An Introduction to the Phenomenon of Social Media Influence

Recently I was invited to give a talk at Enderun Colleges for Grow Social 2019, it was really such a good opportunity, a great blessing and an honor to be working with the people from this great institution. I will be forever greatfull !! All also of course to Ana Herrera who recommended me 🙂

And guess what, I was the very first speaker, well, I did choose to be the one to go first so that I would have that chance to set the mood for the rest of the talks after the host would have been able to have warmed up everyone with her rah-rah-rah and what not. I have come prepared, I was of course nervous and all the same time excited, I normally don’t memorize so I brought my “kodigo” where I could glance from time to time whenever forgetfullness would hit me. Hahaha though if you would look at the photos, the photographer always caught me glancing on my so called “kodigo”, so funny. I came in quite early, in fact again I was the earliest speaker. Well, I was speaking first and It would have been a hassle if I was running and panting as I entered the door and ran up the stage. Anyways, after all the introductions and the keynote from the President of Enderun, the host goes “ladies and gentlemen, let me welcome up on stage our very first speaker to talk about the introduction to the influence of social media phenomenon, digital marketing and social media expert, blah-blah-blah …. SUE JOSE!!” My heart raced, I was up on my feet, nah I was actually on the side of the stage beside the tech guys, i made sure I was wearing sneakers so there would be no foul ups getting on the stage. I wore jeans so it would be pretty comfy and there won’t be no fashion mishaps, and then of course I wore my favorite tailored New York jacket, thanks of course to Sol Vanzi, my Godmother, for that. And so I had the microphone in my hand, it as ON, thank God. I had it all pictured in my mind, I was practicing it for several day and weeks already, that when I went up the stage, I would say in a very modulated, very sure, very assuring voice — “Good morning Enderun!!!!  Good morning everyone!!” Like when ur having a concert and you be saying “Good evening Araneta!!!” In my ears and in my head, it was sooooo perfect!!! I’ve done this lot’s of number of times when I do hosting whether it was for social or corporate events. But I already reached the stage and have used large body movements, basically covering like 3/4’s of the stage area. I could not hear a thing. I mean honestly I could not hear a thing! Panic. I turned around, face the audience and tried doing it again! “Goodmorning Everyone!!” and they were dead silent like they didn’t have breakfast or something, or they were all deaf… hmnnnn let’s try again. And so I go on….

“It is a privilege that i am here today to introduce to you the phenomenon of social media influence. Thank you!  I’m super excited to be here. I’ve been looking forward to do this talk. I think that if you’re at this conference right now… obviously in looking at this event from afar, and the way it has been heavily promoted by Enderun to the people in the industry, in the local scene…thinking why would you want to come? or what value would i be able to give to you? what are you trying to achieve in this conference? It is incredibly important that when you give a speech, that the speech should be more predicated to the value you can give  audience, and not in what the audience can bring to you.”

Still, no reactions, hmnnn, let me get that clicker maybe some visual magic would help, so with clicker on my right hand, I started to click away through my slides, and click I did! And guess what? The damn clicker won’t click WTH!!!!! Audience problem and clicker problem all at the same day?? OMG I am doomed and it’s just starting!!! Think, think, think Sulaiman…… when I do my hosting and sometimes when the audience is too uptight, too serious or just could not be broken, I get down the stage to break the barrier, connect with the audience and walk around, ask them in their faces, interact. I did! Went down, broken some barriers, got some smiles, got some reactions and some show of hands… though honestly and what was really happening inside my head was FFFFF_______!!!!! why???? why so stiffff??? like c’mon guys and gals give me a chance!!! And as for the tech guys, who I ought to have boxed in the nose all four of them who were sitting in the tech booth, their solution was for them to operate the whole clicking thing at my signal, like a nod or something, ergo, apart from handling the difficult audience and and the thousand other things going on in my head, I had to deal with nodding to the tech guys or blatantly saying – “next slide please, or back to the previous slide please!” It was totally hilarious!!

here is going crazy me, trying to click away!!!!! click! click! click!

I was thinking, do they, the audience already get it? That magical phenomenon of social media influence and how it has affected our lives in the last 10 years.  how it has changed the lives of many people here in the Philippines, in Asia and the rest of the world, how it has changed communication from sending letters and and photos or even money via the postal service and having it delivered right at your doorstep in a matter of i don’t know a couple of weeks? to now getting it at a blink of an eye.  advertising and promotions that made you spent thousands and millions of pesos to now at a very low cost and being able to advertise to a larger market at a faster pace than you have ever imagined; marketing and selling brands and products that can be sold to a larger market at a faster pace, and can be bought right away too in a click of a button;  news and public affairs that’s quicker than lighting and travels the world faster, gets to a larger number of people and gets immediate reactions right away.

According to Forbes, the average person is exposed to around 5,000 ads / disruptions every single day. to deal with the fact that our audience’s attention is pulled in every direction possible, users of social networks have formed a pack mentality. such group thinking helps to collectively decide where their attention should be placed. audiences are congregating. they’re following and liking a select few, and passing on the messages that they feel is more important and relevant to them and their peers.

This, is the phenomenon of social media influence and it has affected all of us in more ways than 1, it is, and we cannot deny it anymore, it will continue to affect our lives until the next or the newest thing gets invented. social media influence and the brands and corporations that thrive around it has changed the way people live, has changed the way humans interact with each other, some positive, some negative, it is all i guess a matter of coping with the change that has been given to us with the advancement of technology.

I even mentioned the news about that mobile phone brand that US President Trump called out. I wanted to illicit more attention from the crowd… there were some whispers, minor reactions….

