I had the good fortune to be able to speak to the Louisiana SHRM State Conference this past weekend. Based on what I saw, to whom I talked and what the program consisted of it was clear that social media played a major part in this conference. It is not just SHRM National that is embracing social media. The state conferences and big chapters are embracing it as well. So hey HR, get over it, social media is here to stay and you need to embrace it or be left behind.
From the get-go every attendee was encouraged to use Twitter to communicate during each and every session. The conference started with a pre-conference session on the use of social media led by expert Jennifer McClure of Unbridled Talent. Each session held during the conference was assigned its own hashtag (a method of identifying a particular subject on Twitter). Every person was encouraged to tweet from the session which provided a wealth of feedback on each presentation.
For attendees who had never used Twitter, the conference committee established “Social Media Street”, led by Bill Boorman, a worldwide expert user. Attendees could come and get some training on signing up for Twitter, or getting some help navigating Twitter.
Fully 25% of the sessions had something to do with the use of social media. They dealt with using social media in recruitment, communication, culture and more. From what I could see there was some very active users, but there were also a lot of people renewing their use of Twitter. I personally helped several and pointed them to a blog post that I wrote several years ago. In The Value of Twitter: Putting Some RICE in Your Social Media Diet I explain what I get out of its use. The R is for resources, the I is for information, the C is for contacts and the E is for energy.
C is my favorite
Although I use Twitter every day for information and resources my favorite use of it is for the contacts I make. I have connected with people from all over the world and I have ended up meeting them when I attended conferences. To be honest with you it is pretty cool to meet someone you have been communicating with. And let me tell you it creates opportunities as well. I enjoyed meeting many people in Louisiana as a result of my social media contacts.
Thanks to Rebecca Birley (@brileyrebecca), Gretchen McKinney (@ggmckinney) and Robin Schooling (@robinschooling) for such an excellent conference.
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