September 15, 2011

Rachel Strella

Hooray for Central PA: Two Social Media Events in One Day!

Yesterday was a great day for those interested in learning more about social media in Central PA!

Harrisburg University hosted their annual Social Media Summit and the Sales and Marketing Professional Association (SMEI) hosted a Panel Discussion featuring regional leaders including: Anna Gerz (Godrey Advertising), Ken Mueller (Inkling Media), Barry Halvorson (The Fulton Theatre), and Heather Neary (Auntie Anne’s).

Our staff attended both events and we are delighted to share our biggest takeaways from both as well as our final grade.

Event: SMEI Panel Discussion

Attendee: Rachel Strella

The panelists discussed social strategy, goals, monitoring, content development, rules, marketing, integration, and time management. This event was spot on with what I’ve been telling my clients, which is re-assuring.

The part of the discussion that was most relevant for me was the way in which companies should respond to negative feedback.  The golden rule still applies: Don’t delete unless there is profanity or a high-level of inappropriate content.

Other points of interest regarding the approach to negative feedback:

  • Social media is a conversion. When a company deletes a negative comment, the conversation no longer exists – rather it becomes the voice of a corporation.
  • If you’ve established a good brand, with loyal fans, they may comment to negative feedback on your behalf.
  • “Social media has allowed for us, as customers, to surpass ‘regular’ customer service.” – Ken Mueller
  • Apologize for a bad experience and take the discussion offline ASAP. Do not get into battle with them.

Final Grade: A

Event: Social Media Summit

Attendee: Matt Hannaford

Of the entire day of panels, my favorite was the panel on disconnecting from social media. Nicole Radziwill, a panelist who did a social experiment on herself and disconnecting, said I am one of the people that fall into the “addicted” category, by checking my social media more than 100 times per day. Not sure if I agree, but it’s something to think about.

Other points of interest include:

  • A comment saying that communications like Skype or FaceTime will start to fall away in the next 12-18 months and "star wars"-like holograms will make telecommuting to the next level.
  • The panel of lawyers was very concerned with what is said on social media platforms and who controls the platform and offered much more conservative views than some of the other panelists.

Final Grade: B

Attendee: Amanda Harrison

The Social Media Summit for 2011 was a well-constructed event. There was a wide area of topics, such as Social Networking and the Job Search, Social Media and Legal Issues for Employers, Social Media and Political Change and The Future of Social Networking: 140 Characters at a Time. The topic that I enjoyed the most was the Future of Social Networking.

Here are some core takeaways:

  • Social Media is not going to go away any time soon, it is not a gimmick or fad. It is here to stay and will become a bigger part of our lives.
  • An individual and their social media profiles are like a sole proprietor that they are marketing.
  • We cannot allow social media to take over our lives. Don’t be so ‘Social’ that you're not actually  'Social!'

Final Grade: B

Did you attend either event? What do you remember? If you had to give it a grade, what would it be?

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1412 N. 6th Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102