Earlier this month at Concordia University in Irvine, CA, students and business owners met and chatted with a diverse panel of six marketing professionals on the topics of Social Media, its ramifications on marketing today, our personal lives, and the lives of our younger generations. This panel discussion event was organized, hosted and moderated by the Social Media Marketing and Adjunct Communications Professor at Concordia University, Angela Williamson, and our panelists for the event included Jeanne Rogers – Assistant Vice President, Marketing at IMPAC Mortgage, Valeska Jacques – Partner Channel/Strategic Agency Partnerships at Rivvid.com, Marieke Hensel – Digital Marketing Entrepreneur at Branding Personality USA, Ty Woodson and Mark Mobley of PBS SoCal, and our very own Rob Lawrence of eSage Group.

The conversation was both lively and sobering at times as the panelists answered various questions such as “Are our First Amendment rights protected on social media networking sites?” and “What company has the best example of social media marketing and how did they do it?” The panelists answered these and other questions sometimes with humor and at other times with a more serious take on just how Social Media is affecting consumerism, people’s lives in general, and especially the youth in society. Although sometimes varying in opinion, our panelists found common ground sharing their thoughts on Social Media such as: “Children today should put down the Twitter and text machines and interact more!”, “Small business owners should have a goal in mind when beginning a Social Media Campaign and pursue professional help from a creative agency”, and “yes, job seeker, your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and any other Social platform is fair game for prospective employers to look at whether they tell you or not!”.

Panelist Questions included:
1. Should social media be regulated by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC)?SoMe Harvest
2. Should there be mandatory time (time or age) limits for children using social media? If yes, what should the age be?
3. Has social media lessened face-to-face communication?
4. Does the content on social media lead to more depression?
5. How can I start a career in social media?
6. What skills do social media companies look for when hiring employees?
7. How much information on social media is dictated by what society says is helpful?
8. How can social media shift from a social use to professional use to help college students find a career?
9. Will future employers see be able to view our social media presence? Could it hurt me in finding a job?
10. Should there be laws governing social media to combat bullying on the Internet?
11. Are our First Amendment rights (Freedom of Speech) protected on social media networking sites?
12. Will social media eliminate traditional advertising and marketing activities in the future?
13. What’s the next trend in social media? If I learn this trend, will I be in high demand for employment opportunities?
14. Are there any social media professional groups/associations that I can join to learn more about social media and social media jobs?
15. What company or person offers the best example of social media marketing? How did it/they do it?
16. If I want to be successful in the field of social media should I have a niche (niche marketing)?

We think the dialog was great between panelists, students and business owners and much was learned by all. We hope to see you at next year’s SoMe Harvest at Concordia University in Irvine, CA! (Follow the SoMe Harvest on Twitter: @SoMeHarvest)