That’s a Wrap! Thank You Social Media Week NYC Community

Thank you to our attendees, speakers, partners, volunteers, independent event organizers, and everyone in the SMW community for making #SMWNYC truly incredible. It was an incredible week exploring the business, art, science, and future of social media, as well as the first edition of SMW that unpacked our global theme, “Language and the Machine: Algorithms and the Future of Communication” in 2017.

If you didn’t attend #SMWNYC, you can re-live every official event with SMW Insider, our on-demand platform to watch the full videos from all official #SMWNYC sessions, plus hundreds of hours of video from other Social Media Week events from 2016.

This year’s event would not have been possible without our sponsors: Accenture, Convene, Crimson Hexagon, Department for International Trade, Digimind, Giphy, Marina Maher Communications, Nasdaq, National Geographic, Shutterstock, Storyful, and Tracx.

We’d also like to thank our Premium Content Partners: Crowdtap, Pinterest, and Viacom, as well as all of our Food and Beverage Partners, Content Partners, and Technology Partners for supporting the 9th edition of Social Media Week New York.

The Inaugural Diversity in Tech Awards Will Take Place During Social Media Week

Code/Interactive and New York’s tech community are joining forces with Social Media Week New York to celebrate the inaugural Diversity In Tech Awards the evening of Thursday, February 25th.

The DIV Awards will celebrate the individuals and organizations ​championing the nationwide movement to increase diversity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education, and bring together leaders from tech, government, non-profits and education for the biggest celebration of its kind.

You can register, get involved, and purchase your ticket to the DIV Awards here, and all proceeds from the event go to Code/Interactive’s computer science education programs to teach low-income students in New York.

100% of ticket sales fund Code/Interactive’s expansion to ensure that even more New York students learn, build, and collaborate with technology.

The five award categories, include:

    Student Ingenuity Award
    Celebrates and honors the amazing work of K-12 students
    Educator Dedication Award
    Spotlights a teacher, school, or district that is making a major impact on students.
    Government Impact Award
    Illuminates a local government initiative that is increasing diversity in the technology sector
    Corporate Initiative Award
    Showcases a 21st century company building a diverse and welcoming workforce
    Community Champion
    Honors an individual in the technology and innovation community that is championing Diversity.

Follow @smwnyc (SMW New York) and @weareci (Code/Interactive) on Twitter for more updates, and watch the video below on how C/I is helping underserved students in NYC better connect with opportunities and access to technology.

About Code/Interactive (C/I)

C/I’s mission is to inspire and equip underserved students with the skills in computing, leadership, and professionalism needed to thrive in the Internet economy and beyond.

C/I’s year-round programs introduce students from underserved communities to the creative power of technology through the teaching of hard and soft skills. By providing hands-on training in today’s most relevant technology subject areas, C/I’s programs serve as the building blocks for long-term career paths in technology.

Learn more about C/I’s history and story here.

Jonah Ray (Actor, Musician, Comedian, and Podcaster) Will Speak at SMW New York

The world is at an inflection point, similar to where broadcast TV was in the 70s and 80s with a massive boom in content production. Today, though, it’s on various digital platforms, and when reality is dark, comedy flourishes.

We’re thrilled to welcome an incredibly talented and funny group of individuals to SMW New York, where we’ll hear their perspectives on comedy, technology and social media’s impact on entertainment.

One of the speakers participating in this session is Jonah Ray, co-host of The Nerdist Podcast and co-host of Comedy Central’s The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail. Just a few months ago, Jonah Ray was announced to be the new host of the revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

On Tuesday, February 23 at 1:30PM at The TimesCenter (FWD Stage), Jonah will join Dan Harmon (Community, Rick and Morty, and HarmonQuest), Kulap Vilaysack (Creator of Seeso’s Bajillion Dollar Propertie$ and co-host of Who Charted?) and Evan Shapiro (EVP of Digital Enterprises, NBCUniversal) to discuss on comedy, technology, the current media landscape, and Seeso, the new steaming comedy channel from NBCUniversal

Click here to register for SMW New York, which takes place February 22-26. We’re bringing together thousands of industry leaders across marketing, media and technology.


SMW New York Returns with a New Campus Experience and 20% Discounted Offer

Our primary goal continues to be providing SMW attendees with content and programming at the highest possible standard throughout the week. Over the next few weeks and months leading up to February, we’ll announce more updates on how you and your organization can get involved, events added to the schedule, speakers confirmed to lead sessions, and more SMW New York info.

The New Strategy for SMW New York in 2016

  • More seating capacity
    To address demand, especially for Masterclasses, all official programming will be held at two large theaters: The TimesCenter and SVA Theatre.
  • Fewer Available Passes
    We believe in quality over quantity, and therefore will reduce the number of available passes to ensure seating for sessions of all interested attendees. This reduction means more space, more seating, and the end of long lines!
  • Two Pass Options
    We’re keeping it super simple by offering two options for registering: Campus and Insider Passes. Insider pass holders receive access to official parties and exclusive networking opportunities, and both passes grant you access to official sessions, masterclasses, co-working space, exhibitor installations, and more.
  • Special Discount Offers
    The regular rate for the Campus Pass is $799, and $999 for the Insider Pass, but now until January 14th, we’re offering a 20%-off sale for each. You can learn more about the pass options, and register for SMW New York here.

