STADUS UPDATES, pokes, likes, trends ... sound familiar? I think
it’s time we all accept social networking is here to stay. Once seen as a
“trendy” way pre-teens chatted with friends has become a worldwide business
Seventy-percent of Facebook users are outside the
United States. If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest in
the world. There are more than 100 million active users accessing Facebook
through their mobile devices at this moment! With so many people and
businesses on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter it’s imperative that you and
your company stay active on these sites. We all know very well that
networking is a big chunk of getting hired, staying hired and moving up in
business. With face-to-face time becoming more limited and expensive, these
sites have put a new meaning to networking and references. Forget the
ancient days of passing out your business card, in just a few clicks you can
learn more about a person than you would have found out in months of dragged
out meetings. IAAM has dove into the world of social media, offering members
and prospective members news, event information and resources on Facebook,
LinkedIn and Twitter, and soon to come IAAM’s VenueNet.
Even though the top three social sites appear similar
on the surface, they can be utilized in many different ways. IAAM has a fan
page on Facebook with currently over 400 fans. On this page you can access
information on all upcoming meetings and conferences, industry news as well
as discounts and promotions. Facebook is a great place to comment on
postings, interact with colleagues and share trends in the industry.
Facebook is the most personal of the social sites; you should feel
comfortable sharing your family life with the outside world. You have the
chance to show your personal side, posting pictures of your family and pets.
Facebook may even open up new doors with potential business partners,
putting a personality behind the name.
Twitter is the Reader’s Digest version of social
networking but also the fastest growing. Once you have created an account
you can post a 140-character tweet to be viewed by all of your followers.
Hashtags allow you to follow specific topics. It is always a good idea to
regularly check your organization’s name or industry on Twitter, looking for
the latest trends and topics. IAAM uses Twitter to update followers on
industry news, upcoming deadlines and really anything we would like to share
with our community. Many organizations use Twitter for exclusive promotions
and deals such as discounted tickets or free giveaways for re-tweeting.
LinkedIn is less of a social site and more of a
business networking opportunity. With minimal room to add a personal touch,
it is a great place for business connections. IAAM has a group that has
reached over 800 members, varying from venue managers to concessions and
scoreboards. In our group each member has the opportunity to post a
discussion topic, a news story, or comment on a recent post. LinkedIn also
offers job postings and is a great way to get connected with potential
applicants or clients. A lot of the job openings today are not listed in the
traditional ways, such as in the newspaper or online. There is no need to
spend hundreds of dollars on a newspaper or a “dot com” ad when you can post
it, for free, on LinkedIn and quickly be connected with interested,
You may have read in this issue of Facility Manager
that IAAM is launching a members-only social site, VenueNet, in Summer 2010.
Just when you’ve learned the lingo of tweeting and updating we throw in
another networking site to add to your list, but trust me it will be well
worth it! VenueNet will give IAAM members the opportunity to connect or
re-connect with colleagues, share research and documents, register for
meetings....and that is just the tip of the iceberg!
I understand for some social media is a hard switch. I
hear it all the time, “Why don’t you just pick up the phone and call, what
is all this Facebook talk?” The truth is social networks are taking off—with
or without you! So take some time, if you haven’t already, to learn the ways
and lingo of social networking. Check each site at least once a day, stay
consistent with posting and before you know it your social networking
profiles will be thriving. And if you haven’t created a Facebook, Twitter
and LinkedIn account stop what you’re doing (now) and get on those sites!
Kayla McKinley is a marketing assistant at IAAM.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.