Knowledge Café focuses on ‘The 2020 Workplace’

MIDDLETOWN — Twitter, social media tools and “The 2020 Workplace” are the focus of Miami University Middletown’s upcoming series of talks and discussions about business innovation including social media.

According to Dr. Susan Baim, an associate professor at MUM and facilitator of the Knowledge Café talks, the sessions will encourage discussion among area business leaders in regard to innovation and new practices in business that go along with new theories in business. Students will also be able to incorporate the material into their career development.

“Regardless of your purpose in using social media, whether it’s to gain customers if you are a small business owner, or if you are a student looking to advance your career opportunities, your audience needs to know how to know, like and trust you, and you need to have those three things going in social media before you can even talk to a customer about a purchase, or look at an employment opportunity,” Baim said.

It’s really looking at yourself over a lifetime, whether you are a business owner, or a student, people want to know that you are there to approach, and they want to start building a relationship with you, she said.

“The whole purpose of using social media for business is not to sell directly, but to be helpful,” Baim said. “Statistics have actually shown that this has increased business over time. So, using Twitter is very valuable for businesses, and even the businesses in Middletown. If they aren’t doing this kind of thing to help customers, they should be doing this.”

On Wednesday, Jan. 7, attendees will meet at Verity Lodge from noon to 2 p.m. for a session titled, “Unravel the Mystery of Twitter Theory and Practice.” The session will provide a detailed overview of Twitter and offer guidelines and examples on how to create interest and “buzz” for both business and educational applications. This is the seventh session in an 18-session series. Other sessions in the series have addressed other social media tools in general, such as creating content for social media platforms, LinkedIn, or putting a business on eBay.

Later this month, on Wednesday, Jan. 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. “Social Media Mini-Sessions: Tools and the 2020 Workplace” will meet in Room 142 of Johnston Hall. The session will provide a detailed overview of a series of tools that will help to create valuable social media content, plus it will offer a look at a new book about managing contemporary workforces. Attendees may bring a business card to enter a drawing for one of several copies of the book, “The 2020 Workplace,” by Jeanne Meister and Karie Willyerd. The program is geared toward all levels of learning — from those who are generally unfamiliar with social media to those that work in the computer technology industry.

An average session size is around 20 to 30 attendees. Many return from session to session, while five to 10 of the attendees are new for each session. This is the first year that The Knowledge Café sessions have been offered. Baim hopes to continue to offer the program in the future.

“It’s getting people excited about learning. There has been a 17 year old in some of our sessions, to those who are in their 60s or 70s, and everyone in between,” Baim said.

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