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Social media is not one-size-fits-all

* Social media heavyweights will have it out at ITWeb platform smackdown. * The ITWeb Social Media Summit will take place on 14 August at The Forum, in Bryanston.

There is a misconception among businesses that whenever a social media platform becomes popular, it's necessary to use it.

That's just not the case, according to ITWeb's social media strategist, Tallulah Habib.

"Every platform has its own strengths and weaknesses," she says. "Your choice of platform should depend on what your particular business aims to accomplish using social."

This is why ITWeb has organised a "social media platform smackdown" to take place at its Social Media Summit in August. Themed Social Media for Business, the tagline of the event is "Making social work for you."

"I see so many organisations working for their social media, dedicating hours to it for very little return," says Habib. "At the end of the day, it's just a tool. It should be working for you."

The platform smackdown will feature advocates for the most popular social media platforms in South Africa giving short presentations, pointing out the benefits of their chosen platform. This will be followed by an intense panel discussion where the advocates go head-to-head.

Jared Molko, YouTube partnerships and product solutions lead at Google, will represent Google+ and YouTube. Molko's day job is developing content strategies for YouTube's premium partners. Prior to that, he was Google's digital consultant to top tier advertisers and agencies in the finance sector, advising on strategies for Google networks and channels.

Jodene Shaer is a media publicist and a hashtag specialist, and she will represent Twitter. She has over 30 000 followers on Twitter (the most of any South African non-celebrity) and is the founder of the #followSA hashtag.

In Facebook's corner is Jordan Wallace, the owner of Gorilla Creative Media. Wallace has worked at Praekelt Consulting and Unilever. His agency has done social campaigns for the likes of Axe, Ponds, Hansa and Nissan Navara.

No local social media event would be complete without representation from Mxit. Vincent Maher, who was once director of the New Media Lab at Rhodes University School of Journalism & Media Studies, is now Mxit's chief marketing officer. He has years of industry experience and social media expertise to back his arguments on behalf of our local social platform.

Finally, Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, CEO of AVATAR, will be the LinkedIn advocate. Mkhwanazi offers LinkedIn training and often presents on the subject. Mkhwanazi has received numerous awards, including the Africa Achievers awards for Top ICT Individual in Africa, and Top ICT Young Entrepreneur in Africa, and IT Personality finalist for 2009 and 2010.

After witnessing the platform smackdown, Habib hopes that delegates will come away with a better idea of which platforms they should be using for their business and how best to use them.

The ITWeb Social Media Summit takes place on 14 August. You can book your seat here. (http://www.itweb.co.za/index.php?OPTION=com_content&VIEW=article&id=63201&Itemid=2845)

ITWeb

ITWeb is South Africa's leading technology-focused publisher, with media products and services that span online, print and events.

ITWeb's online platforms reach over 200 000 unique readers a month and service a large client base through its Virtual Press Office offering. Its print titles include Brainstorm magazine, iWeek magazine and a series of ITWeb Informatica reference annuals. Its events, such as BI Summit and IT Security Summit, provide a knowledge exchange platform, addressing prevailing business technology trends and issues.

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