Yesterday was my first Indy Social Media Breakfast. I hadn’t heard of it until my first week at Dittoe PR when my new co-workers spoke of the importance of buying a ticket “before they ran out.” Unaware of exactly what the event was, but satisfied with the price tag and the fact the money raised went toward scholarships, I bought my ticket.Front and center at the Basile Opera Center was Jay Baer, a nationally-known and respected social media blogger, founder of Convince & Convert, and a new Bloomington, Ind. resident with new book called The NOW Revolution. The topic was social media and the ever-increasing, important role it plays in companies around the world. A prime example of the “now generation” used in Jay’s presentation was a particularly disturbing motel review. I won’t go in depth, but an unsatisfied guest described himself as “nearing death” by habituating one particular room. It was bad. And it was likely bad for business considering this review was posted on tripadvisor.com.The message is clear: you have the power. Yes, you. Jay’s strong message focused on how every individual is able to become a reporter, stating his or her opinion, both positive and negative about products, companies, etc. with the help of social media. While I myself, a former real-life reporter, am well aware that journalists attempt to remain unbiased and present facts in a fair matter (generally), you don’t have to.
Jay pointed out that the person who posted that nasty review might have been the owner of a motel across the street. We do not know that he actually stayed at that dicey establishment, and we don’t know that he didn’t embellish his review. Does it really matter? Not to me, I wouldn’t stay there. The key here is that social media allows everyone, businesses and individuals alike, to share their opinion in real time; it’s a powerful tool that should be utilized and monitored. Another topic Jay touched upon is the importance of having a team of people who are passionate about their brand, company and job in general. His quote, “hire for passion; train for skill,” made me want to stand and applaud (I did not, as that would have warranted strange stares). I hope anyone who reads this and has the power to hire keeps that in mind. Despite the early a.m. alarm, I was very pleased to have attended my first Indy Social Media breakfast. It was very organized and extremely informational. I’m thankful to those who organized it and of course for Jay’s presence; he brought ample experience and information to the table. Looking forward to the next event!