On Saturday, February 22, I was honored to teach a workshop, “Social Media Savvy: A Practical Guide to Personal Branding and Strategy,” at the Smithsonian.

Monica Smithsonian

The seminar helped participants create a social media identity and identify the key elements of a strategy to interact effectively and efficiently in the virtual world. Participants explored the fundamentals of social media and its tools, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. The pros and cons of each and their use in creating a social strategy were discussed to help identify which works best for each person’s needs. Practical considerations, such as social media etiquette and learning how to use social media efficiently, were also tackled.

In the morning, I taught the students about the basics of social media, how to create a social media strategy and then, finally, all the platforms and the pros and cons of each.

The second half of the day included some terrific presentations:

Shashi Bellamkonda talking about social media strategy

Sean Gardner spoke about Twitter and Twitter engagement

Sarah Banks talked about measuring social media success

Casey Benedict spoke about the underbelly of social media

The day concluded with an interactive panel of social media pros who shared their experiences and practical insights. Panelists include Sarah Elizabeth Banks, manager of online engagement at the Air and Space Museum; Shashi Bellamkonda, vice-president of digital marketing at the Bozzuto Group, a real estate organization; Sean Gardner, a consultant and correspondent for Social Media WeekHuffington Post, and Smedio, named by Forbes as one of the top 50 social media power influencers in 2013; Elianne Ramos, principal and CEO of Speak Hispanic Communications and vice-chair of marketing and public relations for Latinos in Social Media, who specializes in U.S. Latino and Latin American advocacy campaigns; and Monica Sethi, founder and president of e-Buzz Edge, a firm specializing in public relations, marketing, and branding for the restaurant industry; Casey Benedict, a social media and food marketing innovator behind Kitchen PLAY and Eat Write Retreat, platforms that connect brands with bloggers.

Monica Smithsonian 2
My guest panelists for the Smithsonian social media workshop.


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  1. Looks like it was a great day Monica. After attending your excellent food writing class in December I had wanted to attend this one as well. Since the weather has been so difficult in Philadelphia, I was worried about being able to get down to DC in time! Hopefully I will enjoy another future event in other temperate seasons in the future. Thanks for the great work and inspiration!

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