We’re opening the new year of Event Brew with the topic of social media. The past decade saw an insane increase in the widespread use of social media. And what that meant for brands, companies, and businesses alike was a complete shift in paradigm. Because now, they could reach thousands of people specifically targeted for a product or service. Amongst many other things, social media became a true pillar of the way human beings communicate with each other.
And where does the events industry stand in the middle of this? Well, that’s exactly what we’re here to discuss! Our amazing hosts Will Curran and Thuy Diep are ready to spill the brew. If you’re curious about their opinions on social media for events, you’ve come to the right place. So choose your favorite drink and press play – it’s Event Brew time!
“So, I will be completely vulnerable and honest”, says Thuy. “I struggle with social media. “And because it has so many goods, but it also has these bads. And so, because we’re getting so much content thrown at us, sometimes the way that, especially with Instagram, that it’s presented. It just got really overwhelming for me and being so productive I really wanted to keep that positive state, mental state”
Thuy ended up going on a small social media hiatus following Thanksgiving. “So, it made me start pondering how do I identify and what is my online branding? Personally and then professionally. Because we can talk about how there is a mix and match. If you follow me on social media, then you get to know me professionally. I put things up about the work we’ve achieved together as a team. But then I’ll put in, you’ll get to see my world, see my avocado toast at brunch, that kind of thing”.
“I think there’s definitely an assumption that Will loves social media”, he says. “I know how to use it for business. But to be honest, I have said this and I have a good friend who also does a lot of social media marketing, we both say if it wasn’t for our work we wouldn’t have social media. Maybe one channel that we really passionately believe in. But, the fact that I have to try to juggle LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and sometimes multiple of these at a time, it’s stressful for me”.
“And you guys will see, I post stuff. But honestly, it’s there for, let’s be honest, marketing purposes”, Will continues. “It’s hey, you know what the new Event Brew episode’s about. Hey, we have a new blog post out. Or hey, I need a survey filled out”.
What’s Social Media About?
“I know, especially our generation, we’re all on the IG now”, says Thuy. “And I actually like Facebook a little bit better than Instagram even though a lot of our network is on Instagram. I feel like there is more engagement and that’s the thing. It’s not about likes. I feel like that, it gets superficial and that’s the part I don’t like about it because the purpose should be engagement”.
“The purpose should be connecting with others and it’s kind of a cheap way just to engage with someone by just liking it and moving on”, she adds. “Now, I’ve structured. And I’m actually going to rethink how I’m going to present myself online for 2020. Because I want to have those deep conversations. I really want to know individuals”.
The Power Of Connecting
“I think that’s the thing that I love about social media, is that you stay connected with people and from high school or from all aspects”, says Thuy. And Will agrees with this great aspect of social media. “Let’s be honest, phone numbers can change really easily”, he says. “But if you need to find somebody, you can find them on a social media network and then reengage and reinvolve yourself in their lives. I think that’s one definite positive of it, but maybe it’s getting overcrowded now”.
Not Everything Is Perfect
“I think I don’t like about social media is that it’s a platform war at all times”, Will explains. And we all know social media is far from being unproblematic. On this topic, Thuy adds that “I would say, I don’t hate anything in life. But there are moments where I passionately dislike Instagram for how it makes me feel for me letting it disturb my peace of mind. Because I do fall into this comparison. Especially here in LA, it’s the influencer community”.
Mindless & Harmful
“I think I’m honestly almost on the verge of just getting rid of mine”, says Will. “Because it’s just like every single time I’m sitting, I’m bored somewhere, it becomes a really quick and easy thing. It’s kind of crazy how you become mindless when you’re doing it”. Thuy adds ” the other thing that makes me have a bad taste in my mouth too with social media is, I see the benefits of it. But then I’m also struggling with just the relationship-building. Because I really want just that time, that quality time with individuals”.
“I love fashion, but I won’t follow fashion accounts, most of them”, she continues. “Because it’s usually just really pretty girls on the beach not even really wearing their clothes. And I’m like, wow, I don’t feel that great about myself. Because here I am trying to make a positive impact in our event industry and it’s harder to work on being morally sound and to work on my character”.
“I’m going to use the word critical, it’s become mass appealed in the events industry too”, says Will. “Because it’s where a lot of people go to get ideas. I was just recently interviewing potential employees, one of our culture questions is, what blogs, books, resources do you use to keep up on the industry? And they say, I don’t really read any blogs, I just follow specific accounts on social media. And so it’s kind of become needed almost in some ways. And I definitely think Instagram and Pinterest, if they didn’t exist, our events industry would look totally different”.
Perceptions VS Reality
“What I always worry about with social media is, how you perceive yourself and how everything looks”, Will adds. “I feel like I don’t have time to really show people who I really am all the time. And not necessarily with the messages I use, but I can’t constantly share everything in my life so everyone knows everything that’s going on. I mean, I travel only 60% of the time, I think you’re going to get bored seeing my home office the 40% of the time that I’m at home though”.
“Here’s the thing that I think people forget about. You have the choice and you can dictate what you post on social media, and that is going to be people’s perception of you”, says Thuy. “And I think my first burnout when I was in Vegas started happening because I was putting out only positive things, only achievement, only the awards I was getting, and all really the highlight. And I wasn’t letting people in, which I do now, into behind the scenes. And so, that helps me give that whole picture. I would just say, know who you are and how you want to really have that brand identity online”.
“Be who you want to be and don’t let anything else dictate it on that end”, says Will. “And I think that no matter even if we’re using it for social media for branding purposes, let that be the deciding factor too. Because if you’re not enjoying it and you’re not liking what you’re sharing, it’s not even worth it. I mean, life is about happiness, it’s not about social media”.
“Everyone has the same 24 hours, so for me, it’s inspiring, motivating, connecting, truly relating to others, being that social connector, that to me is really important. I have faith in the world. And I think, if we can shift our mindset a little bit and I think having this conversation so openly might help others too”, Thuy concludes.
And that’s a wrap on this week’s episode of Event Brew! What’s your take on the way social media impacts your personal and professional lives? Make sure you let us know, and don’t forget to tune in next week for some more amazing content!