Social Media Week in Vancouver seems to have been a huge success. I was sadly unable to attend or participate in the event despite having some amazing people willing to be my speakers. When you have kids, September is not the month to be taking on big projects.
What I found interesting is how ‘corporate’ the topics were. I have attended other local social media/blogging events – Northern Voices to name one – and it seemed determined to stay away from the business of blogging, writing and social media. Social Media Week seemed determined to rectify that matter.
Fasken Martineau, a large corporate law firm in Vancouver employs one of the up and coming leaders in social media when it comes to publicly traded companies such as mining and other resource based industries. Caroline has been quick to set up ‘tweetups’ for people in the mining industry who are diving into social media on behalf of their clients. She was also part of a fascinating seminar that covered information dissemination for publicly traded companies. For Social Media Week, Caroline was part of a panel entitled “Public Companies: Devising and Implementing a Social Media Strategy.”
In fact, this seminar was part of an entire “Accountability Summit’ within the week’s events. This is interesting evidence of how much social media has infiltrated corporate culture. Social Media is no longer a fun way to chat online. Nor is it just a clever and cheap marketing tool for those in the know. Corporations are finally realizing that social media will not go away; their staff is all using it. So we might as well use it ourselves and make sure we have clear cut policies on HOW to use it in the corporate world.
Corporations are now realizing that not only can THEY use social media to build their brand, but that their staff now represent the company anytime they are online. Marketing and brand building have leaked out of the PR and Communications Department. What are you going to do about it is the big question?
Basically this means you need another chapter in your corporate handbook. While a company can’t stop their staff from being online, they can at least ask people to use common sense and awareness about what they are saying. This includes what is legal, what is not, and remembering that they represent their company online 24/7.
Corporations need to teach all their staff about branding and how the company brand is to appear to the social media world. The entire company needs to be in tune with the building of that brand online. In turn this makes your entire staff your marketing department. Not only that, but they become the watchdogs for the company when it comes to how and where the corporation, brand or product is being mentioned.
If you are in Vancouver, and want to see how being brand savvy is crucial to your online success, register for our first west coast event on November 1st at the Opus Hotel in Yaletown. There you can hear Heather White of Ghost CEO and 2020 Communications along with Rebecca Bollwitt of Miss604 explain their take on personal and business branding.