Julia Wakefield|Feb 17, 2012

Social Media Week, the world-wide conference that has made a name for itself in the last three years, finally came to Miami! So you know Digital Park just had to be there. We sent a few bloggers out to the field and asked them to share their thoughts on their favorite sessions.

I was fortunate to attend the Social Media For Economic Development panel discussion, which addressed the interesting topic of how public and private organizations are facing the challenge of communicating and doing business digitally, and how this could contribute to the development of our local economy.

One particularly thought-provoking idea was put forth by Giovanni Rodriguez, a panelist who participated from California via Skype. Rodriguez said, “Just as we’re seeing a trend toward breaking down silos in our businesses [e.g., cross-departmental collaboration], we’re also seeing it in our personal “ecosystems.” (In other words, our various social and cultural contexts). By that, he meant that the many facets of our lives are increasingly homogenized and integrated via the social web.

Hearing this made me think of the letter that Facebook titan Mark Zuckerberg’s slipped into the social network’s IPO filing papers. Zuckerberg believes that within years every industry will rely on the social web – it will permeate the entire business environment as it has our personal environments.

Here at rbb, we’ve seen this happening for years. In the public relations business, social networking is a fact of life. It impacts how we build the relationships that are the bread and butter of every PR professional, how we help our clients relate to and engage with their audiences, and how we consume, disseminate and market information. Public relations was one of the first industries to pick up social media and run with it – innovating on new platforms and finding fresh ways to use old platforms.

In the coming years, we will see businesses in every sector of every industry “socialize” their interaction with their customers. Restaurants and entertainment venues like clubs are at the forefront of this initiative; the travel industry is a growing force in social media; and nonprofits have long used social media to reach their networks’ networks’ networks, and so on.

Which industry will be the next adopter – and innovator – of the social mindset? We can’t wait to see.


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