Social Media Breakfast with Quirk eMarketing at Cabanga

Me, myself and the SEO department of JD Internet Consulting (watch this space) attended a very informative presentation about social media as given by Sam Beckbessinger of Quirk eMarketing. This networking event which included free breakfast was held in North Riding at a conference venue by the name of Cabanga, on a bright and sunny morning of 17 August 2010.

The presentation was entitled “Building Communities: How Social Media can Work for my Business” and Sam started off by asking who uses which social media platforms and then giving a very high end overview of social media and its who, what and why.

We were shown a whole range of social media platforms, some of which have waned in popularity such as myspace.com and others of which, although I am in the SEO and SEM game myself, I have not yet heard of such as last.fm as well as those I have only just stumbled upon such as postsecret.com and foursquare.com.

The sharing of information is the biggest advantage and function of the internet. It is thus only the natural progression then that has afforded the sharing of yourself in various forms to be the biggest draw card for these social media platforms, and this can be done in a variety of different formats, including text, video, photos, audio and podcasts.

It was also interesting to note the user populations and demographics of the mainstream social media platforms of Twitter and Facebook. There are over 400 000 million global Facebook users with 2.6 millions users in South Africa. Twitter has over 125 million users globally but is growing at a rate of over 300 000 new users per day.

The stats for mobile users was also something to take note of in that they expect there to be over 1 billion mobile users by the end of 2010. This is great news for third world developing countries in terms of communication and building applications.

Sam also shared some viral success stories eg. The latest Old Spice campaign as well as viral horror stories eg. Dell Hell that had a happy ending.

According to Sam and Quirk eMarketing, there are 6 steps to a successful Social Media Strategy:

1. Listen
2. Do it yourself – on a personal level
3. Get Buy In
4. Find the right partners
5. Start building your brand
6. Have fun doing it!

In closing Sam offered a hard copy of Quirk’s ebook to the first person who asked a question! Nice way to end of a great presentation.

You can follow Sam on Twitter here @greenham_sam

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