Attendees will be under the same roof as some of the world’s most visionary people and industry leaders connecting through the #SMWNYC pillars:


Data & analytics
Paid media
Content marketing
Mobile messaging
Virtual reality
Growth marketing


New York Times
Vice Media


Two stages
Simulcast viewing


We also have an exclusive hotel offer if you’re traveling from outside of New York or the U.S. Our Official Hotel Partner, YOTEL New York at Times Square West, has a special deal for #SMWNYC attendees, and you can learn more here.

Thank you for your continued support, and we hope you will join us in February. You can stay up to date with #SMWNYC announcements by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, and signing up for our newsletter.

SMW NYC 2016

SMW NYC 2016

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Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas, innovations and insights into how social media and technology are changing business, society and culture around the world.

Human connectivity is being reimagined everyday, and SMW seeks to understand how humanity and technology will come together to change the ways we live, work and create.

Social Media Week New York, now in it’s 8th year, will welcome thousands of attendees from NYC’s top tech, advertising, media, and Internet industries this February 22-26, 2016. You can also learn more about our global theme for Social Media Week in 2016, “The Invisible Hand: Hidden Forces of Technology

Three Tips to Build Community And Grow #BrandLove

Three Tips to Build Community and Grow #BrandLove

It costs 6 to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, according to Bain and Co. Pause and let that sink in for a moment. Your customer relationships are crucial, not only to driving consistent revenue for your business and saving you money, but also in creating a lovable brand. The trick is creating a unique experience for your customers, so they become truly invested in your business and will advocate on your behalf.

To find out more, we spoke to Jeanette Gibson, VP Community & Customer Experience at Hootsuite. Here, she shares 3 steps you can use to build #brandlove around your business:

1. Get to know your customers

Learn your customer care-abouts and pain points. The first step is to take a step back and listen. Luckily, social media allows us to listen in on relevant conversations in a scalable manner. This allows you to narrow in on the key interests, communication styles, and issues of your customers.Here at Hootsuite, we use geo-targeted searches to learn more about our customers in different regions. From here we’ll add our key customers to Twitter Lists so that we can seamlessly engage, share, and retweet their content.

Now you’re better equipped to serve your customer community. Your customers are talking about you on social media, whether you choose to take advantage of this or not is up to you.

2. Flex your personality

Once you’ve learned more about your customers, you need to equip yourself with an ongoing engagement model with your audience. This is different for every business. At Hootsuite, we maintain a 24/7 engagement model where we’re interacting with our community all day every day. After all, social never sleeps.

Take your business’s personality into account with every customer interaction. Are you a fun-loving and casual business or more professional? Whichever you are, consistency is crucial.

Context is also important. Are you talking to a long term, loyal client, or a new somewhat sceptic customer. Consider using slight shifts in the tone of your messaging and always tailor it to your audience.

3. Create culture around engagement or ‘Create an Engaging Environment’

There’s a time and a place for different mediums for engagement. However, when it comes to building a loyal community around your business, it’s important to provide a mixture of online and offline experiences.

At Hootsuite, we use a combination of channels and resources to interact with our audience. This includes private communities for different customer groups (for example, our 850+ Hootsuite Ambassadors). You may not require a private community, but find other ways to surprise and delight them.

Offer specialized programs for your regular participants. Exclusivity is key here! You want to create scarcity and demand for these programs, or else they don’t work. Consider building in ways to uplevel their reputations. Finally, you need to reward these community members both online and offline. At Hootsuite we do everything from offering LinkedIn recommendations to our Ambassadors, to meeting our customers in real life at Hootups or other events. When you take a digital relationship offline, you completely shift the connection and garner immediate brand equity.


Learn more at Hootsuite’s #Brandlove Masterclass during Social Media Week in New York City, hosted by Hootsuite’s Jeanette Gibson, VP, Community and Customer Experience and Dr. William Ward Director, Education Strategy. Join the conversation with #HootSMW.

Date: Tues Feb 24

Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm EST

Location: Highline Stages – Innovate Stage



Attendee Spotlight: Lauren Cucinotta, Director of Community at Decoded, Shares Her Top Picks For #SMWNYC

With a passion for emerging technology, mobile and social media, Social Media Week attendees always strive to understand and share what’s next. This February, we’re excited to explore “Upwardly Mobile: The Rise of The Connected Class” throughout the conference, and what this theme represents from today until 2022, when six billion individuals will be connected to each other online. The sessions you won’t want to miss feature leading companies sharing their top strategies and predictions of what’s happening, and what’s to come.

