Social Media Begins with the Letter “S” ~ 171
That’s right, boys and girls. Today, and for the remainder of this week, the world receives a free education in social media and all its myriad uses and possibilities. If you currently live or visit New York, San Francisco, London, Rome, Paris, Hong Kong, Saö Paolo, or Istanbul, you have the incredible opportunity to hear lectures, party, play, and experience everything live. In other words, you can attend lectures, party, play, and experience social media in real time with companies like MTV, Comedy Central, Youtube, and Microsoft at venues like the Google Science and Technology Hub and the Gramercy Park Hotel.
For those of you residing in a different location this week, all you need is an Internet connection to access much of the free instruction and discussion happening globally. Visit Livestream to watch events happening now or talks you may have missed. I know many of my friends and colleagues still react towards social media as unnecessary, distracting, or evil and haven’t yet decided to learn how to make the most of so many tools available to us as members of a complex and changing society of corporations, freelancers, citizens, and participants in the history to come. If Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, MySpace, Tumblr, and WordPress all make you want to run for the exit, I highly recommend dipping your toes into the wading pool this week for free. You may find a way to enhance your life with our more connected twitterverse and if you don’t, you have invested only a bit of time.
Deciding to begin my #SMWNYC adventure in a less gigantic-corporation and free stuff sort of way tonight, I headed over to the offices of the Sesame Workshop to learn from the successful marketing campaigns of three separate Jewish organizations. Stephanie Wilchfort of Shalom Sesame began the discussion of how to leverage as many platforms as possible to succeed in marketing to one’s niche. Within five minutes, I had at least two pages of ideas already reproducing further ways to promote my career to the very specific industries within the arts and entertainment world to which I belong.
Motti Seligson of Chabad discussed ways in which seemingly underdog high schools won large sums of money in an online challenge sponsored by Khol’s. Most importantly, he stressed the value of empowering a passionate community to rally behind one’s cause and reminded us all of the necessity of keeping such a rallying point personal and relevant. Reaching out as human beings to the rest of humanity seems a crucial theme for this Social Media Week in New York, and Andy Neusner of Jewish Community Heroes spoke last and extensively on working more closely through as many channels as possible to individual. Specifically, he addressed the importance of avoiding polarizing issues that might distract from one’s mission and ways to engage with individual “thought leaders” in smaller parts of the community that one wishes to attract.
Discussions on hashtags, listening tools, automation points, email blasts, efficiency, time management, and the impossibility of overexposure ensued. This panel agreed that the ROI, or “risk of ignoring something,” far outweighed the potential danger of oversaturating one’s niche by posting the same information in too many places. Why should anyone care? Social media will change throughout the years, but our ability to connect as a society will likely continue to increase for quite some time. As a freelance singer and actor, I have a duty to myself and my career to promote and encourage future current and future work. With an obligation to my friends, readers, and supporters to treat them with respect and not as a number, I highly value the input given to help me consider every option available to me to intensely market myself, but with grace and consideration of my audience.
Tonight, I feel incredibly thankful for all of the sponsors, speakers, and participants in Social Media Week 2011. Take advantage of it, if you can. Tomorrow, I attend a case study of the marketing platform for the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear with Comedy Central and MTV and a discussion entitled “High Art vs. the Masses” about the art world’s use of and reaction toward social networking. In the meantime, Sarah Small has one of my newly favorite pieces of writing in hand regarding her Tableau Vivant and hopes to have it published. I don’t know exactly what tomorrow will bring, but I can guarantee I won’t be bored, depressed, and hiding from winter anymore. Progress.
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