Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

Study Finds Facebook Posts More Memorable than Faces

facebookBy Mary Reynolds Kane, Director, Online Marketing

In a few weeks you will probably forget that I wrote this blog, but if I tweet out “Independent Planners and Suppliers your Facebook posts are costing you business” you’ll remember that.

recent study authored by academics at the University of Warwick and UC San Diego, tested memory for text taken from Facebook updates and compared it to memory for sentences picked at random from books and also to human faces.

The findings?

People’s memory for Facebook trumped the carefully edited written word about one and a half times and memory for faces about two and half times.

The researchers believe the reason for this is that it is easier to memorize smaller bits of information that are closer to natural speech.

I was surprised by this study, then I started to think about the people I follow on Twitter and Facebook – At one point they were individuals but have since morphed into the feelings their posts evoke – I see them more as political, funny, naïve, angry, etc.

What does this mean for you?

Well, most of us know not to post everything that comes to mind and to save those incriminating photos for just our friends in our everyday life. But have we considered how unique the meetings industry is?

We are “friends” with our clients, our suppliers and our peers. Are we really thinking before we post about how we will appear to our colleagues?

The hospitality industry is a friendly bunch face-to-face – more apt to give someone a hug than a handshake. Have we relaxed our posts too much? At events when we are scoping potential business, we are friendly and open, but wouldn’t complain about the drug habits of the neighbor’s kid, nor write about how backwards our office politics are. If we have our game face on at conventions, why are we showing potential clients our inner monologue?

I manage our organization’s social media and have my tweetdeck up all day. I am often surprised by some of the things I have read. Those snarky and negative things have stayed with me as much as those posts written by people that I had no idea were so hilarious (@bradegel thanks for the laughs).

Twitter and Facebook allow the meetings industry to really connect with each other in a way that builds relationships and expands brands, but not if we knock everything we see, hear, and experience in our posts.

Now that I know everyone will remember my tweets and Facebook updates more, you better believe I am going to think a little more before I post.

How has social media affected your business decisions?