To help you discover the best of Social Media Week New York, we asked a few of our attendees to share their top picks for events, talks and masterclasses taking place throughout the week.  Below, Lauren Cucinotta, Director of Community at Decoded, gives us a look at the events she’s most excited for:

  1. Decoding Wearables: Understanding Wearable Technology to Create Cooler Campaigns
    “Decoded CTO Amadeus is one of the smartest people I know – and he loves wearables. We go into the future of wearable technology in the Decoded Tech in a Day class, but I’m excited to see Amadeus delve a bit deeper and see how to use this technology in social campaigns.”
  2. Unlocking the Language of Code to Increase Your Digital IQ
    “The world is digital, and everyone needs to have an understanding of code and the internet to harness its power to innovate. Heidi, Head of Product for Decoded in the US, is going to give a great workshop to help you be more digitally literate, a small taste of our Code in a Day course.”
  3. Vimeo Video School Love: Creative Toolsets to Engage a Global Audience
    “Video is an amazing medium through which to tell a story and I love that Vimeo is hosting a hands-on session to help people use their platform.”
  4. Is Social Media Still Just Media? The Future of Paid, Earned and Content
    “Besides the fact that my friend Vishal works at MRY and is a cool guy, this is a topic I think about a lot – how do you gain attention (via social, or any platform) in a crowded landscape, and one where you may have to pay for? I personally love that we have multiple ways to get people’s attention through different platforms, and I’m looking forward to hearing some great discussion and insights.”
  5. Creating Video Content for How It’s Consumed
    “I love this as a concept – attention spans are so short, and we are getting delivered content in such a variety of ways, we have to think about creating content for how we are now, and who better than Buzzfeed to help show us?”
  6. Building Products with the Betaworks Hackers in Residence
    “I love the Betaworks community – Alex and Kuan are building great products with Giphy (Which just raised a big round) and Poncho respectively, so I’d love to hear more from them about their processes and next steps for these cool companies.”
  7. The New DIY – Drones, Makers and Bots: A Fireside Chat with Martha Steward and CEO of The Barbarian Group Sophie Kelly
    “I wouldn’t miss this awesome-sounding session for the world. The Queen of Craft discussing all that is cool right now in tech? Sign me up.”
  8. Fostering Self-Disruption, Collaboration and Innovation at Large Companies
    “At Decoded, we work with a lot of large companies who want to disrupt the way things have been always been done by bringing in a greater knowledge of digital. I think this is one way to bring in disruption and foster innovation in a large company and I’m excited to hear about more ways. “

Get your pass today, and join us and our partners for what will be an extraordinary week of exploring our upwardly mobile, connected world.

About Lauren Cucinotta

Lauren builds global communities around big ideas, and brings great ideas to life through the coolest new media strategies she can learn and find. She is currently Director of Community at Decoded, bringing digital transformation to companies around the world. Previously, she was Head of Community Engagement for TEDx at TED, where she helped shape the strategy of a program that launched over 10,000 TED-like events in over 150 countries. Because of that, she has a couch to sleep on in almost every country in the world, but she prefers standing on a surfboard. You can find Lauren on Twitter @lcucinotta.

10 Noteworthy Community Events To Attend During SMW NYC

We like to think of Social Media Week as an “open-sourced” conference, where individuals, groups, and corporations can join us by organizing events in and around SMW cities during the week of the conference. These independent events are integrated into the SMW schedule for attendees to discover, attend, and enjoy. From happy hours and exclusive film screenings, to Q&A sessions and even game shows. Community events throughout SMW history is the special sauce that adds a unique flavor to each city, every year.

Take a look at some of the Independent Community Events we are most excited for. You can find the full list of Independent Events on the SMW NYC schedule, and just click through to the “Register” button on each page, which will take you to the respective organizer’s registration page.

