A smart move today by the IoD in Guernsey as they hosted a social media seminar for local businesses. A full house showed the interest locally in getting a better handle on the topic and there were good presentations from Katherine Salt, a social media consultant based in Jersey, and Nick Masters, head of digital for big four accountancy firm PWC. There was also an outing for the excellent Socialnomics video – jampacked full of great social media related stats.
Significantly however both speakers focused not on how amazing technology is, or how clever you can be with social media but rather on the people using social media. It’s part of their everyday lives, it’s useful and it’s fun. Businesses have to recognise that fact first of all before they can hope to devise a social media strategy that can bring them some benefits. The consensus (amongst the main speakers anyway) was that the key thing to recognise about social media is that it is a fundamental change in the way we communicate, not in the actual physical act of communication being online rather than in person, or through the media, but the way we act and react. Communication in a social media world is not a one way street – listening, as well as talking, is a vital skill.