If rage against Wall Street and economic inequality is fueling the “Occupy” movement, its conduit to the masses (and each other) is social media— and Twitter in particular.
That message has been heard - by the other side. The New York Stock Exchange is making Friday “Social Media Day” (the first of its kind for the exchange) when various politicos and social media experts will gather just blocks away from Zuccotti Park to discuss how Wall Street can more effectively utilize social media.
Although not expressly billed as such, it’s clear that the NYSE’s effort has a new relevancy thanks to the Occupy movement’s effective use of social media to galvanize support and distribute information.
Panelists will include former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, former Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division Christine Varney, Democratic consultant Joe Trippi and former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt. Helping to usher in the day is Pete Snyder, the chairman of New Media Strategies who will ring the Exchange’s opening bell on Thursday.
“Relationships are the key to success in this ever changing social and mobile world,” said Snyder. “It is critical for companies to adapt and learn how to listen, connect and help consumers on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, where they are living their lives online.”
The day’s agenda reads like a 101 on how corporations can become more in user-friendly: “How Smart Business Are Engaging with Social Media.” “Leading Social Media Trends in Politics and Corporate Strategy.” “Deepening Customer Relations Using LinkedIn.” “Using Social Media to Move the Chains.” “Building Your Personal Brand Online.”
“The bottom has the real power to communicate in a way that these organizations have never had to deal with,” Trippi told POLITICO. “They just don’t structurally get that they don’t have the power they used to have and that’s why you see the Tea party and Occupy Wall Street and other bottom-up kind of movements being able to connect a lot more and challenge your messaging.”
Fleischer, on the other hand, doesn’t think Wall Street would stand much to gain by thinking that social media could bridge the divide with Occupy Wall Street via Twitter.
“I think corporations make a mistake if they try to engage with Occupy Wall Street, via on Twitter or Facebook. They’d get their asses handed to them. As a general rule, I would advise corporations to stay away from things that could generally be controversial. They’d become a magnet for attacks and the story would boomerang and people would quote all the nastiness to the Goldman Sachs Twitter account.”
Snyder says it’s still unclear what Wall Street can learn from the Occupy movement’s use of social media.
“I think its too early to measure the impact, if any, of the OWS movement. If anything, I think that the DC-based Occupy Wall Street consultants are taking a page from some of labor’s biggest hits in social media - namely, the successful social media efforts by the NFL Players in their battle against the owners. We are seeing tactics right out of that playbook with OWS. That said, when it comes to security issues and online brand reputation issues the C-level suite is making sure they have budget allocated and a plan in place for social media.”
To follow the discussion on Twitter, use #NYSESMD.