  1. The Digital-First Broadcast Mindset: How Facebook and Digital Agencies Are Changing the Game
    Tue, Feb 24 – 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
    “How can marketers create impactful video content with broadcast quality, but in a digital-first environment? Learn how reshaping your team’s mindset to think more like digital-first agencies and less like traditional broadcasters can improve performance and engagements”;
  2. Content Marketing Revolution – Successful Strategies for Avoiding Costly Mistakes
    Tue, Feb 24 – 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
    “Transparency is key to building trust in the social and mobile advertising space. Hear about regulatory and self-regulatory guidance that can help you avoid pitfalls and build trust with your customers”;
  3. The Connected Generation: Engaging Millennials in a Social World
    Tue, Feb 24 – 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
    “For brands targeting 18-34 year-olds, they have to be even faster and more authentic to stay relevant with this tech-savvy generation. Participate in the conversation on how brands should evolve content and messaging to creatively meet the needs and desires of the world’s most powerful generation”;
  4. Being Ready To Be Rapid: Lessons From the Marriage Equality Fight
    Tue, Feb 24 – 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
    “In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act. One year later, momentum for marriage continues to grow, as same sex couples have the freedom to marry in 35 states and Washington D.C. Every organization — whether a brand, advocacy, tech, media company, or political — has its big moment when major breaking news hits, a critical piece of legislation is up for a vote, or unprecedented traffic hits your site”;
  5. Get Big Things Done: How to Connect Intelligently to Catapult Your Career
    Tue, Feb 24 – 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
    “Your successful future depends on your connections – meaningful connections in your job, community, and with companies. But how can you connect intelligently – better, faster, more efficiently – while at the same time influencing the greatest number of people in your life? Until now no one has cracked the code of how we can all go big with our passions, career interests, initiatives, and innovations”;
  6. The Evolution of Social TV: How Emerging Tech is Pushing the Boundaries
    Wed, Feb 25 – 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
    “Social TV is changing the way entertainment marketers understand television audiences across screens, portals, and platforms. A panel of social TV’s greatest champions and innovators will discuss how social TV insights are changing the way we create and prove value in the television business”;
  7. Thought Leadership: Social Change in 140 Characters or Less
    Wed, Feb 25 – 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    “Many people try to capture public consciousness for a purpose, but few become true thought leaders. As agents of change, most leaders of small nonprofits or social enterprises understand the importance of building support for those ideas and issues that impact the community-at-large. This workshop will explore ways to harness big ideas, interject your opinion and create dialogues and connection that lead to change”;
  8. 2015 and Beyond: The Future of Going Social
    Wed, Feb 25 – 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
    “The tools and techniques have changed, but according to recent studies, the consumer conversation holds more power than ever before. In this session, you’ll learn about the new research, new technology, and new strategies to make your brand or product the most talked about in its category”;
  9. Political Connection: Does the Internet Really Change Power Politics?
    Wed, Feb 25 – 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
    “At the end of the day, no discussion about the power of connection is complete with how it alters the interaction between the upwardly mobile, their governments and their leaders. In the United States in particular, there is a sense of an increasing gulf between elected representatives – responsive to money and special interests – and an increasingly connected, vocal, but marginalized citizenry”;
  10. Using Social and Mobile Technology to Stay Connected in Africa #SMWLagos
    Thu, Feb 26 – 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
    “In Africa, according to the 2014 “Emerging Nations Embrace Internet, Mobile Technology” report by the Pew Research Global Attitudes Project, approximately 78 percent of internet usage in Africa is for social media. This lays the foundation for Africa’s estimated $14-billion social media industry. With the internet expected to contribute a minimum of $300 billion to Africa’s GDP by 2025, social media could contribute almost $230 billion to Africa’s remarkable growth by that time”;

Social Media Does, In Fact, Matter — To Every Kind Of Business

Let me be honest: I’m sick of seeing posts on LinkedIn looking for volunteers or interns to run social media. Furthermore, many of those that do offer pay, they are only suggesting a $30,000 salary.

The fact is this: those businesses misunderstand what social media is about — as do plenty of fresh-faced college graduates who think the job description consists of tweeting.

Social media managers and strategists don’t post on social media. They create, plan and execute marketing campaigns.

It’s all about social media strategy. Social media matters simply because of this fact — it’s new-age savvy marketing, not a just social tool.

2014: the year of salaried social media jobs

OK, so many businesses aren’t understanding the full importance of social media, but it’s at least important that businesses of every kind — non-profits, corporate and small businesses — recognize its potential. A staggering 88% of marketers would like to know the most effective social media uses.

Forbes declared last month that in 2014, investment in social media would be more than just a luxury — it will become necessary. A quick scan of social media-related postings on LinkedIn show that it’s true — many listings have the words “new position” embedded in there somewhere.

And there’s even data to back up that claim: Business Insider cited Constant Contact’s Small Businesses: Then and Now Survey saying that 87% of small businesses are using social media as a legitimate marketing tool.

The publication also predicted there’d be a vast expansion in these six social media-related jobs: SEO Specialist, Social Media Strategist, Online Community Manger, Social Media Marketing Manager, Social Media Marketing Coordinator, and Blogger or Social Media Copywriter.

This expansion makes sense. The Internet is accessible almost everywhere and folks are consuming more tidbits of information than ever.

People certainly take advantage of it.

According to Chelsea Krost, the average person has their smartphone with them 20 hours out of the entire day. And 80% of people reach for their smartphone when they wake up.

But why are so many skeptical to jump on the bandwagon?

Here’s the big question in social media for businesses: how do I measure the return on investment (ROI)?

That question isn’t easily answered — because there’s no way to be 100% sure you’re tracking the right data to prove this… or that you even can track the right data.

Every company is different. And sometimes it’s about trial and error to figure out which platform is most effective for your business. B2B companies seem to have a lot of success on LinkedIn; while B2C companies, depending on what they do and if they’re business or service oriented, can see great success on Twitter or Instagram.

Regardless, Social Media Examiner reported that some businesses actually have mastered tracking ROI. It seems like most of those businesses don’t have direct proof per se, but use of social media is the differing variable when the company started to see decreases in spending or increases in sales.

