Government Connections - Fall 2010 - (Page 31)

Connecting to the Next Generation Using online social media for your events By Mike Downard, CGMP MORE THAN 400 of you have already noticed that SGMP recently adopted a Facebook fan page into our arsenal of methods to connect to our members. In the information age, networking and meetings have changed. Adopting one or more of the new social media outlets into your event may seem obvious to some and unclear and intimidating to others. The key concepts to focus on when considering these outlets are your audience and your resources. First, does your audience utilize the social networking platform you are considering? Do you have one for your agency already? What is your marketing strategy for your event, and for your online efforts? Do you have someone on staff who is proficient with this platform? These questions are an important first step when considering utilizing web 2.0 techniques. Remember, this is a reflection on your organization just as much as your current website and media, so consider your branding and level of professionalism in communication. As a meeting professional, you may have noticed that your peers have integrated Twitter, Facebook, Plaxo Pulse and various other platforms into their meetings. Twitter is commonly used to update attendees who have smartphones of changes in schedule, upcoming courses, locations of events and reflections on sessions. Facebook can be used similarly and offers your members a great opportunity to interact and find each other’s information. New developments like Foursquare, a GPS driven social form, can be considered invasive by some and interesting by others. Consider the amount of personal information your attendees need or should be sharing before adopting any new technology. The concern that most professionals should share is drawing a line between the publicizing of personal versus professional information. In an effort to reach the new generation, it is important to communicate that a level of professionalism is expected. At the same time, it can be cumbersome to police or moderate your social media. Resources within your agency should be focused on delivering the professionalism by example. Remember, it is the individual’s option to protect his or her own identity y and career, so resources should only be used to o moderate in extreme cases of profanity or obscenity. A standard policy can help with this, as well as splitting the administrative rights throughout several resources. If you do not use these products, by today’s standards you are already a late adopter. Recognize the errors of others and focus on developing a marketing strategy and continual resource dedication to the product. Once you start using online social media, you will have an engaged group with a short attention span. Focus on delivering something new and different that requires continued engagement. A long-term strategy can allow the resources and efforts used to kick off your platform to persist beyond a single event. Remember also, that while the financial investment may be low, an opportunity cost does exist as resources will need to be dedicated to delivery of a successful social media product. G 31

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Fall 2010

Government Connections - Fall 2010
President’s Letter
Editor’s Letter
Going Places
Education Edge
That’s Technology
Supplier Strategy
Plan Green
Travel Tips and Trends
Good to Know
Dieting on a Per Diem
The Lean Approach to E-mail Management
Connecting to the Next Generation
Cows, People and Flying
Get to Know Your Future Colleagues
FACE TIME – It Matters
VIPs! Where Do I Seat Them at My Meeting?
SGMP Nation
Membership News
Conference Connection
Go Figure
Advertisers’ Index
The Meeting Minute

Government Connections - Fall 2010