The 4 social media TED Talks you need to see right now

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As social media continued to evolve in 2014, businesses big and small scrambled to keep pace. In these four TEDx talks, global business influencers discuss ways in which companies, employees and individuals can maximize the potential of social media. We’ve embedded the video in this article to let you watch every talk easily from just one page.

The Rise Of The Social Employee: Mark Burgess at TEDxNavesink, posted October 2014


In this talk at TEDxNavesink, Mark Burgess, co-founder of the social branding company Blue Focus Marketing and bestselling author of “The Social Employee,” discusses how employees are using social media to change how companies engage with and market to their customers. Gone are the days of disseminating artificial, unauthentic sales pitches, Burgess claims, replaced by a more transparent approach in which social media is utilized to build trust, leverage brands and increase the digital “surface area” of those brands.

One Voice: Managing Social Media as a Team: Mike Hamilton at TEDxWPI, posted May 2014

Mike Hamilton, assistant director of residential services at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, discuses how to best incorporate social media in organizations and groups, including businesses. While many people agree that best practices are the standard for assessing any situation, Hamilton argues that best practices are still being developed. Constant evolution and change are imperative as technology and its applications progress at breakneck speed. Hamilton asserts that over the next five years organizations must embrace social media and devise a team strategy for managing it. Basically, use it or lose it.

Social Evolution: Andrew Grill at TEDxLondonBusinessSchool 2014, posted May 2014

Internationally renowned thought leader Andrew Grill, an IBM Global Partner, compares today’s social networking to the coffee houses that were all the rage in late Middle Ages London. Not much has changed over the past five centuries; people still like to meet, exchange ideas, rumors and gossip. Only the media have changed. In this talk, Grill cites personal examples to demonstrate how one great — or simple — tweet can launch a career, as well as the power of social media to connect people from all over the world.

The Curly Fry Conundrum: Why Social Media ‘Likes’ Say More than You Might Think: Jennifer Golbeck, TEDxMidAtlantic, posted April 2014

Jennifer Golbeck, director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Maryland, is focused on enhancing the way people interact with their own online data. In this talk, she begins with the story of how retail giant Target’s mailing system sent a 15-year-old girl discounts on pregnancy-related products. The girl’s father, who didn’t even know she was pregnant, was livid. But the incident highlighted the shape of things to come as retailers are able to make increasingly accurate predictions about what their customers need and want to purchase.

The Human-Computer Interaction Lab is hard at work improving computer predictions for everything from political preference to even age. Golbeck cites a recent study analyzing Facebook ‘likes’ which concluded somewhat puzzlingly that one of the top five indicators of high intelligence was an affinity for curly fries. Golbeck uses the information gleaned from such studies to improve the way people and organizations interact online.

Also check out our post on the top TED Talks for every business leader

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