This post is co-authored by Jeff Dobrinsky and Jackie Davalos.
Language, food, sports and customs are all attributes that distinguish a city from others. In today’s connected generation however, there is a new framework that differentiates a city’s character: social media. Who uses social media; what networks are used and when they log on are all determinants of a city’s social anthropology. From the Americas to Europe and Asia, social media is the new common language, and each city in this September’s Social Media Week brings something unique to the table. We want you to know more about our 10 host cities, starting with the Americas.
Thanks to São Paulo’s 11.32 million people, the city has become the epicenter. As “The World’s Social Media Capital,” São Paulo comprises 54.9% of internet usage in Brazil, with leading social media sites Facebook, Orkut, Twitter and Ask.fm at its core. Emerging from this, Carla Dauden’s viral “No, I’m Not Going To The World Cup” YouTube video, sparking social awareness is a testament to the influence of social media.
As Colombia’s educational hub with more schools, colleges, and universities than any other city, Bogotá is the epicenter of social media, boasting a 6.1 million Facebook user base out of a 7.4 million population. More recently, the “Being an Agent of Change in Colombia” campaign at SXSW exemplified how social media has enabled Colombians to engage in the democratic process, bolster participation and how it has harnessed equality between the rich and poor.
Home to the first food truck, Los Angeles has more than good tacos and the Hollywood sign. With a population of nearly 4 million, LA is more than a film & television hub. Unbeknownst to many, due to its close proximity to the Startup Town of Palo Alto, LA houses a substantial startup community. With a focus on media and celebrity branding, social media plays an integral role in how these well-known companies and brands interact with fans.
SMW Chicago always thrives with awesome vibes and great speakers. Home to companies such as the loyalty program giant, Belly, and online ordering and food delivery service, GrubHub, the internet in Chicago is the central productivity tool to connect businesses. With 2.7 million residents, Chicago has recently been the fastest growing city on Facebook in terms of usage. B2B initiatives and brand collaborations that come out of Chicago are what make our global efforts all the worthwhile.
Did you know Canadians are the world’s heaviest users of the Internet? Spending an average of 45.6 hours online per month; it’s no wonder with Toronto as a mecca for techies and startups. The US has Silicon Valley; Ontario has Toronto. With over 11,000 information and communications technologies firms in Toronto alone and employing over 170,000 people, innovations like Wattapp (dubbed “YouTube for electronic text stories”) are vying to be the next leader in social media. And SMW Toronto is leading the way, being the team behind our Future Hipsters video and “Nobody Wants to Be Your Friend…”
The Americas are home to serious tech and internet players, all of which has us very excited for this September. Will you be joining us?