Social Media Day aims to help Detroiters get digitally savvy

erms like “live stream,” “hashtag” and “followers” have become, for most of us, a part of our day-to-day vernacular, so it’s only fitting that we should have a whole tweet-filled day dedicated to social media communication.

The Social Media Association of Michigan will host Detroit’s event this year, where about 100 of the city’s top communication innovators will flood the Atheneum Suite Hotel for an all-day social media mini conference.

The event is not just for communications professionals, and SMAMI’s founder and past president Sola Obayan says the event is likely to attract local businesses and innovators looking to gain more social media knowledge that can later be implemented into their company’s practices.

“It’s the first time that it’s being viewed as an educational event rather than just a party,” Obayan said. “Especially in Detroit, there’s a lot of opportunity to leverage social to create success and to reach local community in a way that matters to them.”

Social Media Day was founded in 2010 by global, multi-platform media and entertainment company Mashable. Today it’s held annually in cities around the world on on June 30 as a day to recognize and celebrate social media’s impact on global communication.


The event two years ago featured a 10-person panel, and the main talking point was how technology could be and would be a part of Detroit’s resurgence.

Obayan founded SMAMi in 2012 after returning to Michigan after spells in New York and Washington D.C.

“After moving back to Michigan, I noticed that there was a need for social media education across the state, not just in Southeast Michigan,” Obayan says. “Our key goal, our long-term vision moving forward, is to be essentially the gel that brings all the social media activation and education in Michigan under one roof to create more synergy, so it’s not such a fragmented execution across the state.”

She studied Business Marketing at Wayne State University, but Obayan’s background is in computer programming. She started coding at age 14, launched a digital modeling agency for ethnic models at 16, and was running a startup during the first three years following her move back to Michigan, while simultaneously building SMAMi.

Jason Falls, author and the founder of Social Media Explorer LLC and of the Conversation Research Institute, will kick off Social Media Day in Detroit as the event’s keynote speaker. Falls will be followed by local social media professionals Eric Thomas, Amber Beard, Roxanne Jajo, and Nikki Little.

Tickets range from $59-$79 and include access to the afterparty following the speakers.

“I think digital and social will essentially become the standard for marketing,” Obayan says. “The geeks have taken over the world.”

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