Social Media Guru at IMPACT 2009!

I got to know Jeremiah at a Social Media thought leadership event in the Valley. He is truly a leader and visionary in this space. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeremiah and wanted to share what he has planned for IMPACT 2009!

Sandy: How has the economic downturn changed the way people leverage social networking
Jeremiah: Our Technographics Research shows an increase in adoption of social tools from 2007-2008, in fact some pretty large jumps in behaviors. Basic common sense and logic tells us that social media usage for consumers will go up during a recession. Why? People will want to connect with others during crises, build personal brands, learn new skills by reading blogs. Also those who are in between jobs will have more time and certainly need to connect with others to find new job opportunities. Furthermore, we’ve found that 53% marketers have decided to increase their social media spend during a recession on social, however it’s important to note we’re not talking about sizable budget amounts, these are still small potato budgets –all things considered.

Sandy: Is social media superficial branding, or does it truly change the company?
Jeremiah: Sadly, many companies are slapping social features on their corporate websites or launching blogs –yet they are not walking the talk. Many brands don’t truly live an open an transparent workstyle, and as a result, customers see right through it. This research is telling, corporate blogs aren’t trusted by consumers.

Sandy: What is the biggest finding from the many interviews you’ve done with corporate social media teams, what’s the one trend you’re finding?
Jeremiah: Many companies are starting to get organized and are appointing key roles, such as the social media strategist and a handful of community managers. These specific roles, while often perform other traditional marketing tasks, are key to delivering true social media programs to the market. Why? Like all business programs, internal champions are still needed for success –especially new mediums

Sandy: On a lighter note, what’s your take on the Ashton Kutcher @aplusk and CNN @cnnbrk race to 1 million followers?
Jeremiah: While silly and trivial, this is a true milestone that Twitter and other social tools are about to go mainstream with media coverage. This however, doesn’t suggest they are mainstream tools, as they don’t have mainstream adoption.

Sandy: How do you feel about celebrities using Twitter? Oprah has 92,000 followers before she ever posted 1 tweet, are celebrities changing the way Twitter is being used and any lessons to be learnt by companies