Social media big topic at Fusion conference

For executives looking to integrate rapidly evolving social media technology into their day-to-day work, this year’s Fusion conference, which opened today in Hollywood, Calif., is probably the place to be. The conference kicked off this morning with a “Fusion Academy” presentation titled “Using Social Media to Lease your Property.” It is one thing to use social media in your social life, but it is becoming an indispensable tool for leasing, management and marketing executives, noted the presenters of the session, Jen Augustyn, principal and director of New Media for The Dealey Group, a marketing and design company based in Dallas, and Corbett Guest, CEO of Imaginuity Interactive, a Dallas marketing agency.

Social media will be the subject of a presentation tomorrow too, when IDC Retail Insights, a Framingham, Mass.–based marketing and consultation firm, explains what role mobile phone technology and social media played in the 2010 holiday shopping season and — more to the point — how it will influence retail this coming Christmas. Shoppers using mobile phone and social media technology accounted for 28 percent — or $127 billion — of the $447 billion consumers spent last Christmas, said Greg Girard, IDC’s program director for merchandise strategies.

On Thursday, delegates will hear how social media and online marketing are influencing the way people shop, dine and socialize, in a discussion panel that includes Cherilyn Megill, SCMD, vice president, marketing, at Inland Western Retail Real Estate Trust, and a variety of other marketing executives.

The conference wraps up Thursday with the presentation of the annual Maxi Awards to honor innovative shopping center marketing programs.

Compiled by the staff of Shopping Centers Today. © March 29, 2011 International Council of Shopping Centers.

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