Twitter has always been my favorite Social Media network. You can interact with beat reports of your favorite sports team during the game, meet people from across the country in the industry you work in, network with people, share your expertise, interact with people while watching your favorite TV show or at a conference, and see what people are saying about a variety of topics. I love watching a game or a national event through my Twitter feed. It provides me with great insight into what is happening during the game or event, plus, it can be absolutely hilarious sometimes.
Which is why I thoroughly enjoyed Twitter during the presidential debates and feel that Twitter is still relevant. According to Twitter, the first presidential debate was the most tweeted about presidential debate ever, as there was fact-checking tweets, hilarious memes, a fantastic commentary from tweeters around the country. In recent weeks there has been a lot of speculation of a Twitter takeover, the engagement boost that the platform received should emphasis its’ strength.
But what makes Twitter so relevant during the debates and other live events?
I have not been good at keeping this going but I thought with all of the buzz from my Social Media Networking event this past Thursday, there is no better time than the present to give this another try. As, some of you already know, I am the Marketing Manager at Visit Lake County, and I handle everything from Advertising, Website development, Public Relations, Marketing, Technology and Social, so all thoughts expressed here are my own and not representative of Visit Lake County in any way.
This past Thursday, I held a Social Media Networking event at Urban Edge in Downtown Waukegan and it was a HUGE success!! People are still buzzing about it a couple days later. This all started a few months ago when I was looking around on my brand’s Facebook page at what the community was posting and talking about. I quickly realized that there was a lack of knowledge with small businesses within the community with what to post on Facebook. So, I pitched an idea to my boss about Visit Lake County getting behind a Social Networking Event, where we would educate our partners, bring in area small businesses and the former Lake County Social Networking Group. Once she was on board, I set out to locate the venue, and I immediately thought of no better place than Urban Edge in Downtown Waukegan. They built their gallery and ArtWauk on Social Media, plus Waukegan has a very vibrant community that I could tap into. The next step was the easy one….finding panelists/speakers. I went to my contacts in the Lake County Social Networking community and targeted 4 of the top Social Media enthusiasts that I know and who brings a following with them. They were (in no specific order), Casey Karl, Eddie Soto, Heather Acton and Beth Rosen (unfortunately Beth was out of the country and could not attend but was on board with what I was trying to do). It was a resounding “YES, Anthony, what do you need me to do. Thank you for spearheading this!” I started to feel the excitement and saw some buzz happening online before the event.
We decided the first session would be solely about the Social Network “Facebook” and how small businesses can utilize the network to promote their business. It was pretty easy to decided the format of the event, as Tim McDonald (now with the Huffington Post and living in the Big Apple, New York) did a create job with Lake County Social Networking #LCSN when he was in Lake County. I did touch base with Tim during the planning stages to get his thoughts. I learn something new every time I chat with Tim. For me, when Tim speaks, I say nothing and immediately turn into a sponge as I want to soak up everything he has to say. He is literally one of the best community managers that I know!! I was not trying to recreate what Tim did or duplicate it, I just wanted to bring the band back together so to speak. Talking with the speakers, I decided there would be no powerpoint presentations, just the 3 Social Media Enthusiasts (do not like to use the words Social Media Experts, no such thing, just people who know more than the average bear) and myself sitting on a couch talking about Facebook with interaction from the audience, similar to a talk show format. I did my best Maury interpretation.
I started it off with, “Is Facebook still King of the Social World?” The answer for all 4 us was a resounding “Yes”, but don’t put all your eggs in the Facebook basket. Yes, brand reach is down but the people are still there and they will find you with great content. Content is still KING!! Facebook is just part of the your arsenal that should include, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube. We then continued on to talking about ROI and how you should have Social Media goals for each platform first and than ROI. We then answered audience questions that ranged from very basic, “How do I set up a Facebook page?” to more sophisticated, “Where is Facebook heading and how do quantify it?”. We also gave one tip for small businesses managing their own Social Media, and that is to, Listen! Listen to what people are talking about on the networks and what your audience wants and then deliver.
Overall, 54 people were in attendance in the first installment of the second coming of Lake County Social Networking events. What lies ahead with the idea? Well, as soon as the event ended attendees were asking when the next one would be. After initially talking with a few folks, I am thinking having the Social Media Networking events once a quarter, but we shall see. If you attended the event what did you think about? What are your thoughts on Facebook? Do you think it is still the Social Media king?