Do you use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or a blog to promote your business brand? Are you using any of these tools to help jump-start your job campaign? If the answer to these questions is “no,” then you had better think twice. That’s according to the thought-leaders who spoke at the Invisible Children DePaul Social Media Marketing Conference. This event was held on June 10 at DePaul University in Chicago.
The first speaker was Paul Booth, Assistant Professor of New Media and Technology in the College of Communication at DePaul University. Booth said that the millennial generation (those born after 1980) “know and get their media.” The use of social media is second nature to them. As a baby boomer, I can relate. Many of us–who are successful professionals and businesspeople—make minimal use of the various web-based tools that were described at the conference. Booth stressed the social aspect of social media, namely, that we “can’t have an identity without community.” According to Booth, social media is nothing new, it began with Greek theatre. What is different about the use of today’s web-based social media is that we do it alone.
The next speaker, Steve Koernig, teaches social media marketing courses at DePaul University where he is an Associate Professor. Koernig cited several case studies that illustrate the importance of internet marketing. For instance, P&G invited a dozen “mommy bloggers” to Cincinnati headquarters. The bloggers toured the facilities, met with diaper executives and learned about all-things relating to the Pampers brand. P&G picked up all of their expenses because the company recognizes the fact that “bloggers are the new influencers.”
Barbara Rozgonyi, the keynote speaker and owner of CoryWest Media, LLC, suggested that the quality and quantity of people in your network (LinkedIn) will someday determine your value as a potential employee. In using social media, Roozgonyi challenged the attendees to think of themselves as a landscape: “What do you want people to think of when they see you?” For a view of the various social media landscapes, she suggested that attendees check out the CMO website.
James Moore, Director of Online Learning for DePaul University’s College of Commerce, began his presentation by defining social media: “1) it relies upon a technological platform (the internet); 2) it is not bound by physical limits to growth (scalability) and 3) it has low barriers to entry (accessibility).” He quoted Avinash Kaushik, a web-analytics guru, who offered a more provocative definition of social media:
“Social media is like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it.
No one actually knows how. When finally done, there is surprise it’s not better.”
Moore made a number of pertinent points including the fact that when you establish a presence on the web, you should think of yourself as a celebrity. You never want an unguarded moment. Someone is watching you 24 hours a day. And you never want to go “off message.”
What do you think about using social media as a marketing tool? Are you currently using social media to promote your brand? If so, how is this working for you?