Either way, Social Media Examiner’s 2013 Report finds 89% of marketers surveyed claimed increased social media marketing increased exposure and site traffic.

Social media matters — and here’s why

When I talk about social media use I don’t mean quoting eccentric family members at Thanksgiving dinner on Twitter (though I’m guilty of this). I mean using it for marketing, branding, developing brand trust, hearing from individual customers, and doing damage control.

It’s pretty much a given that businesses, marketers, and even individuals (in a lot of fields, you market yourself) should care about these things.

A lot of businesses may not see an ROI on their social media, but the question should be this: why?

Sometimes it’s not about the use of social media as much as how it’s used. Social media can be used poorly or used well. Someone doing a company’s social media should be paid for their expertise — because social media is not just about posting on the platforms, it’s about posting content to the platforms.

According to HubSpot, companies that blog 15 times or more per month see an increase of five times the traffic on their site.

The other key to social media is persistence. Social Media Examiner’s 2013 Report also cited that companies using social media for three or more years said it helped by improving search rankings, creating more partnerships, generating ideas, increasing traffic, providing marketplace insight, and reducing marketing expenses — to name a few things.

Social media in use — effectively — isn’t just about posting. It’s about executing a strategy specifically tailored to a company — and it is proven to help marketing efforts.

So why aren’t you investing in social media?

Lane Blackmer is a self-employed former journalist. Although she’s no longer a newsie, Lane since discovered other uses for social media such as public relations, marketing, job searching and trying to win gift cards from her favorite local businesses through contests. Lane inhabits Philadelphia, where’s it’s not always sunny…but at least there’s cheese steaks. You can follow her on Twitter at @LaneBlackmer.

Image courtesy Social Media Examiner 2013 Report. Featured image courtesy Dan Meyers.

The Role of Social Media for Libraries, Part I

I first encountered Heather Backman while tweeting about my personal experience with the Howe Library. Heather is the Programming, Public Relations and Outreach Coordinator for Howe Library in Hanover, NH. She was hired by Howe in October 2010 and part of her job entails handling the library’s publicity and social media outreach activities. Prior to her arrival at Howe, she earned a B.A. and M.A. in English literature from Stanford University and a M.S. in Information from the University of Michigan. She blogs– and you should read it.

LG: I first encountered the @howelibrary Twitter account in response to my praise of the librarians’ handling a recent power outage. Do you engage with a lot of people via social media?

HB: I’m working on increasing our reach through social media channels. As I write this, we have 210 followers and follow 137 accounts on Twitter, and 142 likes and 47 check-ins on Facebook. We usually get a few clicks on the links we post, and a couple of times per month someone will retweet one of our tweets or like one of our Facebook posts.

What I would ultimately like to see is people treating our social media presence as another natural avenue of communication with us, like e-mail or phone. Right now, I instigate almost all of our social media interactions. I monitor local hashtags like #upval and #uppervalley, and I have a variety of searches set up for tweets that mention relevant terms and that are posted by people close to Hanover. If a tweet comes up for any of these searches and I think the library could add something to the conversation by replying, I’ll reply. The responses vary between trying to give the library some “personality” and offering information. In the past couple of months, for instance, I’ve commiserated with someone about having to get up early, replied to a tweet complaining about not being able to find a good space to work in, and suggested some additional books for someone who enjoyed The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. No one has yet to directly tweet at the library requesting information, but I hold out hope that it will happen one day!

LG: How do you choose what to post on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr?

HB: For YouTube it’s fairly simple– if we make a video, we post it. (We aren’t creating lots of videos right now, so we don’t upload to YouTube often.) Our use of Flickr is similar, though a bit more sporadic, probably partly because we don’t always manage to get photo releases for everyone in an image (so we can’t distribute the photo) and partly because staff don’t remember that we have a Flickr account. We also put photos on Facebook if we think that our patrons would be particularly interested in seeing them.

Announcements of upcoming events and other library news always go out on Facebook and Twitter. Other than that, my primary consideration for what I post is whether it is likely to be interesting or useful to our followers. This is a highly subjective determination; I try to make note of which links get clicked on and/or which posts get a response and use that information to guide future decisions. Book-, library-, and information-related content predominates, although I’ve also shared things like Lifehacker articles and electronics reviews. It’s vital that libraries be perceived as unbiased sources of information, so I try very hard to keep our feeds viewpoint-neutral and to avoid politically-charged topics (unless I’m linking to a neutral explanation of a current political issue).

LG: What is the role of social media for libraries? Isn’t someone either a library patron or not? Can you convert him/her into becoming a library visitor?

HB: The purpose of a library is to educate, inform, and enrich the lives of its users, and social media provides a way for libraries to achieve these ends in a new medium that is becoming a major channel for communication and interpersonal interaction. Through social media, I try to inform people of library events and services in hopes that they will take advantage of whatever meets their needs or interests.

