Webinar Highlights: Social Media is Here to Stay
On Friday, Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich, gave a 1 hour online presentation titled, “Social Networking Is Here to Stay: Get on the Bandwagon…Now!” The stated goal of the seminar was to help CEOs and other professionals understand the impact social media can have on their business. The session was hosted by Vistage, the prominent CEO leadership organization. This was the first webinar where Vistage allowed professionals outside of their CEO network to listen in.
The session was professionally produced, informative and enjoyable. The slides and audio were streamed via WebEx, which also made it possible for some 700 attendees to chat with moderator Mark Wiskup and ask questions. There were hundreds of them during the hour. Gini took frequent breaks to answer them and dialog with Mark, which gave the session an interactive feel. Apparently they have done a number of these before and have developed a well-honed delivery.
Gini is a good story teller and appears to openly share her feelings, fears and opinions (authenticity). She also seems willing to share her knowledge to benefit others (transparency). She describes herself as small business owner, entrepreneur and competitive cyclist. What I enjoyed most about Gini’s presentation was the fact that she takes a practical, results-oriented approach to social media. She is not enamored with the technical aspects of SM tools per se or the cultural potential of SM— she is a small business CEO who simply wants to drive more business! She also appears to have some semblance of a balanced life, although obviously a busy one. She spends one hour per day mainly on Twitter and blogging, and she sees this time as a critical part of her business development.
Here are some other key takeaways and soundbites that resonated with me:
• You won’t exist in business unless you have presence online
• Social media is about relationships—personal and professional—in customer service, PR, marketing, sales, direct marketing, and networking in general
• CEOs must take the lead in their organization to do blogging and build a social media presence
• The axiom “Honesty is the best policy” has never been more true than in the era of social media
• Take advantage of all the free tools out there
• Social media is blurring the lines between an individual’s personal and professional
• Letting go of control of your message is vital—you are not in control anymore anyhow
• Learn from others around you—interns, students, other people online
• Be willing to reinvent your business—your competitors are already doing it
• Even the busiest CEO or professional needs to spend 1 hour per day on social media—they can’t afford not to.
If you are a professional that has been dabbling with social media but still have some resistance, take the time to listen to this session. This especially applies to PR practitioners and communications professionals. You can hear Part two, “Developing Your Social Media Strategy,” on July 24.