Social Media

“Social Media, it turns out, isn’t about aggregating audiences so you can yell at them about the junk you want to sell. Social Media, in fact, is a basic human need, revealed digitally online. We want to be connected, to make a difference, to matter, to be missed. We want to belong, and yes, we want to be led.”
— Seth Godin,

News used to take months, then weeks, and then days to make it around the globe.  Today, we learn about things on the other side of the world in an instant with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.  So we spoke with four exceptionally connected business professionals to get their thoughts about the explosion of “Social Media” and its importance in the world today.

Chelsea Newton

Chelsea Newton, Director, Talent Strategies, North America, Mosaic Sales Solutions, joined us this past October at
The Corporate State: Toronto
where she was featured on one of the four summit panels.  Chelsea talked with us this month about Gen Y and how social media affects how they work. According to Chelsea, members of this generation are peer-oriented and tech-oriented and, as early adopters, find great comfort in staying in touch.
Not a surprise when you take a look at what’s happened in their lifetime:

1989: Gen Y started school
1993: Internet came out to the general public
1998: First iMac came out
1996: First Google edition came out
1999: iPods
2004: Facebook
2005: YouTube
2006: Twitter
2007: Gen Y use social media to network and find their first job

With over 80 million members of Gen Y in North America, Chelsea says
their facility with social media is changing how companies work today. 

“This generation was raised with everyone getting a ribbon for participating.  So, the challenge for companies is that they must be totally transparent when looking to hire
or manage these candidates.” Chelsea maintains that companies must “marry recruiting promises with on-the-job expectations, or these employees will quit and tell all their friends [via social media] about their negative experience in your company.
Gen Y is insuring that the way companies treat employees sets a new standard.”
Chelsea revealed that Gen Y wants:

  • regular feedback
  • flexibility in their work hours
  • to enjoy the culture in which they work
  • have work/life balance.

Jeffrey Klein

We met Jeff Klein three years ago at a VC symposium.  A partner in Goodwin-Proctor’s Technology Transactions Practice and Technology Companies Group, Jeff believes that social media tools are both a blessing and a curse. “When used correctly and harnessed correctly, it can be a very powerful tool. When it’s forced and gets spammy, it’s not being used well.” Jeff continued, “The early stage companies we work with use it well—they share their passion and are using it organically. It allows them to have a personality and use it as a brand extension often to deal with customer service issues.”

On a personal basis, Jeff is a Facebook fan.  He uses it to keep family and friends up-to-date on his growing toddler daughter. When we asked him how his daughter will view this online world, he remarked, “From a positive standpoint, I think she will have a much greater appreciation, on a greater scale, for things happening in real time.  She’ll have more and much easier access to information that’s always on. But we, as parents, have to be careful how we integrate her into this world and protect her from the dark side of it. Our job is to be her social media information Sherpa.”

Marty Avery

We are thrilled that Marty Avery, Chief Catalyst and founder of What If?, a growth strategy company based in Calgary, will be joining us at The Corporate State: Vancouver that we’re producing on May 1, 2012.
As a business advisor, Marty collaborates with business leaders to design and implement prosperity strategies.

“Love it or hate it, one person’s opinion can be as important as many opinions. One of the downsides is that there’s no vetting of the veracity of the comments made online. I think it’s important to realize that truth exists in both fact and feeling. I see many people who have ill-considered opinions and not enough of the facts. Whether you’re an individual managing your brand online or a company that’s trying to manage how they’re perceived, a few little upstart comments – whether they’re factual or not – can derail a project.”

“People make up their hearts and then they hijack their minds to come along,” Marty told us. She continued, “Companies should do more listening than talking. They see the internet and social media as a push technology.  A more powerful and useful thing is to listen.  Discover. Ask questions. Lead socratically.  That’s what I advise my clients to do.”

Sidneyeve Matrix

Also joining us in Vancouver in 2012 will be Social Media maven Sidneyeve Matrix, Queen’s National Scholar and Assistant Professor in the Department of Media and Film at Queen’s University in Ontario.  Sidneyeve is also the 2011 Educator in Residence at The Centre for Teaching and Learning at Queen’s.  Sidneyeve will be speaking on the Social Media panel in Vancouver.

Sidneyeve spoke to us about the challenges of trying to figure out how to use social media for business. Companies who can figure Social Media out quickly are being perceived as being innovative and in touch with the next big thing. They’re attracting star talent and reaping the benefits of e-commerce and their brands are getting a boost. And now, C-suite executives have to be accessible and transparent which puts pressure on the marketing and communications departments. Since everyone has a smart phone which is mobile optimized, we’re expected to be available 24/7, including a company’s customer service.”

Sidneyeve talked turkey about Twitter:  “Social media flattens the world—connecting us to people almost in real time across the globe—not just the people in our rolodex or in our network. We have access to so much more information about what people are doing.”

But she voiced bigger concerns: “The negatives are that not everyone is online. It’s important for us to remember that as our culture gets more wired—not everyone is.  Maybe households can’t afford it, or the region they live in doesn’t have it, or they’re senior citizens. There is a downside to the digital divide.” Sidneyeve continued, “There’s so much information—and misinformation—which makes it a little more difficult for educators. We need to teach digital literacy so that people can discern what’s real info vs. marketing spam.”

“I teach a class of 1000 students who are 19 years old.  They’re not smarter than five years ago pre-Facebook.  But they learn differently—they learn socially. The Facebook generation is growing up very connected to their friends in business, for entertainment and for education. They live connected. They share everything in real-time. And, when they get to the workplace, they are expecting to be productive while being socially connected and mobile.”

Next time:  Sponsorship…Are you ready to be sponsored?

See you then,
The Team at “Producing Your CareerTM

Producing Your CareerTM  is a division of Bedlam Productions Inc.


Categories: Social Media


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