The State of Social Media

Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Today I read a great Forbes article by Shel Israel about how marketing is changing social media. I love the comparison he makes between mass media and social media and think it is an important thought for social media strategists to keep in mind.

First, a brief history of mass media:

There once was a Golden Age of Television. During that time, some pioneers of the new media talked about exposing everyday people to opera, theater and fine arts. They talked about proving the sort of information that could build a better-informed electorate.

After a few years, the decision makers decided,  ”Screw it. Let’s give the masses I Love Lucy and get rich selling cigarettes and detergent.”

And now, a brief history of social media:

There was once a Golden Age of social media, when people talked about the ability to find useful, interesting, valuable people to talk with all over the world. Businesses of all sizes discovered that there was great value in listening and engaging with customers and other relevant people. What had once been one-directional monologues became two-directional dialogs and most people saw that it was good.

Then the marketers got their hands around the throat of social media strangling engagement and stuffing messages down its throat.

Social media is the new, cool toy that everyone wants to play with and lots of folks are fighting to be viewed as THE social media expert. There are always new ways you should be using social media and new tools and new ways to measure and new best practices and new…. Perhaps us social media strategists and marketers should take a few steps back and simplify our plans. I have heard that the old line about using social media to “join the conversation” is so passe now but I think it is still relevant and is how social media should be used. This doesn’t just mean using social media monitoring tools to gather and analyze, but actually experiencing and becoming part of a conversation.

Social media should be about sharing your story, listening to others and making honest connections. Don’t just “give the masses I Love Lucy and get rich selling cigarettes and detergent.”

If you haven’t yet, go read Shel Israel’s Forbes article now!

Tips For Live Tweeting – Before, During and After the Event

Live tweeting is a great way to promote a live event or webinar. It allows other Twitter users who aren’t at the event to follow along and even participate in the event. Before you start living tweeting, consider these best practices:

Before the Event

Start a Hashtag. Choose a hashtag that is relevant to your event (event initials, abbreviation) and that no one else is using. Search for your desired hashtag on Twitter Search to be sure it is not being used for another purpose.

Choose a Twitter Client or Application. Decide if you will be live tweeting from your phone or computer and download a functioning client. Hootsuite and TweetDeck are great clients to use on your computer. Some great smartphone applications are Twidroyd, Tweetie, TweetDeck, and the official Twitter app. When choosing which client to use, remember that you will need to be able to check replies, post pictures and follow the conversation/hashtag.

Promote off Twitter. You should also notify your Facebook fans, blog readers, LinkedIn connections, etc that you will be live tweeting during the event. Include the twitter username and hashtag you are using when sending this update.

Measure and Track. Use a social media monitoring tool to collect all the tweets about the event so you can review them later.

Educate Attendees. Let the event attendees and followers know about the hashtag before and during the event. This can be shared in your own tweets, other social networks, blog posts about the event, a press release announcing the event, on your events webpage, etc.

Consider Creating a Separate Twitter Profile. If this is a recurring event and you anticipate a large number of tweets being sent out, consider creating a separate Twitter account for the event. The challenge is that you then have to get your current followers to follow a new profile but the hope is that you will not be annoying followers who are not interested in the event.

During the Event

Share Speaker Insights. Don’t just share that a certain speaker is presenting but share their major points. These updates can include exact quotes, crediting the speaker by their username.

Share Speaker Username. Ask speakers to include their Twitter username at the start of their presentation. This way event attendees can follow them and refer to them by their username in their tweets.

Use Twitpic. Add more to your live tweeting by sharing live photos. Picture of the crowd, speakers, booths, networking, special guests are great.

Engage With Others. Follow the conversations others are tweeting at the event. Also watch for replies, questions, comments and concerns and address them.

Use Usernames. When sharing information from, about or a picture of a speaker, company or attendee, always use their twitter usernames.

Don’t Over-tweet. Keep everyone up to speed on the event, speakers and information without overdoing it. You want to contribute to the event conversation without flooding it with useless information (the speaker is walking onto the stage).

Hashtag Hashtag Hashtag. Don’t forget to use that hashtag! This is important to people not in attendance that are following the event so they do not miss anything.

After the Event

Share Highlights. Once you have reviewed the tweets from the event consider sharing some of the highlights with your followers through a blog post or Facebook note.

Follow Back. Be sure to follow everyone who was involved in the conversation, using the hashtag.

Have other tips and best practices for live tweeting? Share them in the comments below!

Blog Setup, Optimization and Management

At Algorithm I oversaw the setup of the first company blog. Each week I ensure that blog posts are written, optimized and published. HubSpot software was used to set up and manage this blog.

blog setup and management

Results:

  • Improved search engine ranking on relevant keywords
  • Increase website traffic
  • Drive traffic to marketing offers

google analytics

Webinar Recording and Distribution

At Webbed Marketing and at Algorithm I managed the recording and distribution of monthly educational webinars. To record webinars, I use the QuickTime screen recording feature on Mac OS X. This allows me to select the specific area I want to record and easily trim the start and end of each webinar to prepare it for distribution. I then upload each recording to the company YouTube and/or Vimeo channel for distribution and promotion. I will also use iMovie or Final Cut to edit the recording down into shorter segments on specific topics covered during the webinar. These shorter segments are great to share on social networks as quick, digestible content.

Online Press Release

I have written and optimized online press releases on a variety of topics. A recent press release I wrote announced Algorithm’s business software solutions webinar series. The release was optimized for top keywords and distributed using PRWeb.

Results:

  • 13,969 total impressions
  • 468 total reads
  • 5,870 online pickups