“We’re all social creatures.” – Social Media Monthly Magazine.
The social media phenomenon is growing in such a sporadic way it almost seems to have a life of its own. As a whole there is no doubt that this multi-faceted creature cannot be tamed. However, is it possible that firms can manipulate some of its quite unpredictable traits for their own purposes? I deduced from the “Get Social” seminar that to varied extents it is possible, but also perhaps perilous. It was valuable to receive direction and caution from those who are well familiar with the different aspects of social media behaviour.
At the beginning of the conference, confronted with “Gangnam Style”, I was intrigued as to what its academic significance was. Theo Lynn’s clarification as to how we can learn from “Psy” was helpful. The aspect I found most insightful was how the dance moves used in the video were copied directly from one of “American Idol’s” tragic heroes who fell at the first hurdle. I can appreciate Psy’s innovation here, turning something which people wouldn’t be seen dead doing into a world-wide craze. The fickle sway in the tide of public opinion is something which can be exploited by users of social media. It can also be colossally detrimental to businesses and individuals if not recognised and adhered to, as other speakers later acknowledged.
It was significant how Mark Cahalane, (Managing Director, Edelamn Europe), described that trust has “tangible benefits”. I agree that businesses “transcending from a licence to operate to a licence to lead” is an exciting proposition. Social media gives businesses a great understanding of what people value and focus on as it is basically conversations in open forum. This information enables firms to respond to the desires of the public in a leadership fashion.
Some of the hazards described by Claire Wardle, (Director of News services, Storyful) which can be encountered on the social media sphere were quite alarming such as people losing jobs, organisations suffering bad publicity etc. Her presentation was constructive for me personally in that although she warned us of potential hiccups, she also told us to “get stuck in”.
Being untutored in the Twitter world I was surprised to hear how dynamically suitable for business it is. After listening to Jane White’s (former DCU student and current Account Executive for Twitter) explanation of promoted accounts, promoted tweets and promoted trends, I can see how, if harnessed the right way, tweets can be turned into sales.
Social media accounts for only 16% of customer engagement today, but is expected to increase to 57%—the second-most used channel, behind only face to face interaction—within five years.
(Tom Pick 2012)
Phillip Kelly (digital marketing executive, Electric Ireland), is clearly someone who has experience in effectively handling tweets, likes, dislikes and comments. His reference to how his firm has seen slander on Facebook turn round to commendation showed how even negative exposure can be turned into positive publicity. No medium of advertising and business communication except the social media platform offers this same opportunity.
(Jack Dorsey 2006)
“Why bother adding to all that noise?”.
Darragh Doyle’s (Community Manager, World Irish) opening question was certainly relevant. I loved his quote from Steinbeck, “If a story is not about the hearer, then no one’s listening”. If in the multitude of blogs, tweets and Facebook accounts the contribution is to be significant, it should be relevant to the audience.
The panel of Conor, Ciaran, Daragh and Krishna all had useful advice to contribute. I personally got a lot from Krishna’s idea that you don’t have to do everything. I am someone who likes to try to hit the target with every available projectile, often doing considerable damage everywhere else. So reiteration of my need to hone accuracy in specific areas was beneficial.
One of the most valuable resources that platforms such as Facebook offer businesses is that they give them the possibility of direct contact with the information circulating around their company. Catherine Flynn (Global Marketing Solutions (UK) at Facebook) pointed out that the recommendation of a product or service from friends is much more likely to result in sales than a firm’s own advertisements.
Excellence is a quality that rarely goes unnoticed. Upon researching it further I was very impressed with the story of innovation and creativity that landed Matthew Young his dream job of designing covers at Penguin. Penguin have now even used his example as a means of finding new employees, (pearson.com 2012). Inspirational anecdotes like this one which was cited by Brian Herron, (Community Manager, Google+ Local at Google Inc.), have made the first two DICE seminars stimulating.
Social media has put its stamp on virtually every aspect of our lives, not least on the business world. I thought “Get Social” was very relevant for us as BS1 students. Three of the insights which Eric Weaver, (IPG Brand), gave us were a good overview of the entire seminar, be passionate, watch out for and respond well to blunders, and utilize the opportunity which social media offers you. When applied, they enable firms to harness the fluctuating nature of the social media sphere for business purposes.
e3detroit.com 2012. 8 Tips to Help Muzzle the Social Media Monster, [Online]. Available from: http://e3detroit.com/2012/01/social-media-monster/ [Accessed 29 October 2012].
adventured.com 2012. Top 50 Social Media Quotes and Social Networking Quotes, [Online]. Available from: http://adventured.com/about-life-quotes-socialnetwork-quotes/ [Accessed 29 October 2012].
Tom Pick 2012. 87 More Vital Social Media Marketing Facts and Stats for 2012, [Online]. Available from: http://www.business2community.com/social-media-marketing-facts-and stats-for-2012-0307891 [Accessed 29 October 2012].
Jack Dorsey 2006. Necessary Noise Only, Please [Online]. Available from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jackdorsey/272873611/ [Accessed 29 October 2012].
pearson.com 2012. Penguin Ad Campaign for New Community Manager: A Creative Search for Creativity, [Online]. Available from: http://www.pearson.com/about-us/feature-stories.html [Accessed 28 October 2012].
handshake20.com 2012. Size Matters: Your Social Media Footprint, [Online]. Available from: http://www.handshake20.com/2010/01/size-matters-your-social-media-footprint.html [Accessed 29 October 2012].