web 2.0 and social media | October 01, 2012

Take Social Media Seriously: Lavin's New Technology Speakers [VIDEO]

"We’re way past the point where social media can be a little corner of your communications strategy," new technology speaker Alexandra Samuel tells The Globe and Mail.  "[It] is one of, if not the, main communication channel for most organizations.”

As online marketing takes an increasingly vital role in promoting your brand, Samuel recommends listening to what "digital natives", or young net savvy employees, have to say—as long as they are well-trained about your business before they are left to their own devices. While she doesn't advise letting the newest member of your team be given the reigns to your online channels with no supervision, she does argue that businesses "need to give them a seat at the table and make them a core part of [their] communications team." Young, recent grads are often hired to handle a brand's social media presence because "business owners don’t think it’s important enough to pay anyone more than $35,000 a year to do it," says Samuel. However, social media and content management is not something to brush off or have on the backburner.

According to Virginia Heffernan, national correspondent for Yahoo! News, managing a brand's online presence should be considered a real job. "Moderating a message board is backbreaking work," she stresses in an interview with Lavin, "[it's] intellectually difficult and emotionally demanding and a 24-hour job." She says that companies need to take their social media marketing seriously—and that means hiring someone based on their merit and experience in the field, rather than simply handing off the task to the newest or youngest team member. Both Samuel (director of  the Social + Interactive Media Centre at Emily Carr University and well-respected blogger) and Heffernan have extensive knowledge about the digital space and the role online media plays in our lives. Both are highly sought after speakers and respected writers whose viewpoints on the future of the Internet help us to understand, and rethink, its impact on business and its place in society. 

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education | September 30, 2012