On Tuesday, the Social Media Club of Seattle hosted their first event of the New Year focusing on what’s hot, what’s new, and what’s trending in 2013. The event included a panel of heavy hitters who are all leaders in the realm of digital and social media.
- Sabra Schneider, Director of Electronic Communications for the City of Seattle
- Lulu Gephart, Manager of Digital Engagement at REI
- Lourdes Orive, Director, Community and Online Support at Microsoft
- John Yurcisin, Director of Social Media for Amazon
- Dustin Johnson, Managing Director in PwC Consulting
John Yurcisin was asked to describe social media in 2012 in a single word. His word of choice: engaging. This may seem like the obvious choice, but engaging with your target audience is becoming increasingly difficult. More than 11 million businesses are on Facebook and thousands more are adopting Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. All panelists discussed having to prioritize channels in order to enrich the users experience. Quality over quantity seemed to be the overall theme.
The panelists also discussed the rise of visual social media. Lulu Gephart discussed REI’s recent 1440 Project. The concept was designed to help the REI community “fill every minute of this ‘virtual day’ with photography representing our collect love of outside.” Rather than using an external platform, such as Pinterest, REI created their own photo-sharing platform. The site reads the timestamp metadata on the submitted photo to fill the timeline.
It’s no surprise that REI customers are outdoor enthusiasts (that take incredible photos.) The 1440 Project separates and leverages this group to create an online community that is original to REI. By creating their own internal network, REI is able to achieve visual storytelling that is specific to their audience.
Last but not least, all panelists agreed that one of their goals for 2013 was to “move from social team to being a social business.” The social media team in 2012 was all about monitoring and engaging. How do you move to a social business in 2013? It’s about taking these social tools and using them beyond communicating with customers. This year, social media will progress to sharing knowledge with employees, suppliers, business partners, and more. It’s adopting the princples of social media (engagement, building communities, customer experience, etc.) and adapting that into the every day of your organization.
What are your social media goals for 2013?
You can catch up on some of the tweets here. #smcsea