Winter 2015 Meetup & Tweetup

One of the first things business owners used to have to create for a company was a slogan. Now, the bigger question is what will be your hashtag?

On Thursday, Feb. 26, Twitter had a stream of group pictures, panoramic shots and statements like “Great times” followed by #SoMeAssoc.

IMG_5060The Social Media Association hosted a “Winter Meetup & Tweetup” at LIFT – Long Island Forum for Technology – in Bethpage, NY. The meeting gave avid social media users the opportunity to share ideas and thoughts about the importance and direction of social media.

Members from the Social Media Association (SMA), Public Relations Professional of Long Island (PRPLI) and Long Island Forum for Technology left their computers for a few hours for an evening to mingle, munch and mix in person.

The event lasted more than two hours and included raffle prizes and a 50/50 drawing. Afterward, people in the room left with a better understanding of social media and the advantages of being involved in a group such as SMA.

Matthew Capala, an adjunct professor at NYU and Inbound marketer for, attended the event and commented about the importance of building up your own social media page to entice potential employers.

“[You] have to create this aura of authenticity and confidence around yourself so that other people are more likely to talk to you and you can use it for business development,” Capala said. Capala also said that once you build up your social media presence, likeincreasing your followers on Twitter, you can tweet toward respected people in the business community and potential employers and be more likely to get a response back. Capala said a strong social media page allows you to advertise yourself, as well.“I tell students all the time, resumes used to be the tool to get a job, but now it’s all about your profile; about [whether you] are you a social media expert,” Capala said. Capala added that if you prove to employers you could build a personal social media presence, they would have more faith in your abilities to do the same for their company.

Juan Vides is the president of – a search engine optimization service. Vides specializes in helping people and companies utilize keywords to increase hits through online searches. He compares keywords and hashtags to chat rooms. These chat rooms help bring people with a specific interest to one place. “Now, as a business owner, you can actually have your own hashtag, your own specific chat room, captive audience, specific niche markets you can go after,” Vides said.

These strtegies aren’t only useful for businesses. Vides suggest using some of the same methods on personal social media accounts. For example, Vides said, “Long Island attorney” is a very specific search, but if someone puts that in his/her Twitter profile, he/she is more likely to be found through a Google or Twitter search.

Social media’s presence continues to increase around the world, especially with the amount of smartphones in circulation.
Business owners have started to create their own apps to keep up with the digital advancements. “You have to adapt to it,” Vides said. “The yellow books are going away, they are becoming the way of the dinosaurs. Any business, especially here on Long Island, has to adapt or else become extinct.”

Future employees must be able to promote and advertise themselves through social media to impress employers. “It used to be a good value ad, but today, it’s like a baseline,” Capata said about being social media savvy.

That same evening, there was a worldwide social media debate about if the color of a specific dress was white and gold, or blue andMeetup Tweetup Event photo black. #TheDress was trending No. 1 for hours. Even Taylor Swift tweeted her opinions. The person who started the debate said he was performing a social experiment. In a matter of hours, he received more participants than years of an in person experience could produce.

The same principle goes for marketing. A company can get its name out to more people in a shorter period of time by using social media. If companies know what keywords to use and how to build a strong profile, it exponentially increases productivity. The same works on an individual level.

In order to keep from becoming extinct, the working world must turn to social media.

Written By: Owen O’Brien

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