Yes, I can strongly say, that the Huawei (i have a Huawei P20lite) could be, no, is, the most powerful and important device in the whole world, but good thing i have an OPPO, for my personal phone, that means, I don’t really care!!!

This part is true – “I grew up in the age of “Back to the Future” and “Star Wars”, DC and Marvel and “the Jetsons” too!

I actually thought that by year 2000 we would have flying cars all over Metro Manila, that would go under and over the city in lightning speed,

sad to say they have only built fly-overs that have been taking forever to build and causing tremendous traffic, and so far, well, there are e-bikes and some e-cars …

I have grown up too where a mailman knocked on our door delivered a letter or a card coming from our uncles and aunts from the us or Canada or packages that had girl scout cookies and all the other goodies, and clothes that smelled “ĂŻmported”.  But now with social media, you can actually search for most of your missing relatives on facebook or instagram, and have your goodies delivered via Lazada or Shoppee, minus of course that nostalgic imported smell that you’ll miss… i have been able to use MIRC/ YM /Multiply / Friendster until the development of Facebook. and so now i have FB / IG/ Twitter / Linked In…. so on…

i miss these….

I wanted more attention form the crowd, and so I asked them, “how many of you are over 40 in this venue? over 40?  don’t be embarrassed, be loud about it. we still have it. c’mon, once again, raise your hands over 40?” A small number who were brave enough raised their hands.. thank God!!

playing outdoors was the best!!!

Continuing my talk…… I said “So, for all the youngsters in this venue, the hands that just went up, what the advantage of the group in the business world is that we have context of what the world looked like pre-internet, pre- social media.  i had a full childhood, when it was pre-internet, we lived life without the internet, we played patin-tero, tumbang preso and taguan, yes outdoors, in the streets… kids now as early as 2 years old are left growing up with youtube as their companion despite the mo-mo incident… and somehow that has  allowed me to context what was possible pre-internet, and post internet… in the industry where i have been existing, i have seen both sides of the coin, my career as an events, pr and marketing person whether i am on the agency side or on the corporate side had to slowly make the shift to digital for me to be able to survive in this jungle and for the brands that i handle, be able to swim afloat with me.”

“In the business landscape, the game has tremendously changed because of Social Media and Social Media Influence, now business owners/brands can reach out to its market at a more faster pace and the good news is that, it is still, right now at a very low cost. and that is actually good news to all the business owners /  entrepreneurs that we have here today. this is the time that we have to maximize creating content – content is key! You have to create something very interesting apart from the 50% off discounts. sometimes even if you’re giving out the best or the biggest discount that doesn’t automatically mean that you will get the attention that you want.  sometimes, in terms of food or the restaurant business, a really good video that really looks really yummy will do.”

these are some of the content me and my team have created through the years

“It is outrageous, but it does sound very basic that our social media pages are open all the time, everyday. like anytime, anywhere.  everybody now, when they’re internet slows down, freaks out. like when you switch from regular wifi / fiber and then all of a sudden you have to get out of your office or your house and you have to rely on your data.  everything goes a little slower…..sometimes you can’t even tweet, or see your photos on FB. That totally drives everyone crazy. You feel crippled for something that has been with you for only 10 years. Basic fact – We do not want to be left out. And that is actually the new normal. ” 

And so my talk goes on (it was like ages in my head, but apparently my limit on stage is only 15minutes) “You have to understand too how unbelievably important attention is.” (Yes ladies and gentlemen like me being in front of you guys and not really getting your attention, I’m actually dying here – but I didn’t say that, that was actually just in my head)  Regardless to what you are doing – whether you sell sneakers, or you’re a businessman, a business owner, a doctor, a lawyer, a hotel or restaurant owner, an actor or an actress.  Whatever you want to achieve, the one, the only thing that connects all of us besides being human beings is that we are all starving to get people’s attention. (Don’t you guys get it??!!) To then be able to tell what we want whether we are trying to get funding for a non-profit project, or wanting to become mayor in our town, trying to sell sneakers, getting more bookings for your hotel or more people to eat at your restaurant. (Grrrrrrr….ATTENTION!!!!)

do i have to say it more?? louder??

And so i go on… blah-blah-blah-blah-blah (just like the count in Hotel Transylvania) I gave them the Basic R’s — Reach, Relevance and Resonance.
But at the end, I added “Let’s be honest, especially for the entrepreneurs and business owners here in the Philippines, particularly the small ones, particularly those who cannot afford to go to plush media agencies, sometimes some of them opt to do all of these things on their own, with their very own marketing team, or sometimes even managed by they themselves.  when this is the case, they forego the media tool, and go on Guerilla style marketing.”

I further advised the attendees that however they might want to do it, they have to remember that they, the business owner, is THE BOSS! People like me, who exist in this industry, are here to merely help you out on all of these, make the channels meet, connect you to the right groups or the right influencers, create content for you, and try our best, as communications professionals to give you the simplest and less complicated way of doing things in achieving to get your brand across to your target market.  

yes, you are the boss!!

To segue, towards the end, I mentioned that our team from Purple Ink PH is giving free consultations plus 10% discount on all of our services for all those who have signed up for #GROWSOCIAL2019.

you may still get in touch with us if you have proof that you attended the said event 🙂

And so finally, the longest 15 minutes of my life was over!!! I thanked everyone and exited the stage…. returned the clicker and the mic and returned to my seat. I actually wished the earth swallowed me at that point, but I did get quite an applause. And I thank everyone for that. I will be on stage once again, hopefully be able to redeem myself as I modulate for the biggest influencers in the country… What the hell right??!!

redemption came after lunch.. all of them were pretty engaging 🙂 loved them all!! the audience…hmmmnnnn …they were the same until the end of the day… so i guess that was that…

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