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TED Talks: A collection of this social media marketing agency’s favorites

As one of Orange County’s leading social media marketing agencies, we take a great interest each year in TED Talks. The Talks date back further than most people think – the first TED conference was held in 1984, and included early demos of the compact disc and the Apple Macintosh computer – but thanks to live video streaming, TED Talks have grown massively in popularity in recent years. At their best, they can provide tremendous insight and thought leadership in technology, marketing communications and many other fields. Here are three of our favorite TED talks on topics related to social media and marketing communications.

  1. Wael Ghonim: Let’s design social media that drives real change

Who is the speaker? Wael Ghonim is an Internet activist who was at the heart of the Arab Spring in Egypt. He was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, appeared in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of 2011, and co-founded the social media platform Parlio, which stressed “thoughtfulness, civility and diversity” among its users.

Our highlights – “Today, our social media experiences are designed in a way that favors broadcasting over engagements, posts over discussions, shallow comments over deep conversations. It’s as if we agreed that we are here to talk at each other instead of talking with each other … Couldn’t we just give people more incentives to engage in conversations, rather than just broadcasting opinions all the time?”

  1. Kevin Allocca: Why videos go viral

Who is the speaker? Kevin Allocca is YouTube’s Head of Culture & Trends, having previously worked as a writer and editor at Huffington Post and TVNewser. His current role and experience with online video can provide informed insights for social media marketing agencies on social media trends and strategies.

Our highlights – “So how does it happen? Three things: tastemakers, communities of participation and unexpectedness … these are characteristics of a new kind of media and a new kind of culture where anyone has access and the audience defines the popularity.”

  1. Evan Williams: The voices of Twitter users

Who is the speaker? Evan Williams is the co-founder and former CEO of Twitter. This talk is from early 2009, and is a fascinating insight into the relatively early days of the social media giant, which was by then growing massively in popularity, but nowhere near the behemoth that it has since become.

Our highlights – “And this trend of people using this communication network to help each other out goes far beyond the original idea of just keeping up with family and friends. It’s happened more and more lately, whether it’s raising money for homeless people or to dig wells in Africa or for a family in crisis … It seems like when you give people easier ways to share information, more good things happen. I have no idea what will happen next with Twitter. I’ve learned to follow the hunch, but never assume where it will go.”

Regardless of the type of business you are in, TED Talks represent an excellent – and free – resource that not only can help you keep up to date on the latest developments in the fields of technology, entertainment and design; they also provide examples of true thought leadership – there are hundreds of informative and transformative talks that might cause you to change how you think about your business … or even your life. Check out the full archive of TED Talks here.

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