For many business owners and managers, social media is recognised as an important marketing tool, but how to make it work effectively remains a mystery.

Now a half-day seminar promises to shed some light on the mysteries of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and give some tips on how to tap into their potential to generate business.

Paul Sutton, head of social communications at organisers Bottle PR, will be one of the presenters, along with Caroline Mytton, head of global web presence at Rentokil, a major company to embrace social media, and Emily Leary, digital content manager at BT.

The event will focus on the impact social media is having on consumer behaviour, and on how companies, brands and organisations can utilise its power to drive their business.

Mr Sutton said: “The buying process has changed radically in the last couple of years since the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube became part of every day culture. Only by understanding what’s happening online, and the psychological processes that we, as either consumers or clients, now go through when we make a purchasing decision, can businesses possibly hope to succeed in the long term.

“Whether it is on social networks, forums or blogs, there are conversations happening online about every brand or business and their areas of speciality every day.

“Those conversations directly affect whether an individual purchases or not, and where they purchase from.

“And they occur, whether or not the brand or business is listening. Social media is a massive opportunity to influence those conversations.”

The seminar is aimed at marketing and public relations professionals who want to get a foothold on the social web, but are unsure how to go about it.

It would also benefit those who already have a presence but want to understand how to gain a greater return from their efforts.

The half-day seminar is at the Magdalen Centre, Oxford Science Park, on May 12.

n For more information, contact Bridget Taylor at Bottle PR on 01865 882988 or e-mail