Yesterday, Amanda and I attended the Social Media Breakfast Maine at Costa Vida Restaurant in Portland. This was the very first installment of Maine’s Social Media Breakfast and the meetings will continue each month covering different topics about Social Media.
It is always refreshing and insightful to be a part of a networking event where like-minded individuals share their ideas and experiences. Even more so when there is breakfast and coffee involved!
Fred Abaroa, owner of the venue, Costa Vida, and burrito baker extraordinaire dove right into the history of society’s usage of traditional media and the timeless tradition of person to person marketing. Fred acknowledged the big changes throughout the decades from radio to television and then television to the internet. He focused in on the current trends today: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
These mediums are now used as platforms for professional and personal branding growth. With hordes of users on each of these networking sites, it may be difficult to separate yourself, stand out from the crowd and focus on creating your own particular audience. Trying to “Be the blue lobster,” (ah, Maine!) was the exemplary advice from first guest speaker Stuart Foster – Social Media Consultant and Founder of The Lost Jacket.
Already a coffee and a half-bagel deep, I peruse around to see that 85% of the audience is tweeting, blogging or streaming about the event from their PDA’s, laptops or iPhones. Networking behaviors certainly have changed and these observations are proof that Portland has adapted to these changes.
With this adaptation and massive amounts of content poured into these social media systems comes the availability of information. Social media search is now prevalent online and most personal and professional information can be found through the use of social media search engines such as WhosTalkin.com and Twitter Search, believes Monica Wright from HMG Search Marketing. Social Media searches are useful tools to see who is talking about you or your company online right now.
To some, this is a scary scenario but to most it promotes company transparency, a pillar of trust between business and client. Transparency within these social media networks should be monitored and require a policy of ethics for those members representing your company, admits Lynelle Wilson of Bold Consulting, the final speaker of the event.
We wrapped up with audience questions and a quick raffle (I remain unlucky). This event addressed the need for professional and personal brand growth using online social media. I definitely would recommend immersing yourself or within these networking and relationship building opportunities!