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Social Media Boot Camp

October 18, 2011

In his book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell explains that according to the "power of context", even when people understand that they should do something, until they are given a roadmap they are unlikely to do so.

Gladwell writes about experiments conducted by social psychologist Howard Levanthal, who tested the how students could be best motivated to get a tetanus vaccine. In his first round of experiments he tested the amount of fear in messaging and not suprisingly found that students were more likely to say they would get a tetanus shot after reading a brochure that emphasized the risks of dying from the disease.

Yet strangely, even though those students said they would get a free tetanus shot, few of them actually did.

One simple change to the experiment - adding a map to the on campus clinic along with the clinic's hours - changed that completely.

More recently the University of Chicago used the same strategy to increase the number of students getting the H1N1 vaccination, with similar success. In the first year of adding highlighted maps to the school's communication strategy, the vaccine rate jumped from 800 to 1,800. Interestingly, the only challenge reported with the program was getting full-time clinic staff to buy into the plan.

So what does this have to do with the Social Media Boot Camp that the local Chamber is hosting? Everything.

Most people in business today recognize that social media can have enormous benefits, yet many are reluctant to adopt this new technology. The solution is obvious: just teaching businesses how social media works isn't enough. An effective seminar need to include a clear roadmap for how to use the tools on an ongoing basis.

That is exactly what you will receive if you attend the Social Media Boot Camp on October 24, 2011.

The event will start with in-person networking amongst participants while those who do not already have a Twitter account will be signed up for the free service.

Then the session will shift to a combination of social media example and hands-on exercises where participants will write their first Tweets, plan out a Facebook page for their business and create an outline of how they will continue to use these social media tools after the session.

To close things out, presenter Julie King will send everyone home with a series of simple assignments designed to help them continue to use the tools they have learned about.

One great thing about the Boot Camp is that it will help participants connect with others in their own community, bringing a much needed local component to the expansive world of social media.

The Social Media Boot Camp would normally cost $99, but with sponsorship from yorkworks and Stouffville Connects the event cost has been cut to just $25 for Chamber members and $30 for non-members (HST included).

Interested? Here's what you need to do to participate:

  1. Call the Chamber at 905 642-4227 or email to register for the event.
  2. Show up at the Whitchurch-Stouffville Municipal Office: Council Chambers 111 Sandiford Drive at 6:00 pm on October 24th
  3. Bring your laptop, tablet or smartphone if you have one!

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