Houston Social Media Leaders Look At The Developing Scene
by: Shomial Ahmad, September 4, 2012 5:09:00 pm
The Houston chapter first started in 2009. Kami Huyse, one of the co-founders, says the group's grown from a couple dozen to more than 100 people attending their monthly meetings, which are typically the second Friday of every month. It's a chance, Huyse says, for people to build community and learn strategy.
"Next month, we're going to talk about how people use video and social media together in order to reach audiences. We also have talked about the Houston Zoo's efforts and how they've managed to use social media."
At least in some social media rankings, Houston's usage is up there. The Paris-based company Semiocast released a study earlier this month showing the number of tweets from different world cities. Houston ranked 20. Huyse says the Houston scene is more home-grown and Houston-centric.
"I've lived in Washington DC, San Antonio. I've lived all over. Some of the best collaboration happens here in Houston."
Huyse says one challenge, at least for Houston businesses, was how to create content that's interesting and engaging. Marc Nathan says he was the second person to use Twitter in the city. Nathan's seen the city really develop social media strategy in certain ways.
"Houston is—everybody knows—a business-to-business town. We're not really a business- to-consumer town. But people like conversation and when people buy things, they buy it from other people. One thing that social media does, more than anything else, is that it humanizes other businesses."
Nathan says that there's a bit of social media fatigue out there. It's gonna be hard, he says, for new channels to make it in big ways, like Facebook and Twitter.
"So there will be a handful of social media platforms that are going to go away. But things like, LinkedIn which is critical for a person's business career or Twitter that people monitor on a regular basis, I still think those are here to stay."
Even one somewhat famous Houston social media user is sensing this fatigue. J.R. Cohen potentially took the first to-go order via Twitter when he worked at the now-gone midtown coffee shop Coffee Groundz.
"I don't think that there's an increase in tweeting or, you know, facebooking. I think it's kind of declined a little bit, but I think the messages are a little bit more pure."
Cohen still has some advice for anyone trying out these platforms. Be yourself and remember it's not all about you.