One of the best parts of social media is that I can do all of this proactively. I don’t have to wait for someone to come in and ask me a question at the reference desk. I can monitor the public stream for people who are already talking about things relevant to the library, and then I can join the conversation. It permits the library to add value to people’s lives when they may not have even been aware that we could help to begin with. And it enables us to do so in a way that feels personal. Howe places a premium on excellent customer service and on building relationships with our patrons.

There are certainly people who just don’t use the library, as well as people who may pop in occasionally but who are not regular visitors. But I absolutely believe that non-library-users can become library users if they’re given a good reason to do so – after all, turning non-users into patrons is part of my job!

If I make contact with someone who hasn’t used the library before, I’ve created an opportunity for that person to learn more about us, and hopefully to come to perceive us as valuable and start using the library in other ways. I don’t care whether this first contact occurs because someone wanders in to use the bathroom; to sit at a computer for five minutes or they encounter us on social media.

I’ve had successes in this area both in person and via social media. I’ve answered questions about what the library has to offer from people who had never been to Howe before and came in to attend a non-library meeting held in our building. In the online realm, I had one interaction with a local Twitter user complaining that the college library was too quiet for him to get work done over winter break. I found his tweet through a search, replied to let him know that Howe might be a suitable work location (after school gets out, it’s bustling here!), and he tweeted back to ask whether we had WiFi and to say that he’d think about checking us out. Whatever the medium, I’m just trying to put the thought in possible patrons’ heads that we are a useful resource.

Lisa Chau has been involved  with Web 2.0 since graduate school at Dartmouth College, where she completed an independent study on blogging. She was subsequently highlighted as a woman blogger in Wellesley Magazine, published by her alma mater. Since 2009, Lisa has worked as an Assistant Director at the Tuck School of Business. In 2012, she launched GothamGreen212 to pursue social media strategy projects. You can follow her on Twitter.

The Power of Social Media in Education: #Latism

This post is a series of blogs contributed by SMW NYC media partner Differences Magazine. To learn more about Differences Magazine and to see the original post by Vivian Nunez, please click here

Education and technology should not be viewed as two distinct entities, especially in today’s world. There are many ways that the younger demographic, K-12 age group, could benefit from having more of what would be considered “their world” incorporated into their everyday learning schedule. In the panel for “The Power of Social Media in Education” many topics were discussed especially those pertaining to just how much the Latin community needs a dose of technology in their day-to-day life.

For example, it is important that social media be used as a bridge between students, but equally as important is the need to involve parents. Social media should be a leverage to get a grassroots movement started within a community. Angelica Perez-Litwin identified the issue when she assessed that Latinos “need a lot more one on one contact and social media will be a good way to start that.” The use of social media is the perfect tool but it is only the beginning, different resources or mentorship programs have to come hand in hand with the upgrade in technology.

Mentorship programs are just one example of how using social media could really have a strong impact on a child’s life. Another example would be the use of Google, Google+, or Google Docs. All of these Google branches are being implemented in schools to help students work in groups, while still allowing the teacher to moderate who does what amount of work. They are all very user friendly and they demonstrate how technology could be used in the most positive way to complement, not supplement, what is taught the traditional way in class.

Nonetheless the most important point I took away form this particular panel is that many students might not be fully aware of all the resources that are available to them. The implantation of technology in less affluent school districts is not an easy feat, but it is not impossible either. Students in all areas of the world deserve the chance to incorporate the newest technologies into their educational world. Social media would be able to be a catalyst for change among these communities if only they were given the chance.

While many initiatives are being made to bring a technological revolution to communities that are lacking access to computers or internet, there is still a need for “new content to try and get Latino parents to help kids in their education” as stated by Jose Luis Rodriguez. The new content aimed at the Latino community has to be both geared to their necessities and understanding of their possible limitations. A implementation of both a grassroots form of communication coupled with social media seemed to be the verdict set out by all the panelists.

Coverage of SMW12: Socializing the News


Moderated by Peter Himler – President — Publicity Club of New York
With Panelists:
Anthony De Rosa — Social Media Editor, Thomson Reuters
Craig Kanalley — Social Media Editor, NBC News
Elizabeth Heron — Social Media Editor, The New York Times
Jake Porway — Data Scientist, The New York Times
Mat Yurow — Social Media Producer, Bloomberg News and BusinessWeek
Steve Krakauer— Senior Digital Producer, CNN/U.S


The Socializing the News luncheon began with Publicity Club of New York’s President, Peter Himler introducing Jake Porway, the Data Scientist at The New York Times’ Research & Development Labs to demonstrate his company’s Cascade app, which I must say is likely the most *beautiful* tool presented during Social Media Week 2012.

Project Cascade goes beyond the two dimensional graphs most companies currently use. It’s a three dimensional representation of how news is shared and how it spreads. The app uses data from the New York Times website and Twitter, well-worn territory but and it adds a key element: information from, the URL shortener. By working with, staff were able to see when New York Times links were shortened or expanded. Altogether, a full tapestry is exposed: Read; Share; Engage.

