Staying up to date in social media, even during a pandemic

This certainly wasn’t your typical Social Media Association event.

As the world is in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Social Media Association decided it should still find a way to bring people together. Virtually. And on Wednesday morning, that’s exactly what happened.

The Social Media Association organized a free online webinar on Zoom titled “Learn What’s New in Social Media” presented by Hilary Topper, founder of SMA and author of the new book, Branding in a Digital World. Topper is also a blogger and podcaster of HJMT Media, CEO at HJMT Public Relations and a triathlete.

The April 29th virtual meeting traded its morning breakfast and handshakes for at-home coffee and waves. Topper opened the presentation with the unavoidable elephant in the room, and said how she had to make some changes to her presentation to fit the times we live in today and the virtual element.

But with all the pain this pandemic has brought the world, Topper still sees a chance for innovation.

“As horrible as it is,” Topper said, “this gives us a chance to revamp our business.”

And revamping and innovation often begins with social media. Topper discussed in detail many of the top social media platforms going right now — some old and popular and others emerging and forcing people to think differently. 

Unsurprisingly, Facebook was the first platform addressed. Along with Facebook’s traditional presence, the company also owns three other of the 10 most popular social media platforms in the world (WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram). 

Facebook has even made changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has introduced a video chat component similar to Zoom for users, Topper said.

One of the most discussed platforms was Nextdoor. Nextdoor does not have the same name recognition as sites like YouTube and Twitter, but with its hyper local focus, it could be a useful one to research.

Nextdoor is a local hub to connect and share with the neighborhood, according to its website. It allows communities to discuss local shops, seek babysitters, plan local events or anything else to keep the local citizens connected. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter may better connect you to the world at large, but Nextdoor can serve as a reminder of how important it is to be aware of what’s in your own backyard.

With new, relevant social media platforms constantly emerging and the traditional forms evolving, the “Learn What’s New in Social Media” webinar helped keep the group up-to-date on the latest changes in the field. And with the COVID-19 pandemic still in full force, it also created the opportunity for much needed social interaction and sharing of ideas. – Owen O’Brien

Click here to view the presentation.

Click here to view the full Zoom webinar.

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The Social Media Association empowers, informs, and inspires individuals and organizations to maximize the potential of social and digital media.