I had the privilege of being a co-presenter with my friend Rosemarie Monaco of Group M at a recent Rockland Business Association Womens Forum. The topic of the day The Basics of Social Media. Our presentation reviewed the very basics of Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, LinkedIn, and YouTube. We reviewed what we consider to be the Top 5 Social Networking sites as they relate to business from a branding and public relations standpoint.
The event was held at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Nanuet, and the room was full of both men and women with a large variation of knowledge in social networking. Our presentation format was conversational and very open to audience interaction. In retrospect, I am not sure that was a great idea, because Rosemarie and I probably only got about halfway through our presentation when it was 5pm and we had to call it a day.
It is amazing to me how many people want desperately to know about social networking, but are apprehensive to dive in. They know that they should get involved in it for the sake of their business, but their instincts tell them to be cautious.
Then there are those of us who have adopted social media as a way of life. It is a part of our every day routine. We take pictures and upload them to our Facebook to share with family and friends. We have renewed friendships with college and high school buddies. We blog regularly about our passion. We tweet words of wisdom. We check out YouTube to stay current on recent events, our favorite celebrities, or the latest scandal. We text. We chat. We download apps. We write on walls.
There is often some fear or hesitation in the unknown, and especially when that unknown often receives such bad press. Fears of identity theft, Facebook scandals, Facebook stalkers, personal information being out there for the world to see. Questions about followers, networks, friends, privacy, comments on blogs, comments on walls ... the list goes on and on.
It is true. Social media can be a bit intimidating. It is a whole new world. But it is also fun. And, for many businesses, it is an essential element for growth and success.
So, I urge everyone who is apprehensive to put aside your fears and just do it. Spend the time necessary to become familiar with the networking sites I have indicated. Find and read blogs on topics that are of interest to you. Comment on the blogs. Get involved in the conversation. And once you become more familiar and comfortable with the process, start a conversation of your own.
Because when it comes right down to it, that’s all social media is. It is a conversation. It is a way to be social and interact on the internet. It is not scary. It’s fun! That is why so many people are doing it.
If you are interested in learning more about Social Media as it relates to your business, contact me at Insight@BBGGadv.com
By the way, if this blog seems very formal today, it is because it is being very finicky and has decided it does not like apostrophes. So I have been forced to remove them in an effort to remove html jibberish. If I have missed any, I apologize!
June Bisel is a founding partner at BBG&G Advertising and Public Relations in Middletown, New York. Follow her on Twitter