Saturday, 29 February 2020

Henley Rotary Club

AT last week’s twilight meeting, club member Mark Harling introduced the speaker Kostas Panagiotou.

He was in charge of Victim Support for Berkshire and then for the whole of the Thames Valley but then moved into a career coaching organisations in digital marketing.

Mr Panagiotou was born in Greece and lived for a time in Belgium and England before settling down near Cardiff.

He emphasised that social media should be an extension of one’s offline activities and described how, before Facebook appeared, there were a number of online forums where people with similar interests communicated together.

He acknowledged that, in addition to the undoubted benefits of social media, there were negatives such as misinformation, fake news and cyber bullying. He then listed the leading social media providers:

Facebook, which has 1.59 billion members, deals with friends and family communication. Its personal members cannot use it to advertise but there is a separate category for businesses and, by definition, charitable organisations like Rotary to target advertisements.

Twitter has 267 million members and is very much an instant comment facility with a maximum of 280 characters.

Instagram, with one billion users, is owned by Facebook and is for younger people and SnapChat is for those even younger.

Linked-In, described as Facebook for professionals, is owned by Microsoft.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, has 1.5 billion users who upload and view videos.

Mr Panagiotou suggested that Rotary could use social media to promote events.

He said that adverts could be placed on Facebook, which would reach the target audience at a minimal cost, quoting £15 for something that reached 2,000 people.

Twitter could be used to get people talking about the event (the “buzz”, he called it).

It was not necessary to use all the social media outlets. Questions asked both during and after the talk were dealt with effectively and Mr Harling proposed the club’s vote of thanks.

Earlier, club president Peter Thomson reported on the attendance of a party of 11 members and partners at the district conference held in Portsmouth.

Immediate past president Maria Bunina reported on the zone final of the Youth Speaks competition held at Marlow at which our two sponsored teams, both from the Abbey School in Reading, performed well but were not chosen to progress to the district final.

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