I was delighted to work as part of a team for Friday's 6th RIT Entrepreneurship conference debating the role of social media on the entrepreneurial venture. The conversations were excellent and made to an almost packed crowd over at the auditorium in the Gollisano building. I had the pleasure of serving with Mike Johansson, a visiting professor of the Department of Communication at RIT, and Glenn Clark of Clark CSM. This added what Mike called 'a very united nations' feel to proceedings (Mike is from New Zealand and Glenn is American). The session was also moderated by our very own Vic Perotti from Saunders college of business. What I liked the most about the deliberations were the practical focus and prior experience of my colleagues (both of them still wearing battle scars from social media wars in the field). Key issues as we debated them along with our suggested outcomes;
- The importance of your network as a new entrepreneur. The role that RIT has in placing you at the center of a vibrant, intellectual and creative community of individuals with whom you might one day come to rely on. Our advice – get stuck in and meet new interesting people and of course build that network over the years you are with us.
- The role of personal branding. Manage and protect your brand across key channels. Google Alerts being one way to keep up to date with whats being said. Check privacy settings for your social media channels frequently ensuring these have not been reset to the default open position.
- Perhaps the simplest – learning from mistakes and applying appropriate fixes (such as apologizing in instances where offense has been caused).
- Managing time effectively in such spaces – consider using automation processes for updates, program integrators (like Digsby), and allotting specific time to tasks in social media channels.
The 6th conference was again a huge success, largely in part of the quality of those RIT'rs attending – what better way to kick start Brick City weekend than by hosting another vibrant conference. The networking opportunities of these events for would be entrepreneurs are excellent. See you all at the 7th next year!
Dr Hair is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the E Philip Saunders College of Business at RIT.
© 2010, Dr Neil Hair. All rights reserved.