Person 1 browses the NYT site, reads an article of interest, uses to shorten the URL, shares on Twitter; Person 2 clicks on the link, expands the URL to read the story; Engagement via returning to the NYT website, retweets and conversation. A very powerful data set emerges from these actions. Using the tool developed at the NYT, researchers can see the cascade of events which happens whenever someone tweets one of their news stories.

Project Cascade shows all the sharing behavior based on a tweet. All the layers of retweets. The echo effect across Twitter. The degrees of separation from the original tweeter. Analysts can see the reach of an article by seeing how tall the graph gets, built by layers of retweets. They can also see when others enter and leave a conversation, streaming over time. Consequently, they can also pinpoint influence by large spikes in the data. Who are key players and what are they saying? The app allows analysts to understand the nature of a tweet and how it spreads by looking at the backbone of influential people. Does it help when someone asks a question or adds their thoughts? Do they use a certain hashtag? How does conversation evolve? On which branch do people enter the tapestry? How do things change over time? Using the tool, analysts have quantifiable data to ask questions like “When is the best time to tweet?” They can test the hypothesis and see what works best. They can see who are consistently bringing people back to the site. Which articles are likely to spread and why. What are the sections which affect the flow of conversation? How do journalists become a part of the conversation? Should we retweet ourselves? Should stories be managed or should they be allowed to grow organically? Now, all these questions can be looked at because Project Cascade offers a lens into what is happening in social media.

But Socializing the News wasn’t all apps. Steve Krakauer shared on how social media has a real impact on what companies do. What happens on the digital space translates into more viewers on CNN. Now, the question is how to harness that. Piers Morgan is a great example of how Twitter can build a brand. He is a personality with a strong following. And it really is Piers who tweets. Google+ doesn’t have a good metric or analytics system, yet, and it hasn’t opened up the same way Facebook and Twitter have. For those reasons, people hesitate.  For big organizations to consider Google+, it will have to show more of the back end data. With Facebook and Twitter, you can have a community where you can hit people with what they are interested in. Cultivating a community that already exists is almost as important as reaching out to new people. But most important is people clicking on links, replying, retweeting and commenting, more so than follower numbers or likes.

Mat Yurow joined the dialogue, offering his perspective from Bloomberg. Bloomberg‘s wire service is its main source of revenue. In a world where Twitter is becoming the source for breaking news, how does a company balance service offerings which are free v. charged? Mobile apps have been optimized for sharing and discussion and that is where the organic growth will happen. At the moment, it’s about building a following. Each social network has its own strengths, and those strengths are primed to be taken advantage of.

His company has found that it gets much more traffic from Facebook and people spend three times as much time reading articles on the site, as opposed to the traffic from Twitter, while LinkedIn is used by reporters to find leads. Play the slow game and build relationships. There are few tools better at relationship building than Twitter. Social media editors are responsible for building their credibility and clout to make people listen to what is being said; PR people are responsible for checking-in periodically even when they are not pushing or selling a story. Become a familiar face on a journalist’s timeline, and journalists will be much more willing to respond.

Yurow instructed attendees to find a way to add value to your followers, and play to the vanity of people. Mention them in a newsletter, and then let them know they have been included. Send out tweets at different times, depending on when people read. Understand your audience and find out when you can offer most value.  Consider scheduling tweets to post at night or on the weekends because social sites may be blocked at your followers’ workplace. Don’t lose your audience because they are not able to be at a desk when you are.

Then the New York Times’ Elizabeth Heron offered her views. On Twitter, the company uses the main @NYT account to break news. However, each desk has its own account and is responsible for its own social media strategy, so things don’t need to be completely centralized. “Hashtag Science” is used to create short hashtags which clearly identify the story and invite people to contribute. For example, #iEconomy to discuss how Apple is affecting the economy; how does Apple differ from other major companies that manufacture in China; do factory conditions affect people’s choice to buy iPhones?

To give readers access to journalists, the New York Times also holds live chats on Facebook, as well as on Google+ hangouts. The company likes to give direct access to reporters who work on series. And this international contingent of reporters is great for crowdsourcing. NYT considers the journalistic value of social media. It’s difficult to quantify, but if the company finds sources it would not have found otherwise or it’s able to cover breaking news more comprehensively, then it is significant. On the business side, the company cares about referral traffic. Engagement metrics are much more important than number of followers.

Craig Kanalley expounded on the role of the social media editor: to tell stories. Carve a niche and innovate to use social media creatively. There are endless possibilities. It’s also part of the employee’s responsibility to break out of a Twitter Monkey role. Engage journalists on Twitter by offering timely information.

Keep in mind that Pinterest is sustainable because it appeals to the mainstream audience, not the tech-geeky crowd. Finally, it’s better to post in real time in possible. Scheduling tweets can make you look outdated if not done correctly, so be careful.

