Paris Had A Social Media Day Celebration - Did You?

By Mary B. AdamsNormally I'm pretty aware of social media happenings around town, so I was surprised to hear about the Mashable Meetup only one day before the event. Even more surprising – June 30th was Social Media Day. Why hadn’t I heard about this sooner? I quickly RSVP’d for the Meetup and started spreading the word (hashtag #smday) to other social media enthusiasts.

The event took place at Le Café Noir in the 2nd district of Paris on a lively pedestrian street full of shops and restaurants. Most attendees were Paris-based, although I met one gentleman from AXA’s New York office who just happened to be in visiting this week. A multicultural meetup, I chatted with North Americans, British, Indians, and plenty of French. Although the French have a reputation for being not very strong in other languages, this group was full of exceptionally good English speakers.

Most everyone was under 25 years old with varying degrees of social media experience and knowledge under their belts. I met students, recent graduates, and several “Community Managers” working for small startups all the way up to multinationals like Disney and LaGardère.

One young French woman with a marketing background told how her firm had just hired her for a newly created social media position. On the eve of her first day at the new job, she was “terrified.” Without clear goals, insight or guidance from management (not surprising, most bosses haven't got a clue about this stuff!), who could blame her? She was on a social media crash course hoping to pick up some tips from the group.

I heard a similar tale from a young Community Manager who had been thrown into the job “with no training whatsoever.” In just one month he’s already started to build a following via the company’s YouTube channel and with blogs. He believes strong content is the most important element to building online communities.

One thing is sure: there is still so much to learn about social media! I very much enjoyed the exchange of ideas and opinions on various tools and platforms relating to social media. There’s already talk of another Meetup in Paris soon… will let you know how it goes!

Did you attend a Mashable Meetup yesterday? If not, how did you celebrate Social Media Day?