Social Media: A Revolution – How to Embrace It

I used to perceive business conferences as a gathering of uptight professionals with their pens and paper scattered all over the table, conversing about falling stocks or bad mouthing competitors’ initiatives. All of my pre-conceived notions were proven wrong when I suited up and attended the Marketing conference, TS2 2010, yesterday, July 15th,  at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

I was baffled by the variety of workshops offered throughout the day…a buffet of selections for you to choose from to satisfy your taste! Everything from up-and-coming lifestyle trends to how to generate ideas that will help boost your business, I was definitely ready to devour some of these great sessions that would feed my business-hungry mind.

Since we live in a world that is so connected through the Internet where social media has become a world-wide phenomenon, no one can go a single day without clicking through the “every day essentials:” Facebook and Twitter. So what does this mean for businesses out there?

Well, event will not be strictly dedicated to “Katie’s Bachelorette Party” nor will status updates be “ “Just had the best day of my life!” You will notice a lot of your favorite stores, restaurants, bands and other companies posting contests or daily updates for highlights within their industry.  This new practice is the result of businesses slowly integrating social media into their daily operations and tapping into a market where more people will look to for their favorite company’s promotions and news(in comparison to “old-school” methods like handing out fliers!)

Here’s the big question…how????

How do businessmen and women know what will grasp their customer’s attention? Is there some type of special lingo that people speak? Will posting traditional advertisements on social media websites work?

You might think so! Well…at least I thought that once you start to digitally post things on the Internet, people would read it regardless!

But I was DEFINITELY wrong! Having used my fair share of social media websites and tools as a means of posting advertisements and promoting events, I have been getting increasingly more frustrated when the responses were not what I had wanted or intended.

Instead of hoping for things to improve  by relying on people to just “stumble” onto the page, I learned some pretty decent tricks of the trade from the workshops that I attended at the TS2 conference. Here are some highlights:

  • Social media is so attractive because it plays off the emotions of the audience, but at the same time it exposes them to different things, giving them entertainment but at the same time there is an educational aspect to it
  • The most astonishing quality that makes people constantly checking status updates, reading blogs or viewing videos is that there is a humanizing element to the content that is posted. When people go on Facebook or Twitter, they’re not looking for formal updates like “X company announces merger with Y company”, there is CNN and BBC news for those kind of headlines! People go on social media to get a break from their hectic lives, giving them a sense of relief from stresses at school or work when you come across one of your friends posting an embarrassing picture of someone else! People feel more personally connected with each other through these websites; with that said, it is important to reinforce this fact and keep these websites personal and relaxing when you start using social media as a way to reach out to your target audience.
  • Another tool to engage your audience is to create valuable content and collaboration. You don’t want to post a blog about how miserable your life is with your monster-in-law criticizing your lack of commitment to the family or issues that you are having with your friends. Well, to a certain extent, if you were a celebrity, I guess that might be okay… But then again, the paparazzi and tabloids will catch you, leading to bad press… Regardless, you would always want to post something that is interesting for people to read, which in turn helps create strong bonds with the audiences as you leave them wanting to revisit your site again for more updates.

The conference also gave insight to some very interesting social media applications outside the main 3 giants of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube…here are a few that I liked:

  • Four Square: A tool on your phone and iTouch that gives you a new way of exploring your city. This application is a great way for people to promote their venues as when people “check-in” to the place they’re at, they can get inside tips of anything interesting that is happening at the venue. For example, when I “checked-in” to a small family-owned Italian restaurant out in Framingham, there was a tip that I could get a free appetizer if I showed them I was a first time customer on Four Square.
  • SlideShare: A great file-sharing place where you can post presentations, documents and portfolios for digital conferences or just for sharing’s sake!

It’s no joke when people say, “social media is changing the world!” Just look at the vast amount of new applications that have been popping up by the seconds! There is definitely a lot to learn about this universal occurrence, and just attending these workshop sessions at the TS2 conference has sparked my interest to research it more and use it to its full potential.

Written by: Venisse Wu

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Comments

  • Kunal Phadnis  On July 16, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Very interesting…… Come to think of it .,, I need a social life

  • MSK  On July 16, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Very interesting article, good stuff to know about.
    Thanks for sharing the knowledge 🙂

Trackbacks

  • […] I used to perceive business conferences as a gathering of uptight professionals with their pens and paper scattered all over the table, conversing about falling stocks or bad mouthing competitors’ initiatives. All of my pre-conceived notions were proven wrong when I suited up and attended the Marketing conference, TS2 2010, yesterday, July 15th,  at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.  I was baffled by the variety of workshops offered th … Read More […]

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