The panel concluded with Anthony De Rosa. He stated that in order to be the place where people go for news, you should be the beacon for all news – it makes you valuable. You shouldn’t feel like you can only report those stories coming from your newsroom. However, make sure to validate; due diligence is necessary. Be a megaphone for your own content, but also act as a curator so you’re the central source for everything. The difference between social media and headlines is that you don’t have to be as literal with the former. Social media writers are aiming to grab attention rather than gain the SEO system. Ride the line of interesting and engaging, but don’t mislead.

Pinterest popped up again as a great distribution channel for videos, and LinkedIn was positioned as good for gathering information because it allows users to filter others by who people are: which companies do they work for and which positions do they hold? Listen on LinkedIn. This function doesn’t exist natively on Twitter, but can be maximized on LinkedIn.

Peter Himler helped us end the event by pointing us to MuckRack, which tracks thousands of journalists on Twitter and social media.

At the end of the event, I walked away feeling like I had a great sense of the myriad ways the news can get social and how companies are doing it.


Lisa Chau
 has been involved with Web 2.0 since graduate school at Dartmouth College, where she completed an independent study on blogging. She was subsequently highlighted as a woman blogger in Wellesley Magazine, published by her alma mater. Since 2009, Lisa has worked as an Assistant Director at the Tuck School of Business. In 2012, she launched GothamGreen212 to pursue social media strategy projects. You can follow her on twitter.

Event Guide: Influence

We’re doing all that we can this week to help you optimize your #smw12 experience. While each of our hubs serve as homes for specific content areas, the number of sessions we host on a specific topic far exceeds the capacity we have in our Hubs.

To help you navigate the schedule and find sessions that are relevant and interesting for you, we’re constructing a series of guides, which we hope will surface new and interesting content you might not have otherwise been aware of. We’re talking influence and community.

Your Guide to Influence:

Monday, February 13th
9-11am: Keynote: David Eastman, CEO of JWT North America followed by Top Trends that will Shape Social in 2012
2-8pm: The Walking Gallery: An Exhibit
3-5pm: Keynote: Jermaine Dupri on Building a Community
6:30pm: Meet the Afropolitans: Digital Media + Culture in Africa

Tuesday, February 14th:
4pm: The Future of Sharing
6-8pm: Deep Focus Presents: An Evening of “Connectedness”

Wednesday, February 15th
11:30-12:30pm: Consumer Engagement and Online Community in Social Media
12-2pm: Keynote: Scott Belsky, CEO of Behance, followed by GOOD Panel: Beyond Crowdsourcing: Using The Community To Report
1-2pm: Global Influence
3-5pm: Keynote: John Winsor, CEO of Victors & Spoils followed by Panel: Building Community: Combining Real World Experiences with Online Social Networks
7-11pm: Social Media Influencer Awards

Thursday, February 16th
1:30-2:30pm: We all have Influence Somewhere: The Next Great Social Media Transformation
3-5pm: Social Commerce Is Here, Is Your Brand Ready?
4:30-6:30pm: In the Twitter Kitchen: A Modern Cookie Bakeoff
5-7pm: Buddy Media Cocktail Mixer
6:30-8pm: Networking Reception with Sanofi

Friday, February 17th:
2-3:15pm: Let’s Get Ready to Tumblr: Building community by reimagining and redistributing your content
2-3:30pm: GAME/WORLD: The New Collaborative Community

The Importance of IRL in Social Media

When we talk about social media, many think of a bunch of people sending out TMI to their old friends on Facebook and random followers on Twitter.

Lonely hearts spending Friday night’s on OK Cupid. Loads of pictures of Junior doing…well, pretty much everything. Over 200 “S*** so and so Says” videos on YouTube. And, of course that’s part of it.

But it’s not the meat of it.

It’s not what keeps us logging on and checking in and making new connections with like-minded people around the globe. People are social animals. We love to share, don’t we?

Something we often overlook when speaking of social media is the importance of bringing online relationships offline. By bringing online conversations into the “real world,” we are able to see the humanity. When someone is just an avatar and a handle, it’s harder to truly connect and identify with them – to see the differences and the similarities. Connecting via a Facebook group or on Twitter is a great way for a shier person to continue the conversation, but it’s important to think about how to take the next step.

As we approach Social Media Week, I want to touch on one of the things I think it so important about it: the real life connections that people will make, through attending events, through watching panels, through collaborating on projects, through bumping into each other in line for the bathroom at the closing night’s party. Real life, face to face, in the flesh interactions.

The beauty of this interaction is that it can help us make stronger bonds. To develop stronger and better relationships.

When we speak of  collaboration through social media, people coming together to work to bigger and better goals, it’s important to note the importance that personal (IRL, we call it) interactions play in this process.

So, while attending your Social Media Week events, make sure to take a moment to look up from your tablet or smart phone or lap top. That person you are Tweeting with might be somewhere in the room.

Wouldn’t your conversation be so much more fruitful with more than 140 characters?


Briana is a social media professional, community manager and facilitator, obsessed with the ever-changing use of social media platforms as tools to connect people and make lives better. For more of her thoughts on the evolution of social, visit