina Marketing Summit
May 2019 - Charlotte, North Carolina

How are brands diversifying and innovating across New Media to capture and meaningfully engage their audiences? What might the next transformative social platform look like? Which platforms have outlived their utility?

Past Speaking Engagements


Keep Raising the Bar! Best Practices in Prioritizing Creativity, Innovation, and Executing on Big Ideas with a Small Team

Social Media Strategies Summit | Higher Education
November 2017 - Boston, Massachusetts

Your social media team (all two of you) need to be on the cutting edge of… well, basically everything. Says your boss. And your dean. And your chancellor. Oh, but you don’t get any more hires, and your budget is already set. Hear from Duke’s social media director about what Duke’s (small) social media team does to stay on top of trends, be innovative, and make the most of their resources to create content for the Duke University and Duke Students social media channels.

You’ll learn:

  • How to stay relevant on social, like the youths.
  • How to convince your bosses to let you try new stuff all the time.
  • How to streamline your processes and produce massive amounts of pretty stuff faster.
  • How to use the people and resources you already have to beef up your entire social media presence.

Video in Social Media: Everything You Need to Know

Internet Summit
November 2017 - Raleigh, North Carolina

Video in social media is so ubiquitous now that it’s basically required to engage your audience. Your bosses are probably already asking for it, and your audiences are waiting for you to get on the ball—but don’t worry. You already have the equipment and skills you need, and I’ll show you what to do. You’ll learn how to incorporate live video, marketing video, slideshows and more into your social media strategy on a shoestring budget.

After this session you’ll be able to:

  • Explain to your coworkers and supervisors why video is essential in today’s social media world
  • Use live video functionality from Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram
  • Repurpose still images into video formats for Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and YouTube
  • Take home a list of inexpensive equipment to make your video much higher quality

Using Video Effectively in Recruitment Marketing

Academic Impressions
March 2018 - Online
June 2017 - Online

Co-presented with Lindsay Nyquist, Fort Lewis College

Video has quickly become an essential recruitment marketing tool in higher education. However, with video now embedded into social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram (as well as more “traditional” options for video like Youtube), it can be difficult to know which channels to use to reach prospective students and exactly how to use them.

Join us for a webcast that will teach you how to integrate more video content into your recruitment marketing efforts with best practices for:

  • Facebook live
  • Youtube live
  • Snapchat
  • Instagram video

Throughout this online training, you will hear success stories and see examples of how our experts are using video in recruitment marketing at their own institutions.

Creating, Gathering and Right-sizing News Content for Social Media

Higher Ed Content Conference
April 2018 - Online

University news offices are some of the most powerful content-creating machines in higher education, and social media craves new content all the time. In this session, Sonja Likness will teach you how to integrate news and social media processes to create story packages that work perfectly for your different social media channels. You’ll also learn some useful tips to adopt a social media first approach to content development.

Social Media Presence and Marketing for Coaches

Duke Integrative Medicine
March 2018 - Online

Do you want to learn how to establish an engaging social media presence for your coaching business? Join us for this 6-session webinar series where you will learn about tactics and strategies for managing a social media presence. Through examples and best practices, you will learn about strategies for managing a social media presence including selecting channels, voice/tone, and approach as part of an integrated marketing plan for your health coaching services. During the course, you will develop an individualized social media strategy and gain an improved understanding of the available tools and online applications.

At the conclusion of the course, learners should be able to identify and apply techniques and strategies to effectively manage various social media platforms to build community, engage audiences, and maximize the exposure for their coaching business.

Workshop: Reaching Your Audiences Where They Already Are

Social Media: Behind the Scenes
March 2018 - Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Join Sonja Likness, Duke’s director of social media & content strategy, for an insider workshop on social media content planning, distribution and analysis. We’ll talk about creating content that will do well on the channels where your audience interacts (backed up with analytics data), and we’ll create a social media distribution plan for an example Duke story.