Marketing Professionals Go in Depth on Engagement at Social Media Masters

February 15, 2011

by Amy Yen, Marketing Specialist, Business Wire LA

Last week, Business Wire was proud to be a sponsor of Social Media Club’s Social Media Masters workshop, a one-day program in San Diego offering advanced social media training in a unique format. Brian Solis, author of Engage, was the keynote speaker for the event, which also featured dedicated workshops for Facebook (led by Murray Izenwasser), LinkedIn (Chuck Hester & Neal Schaffer), Twitter (Carri Bugbee) & social media monitoring (Paul Dyer & Kelly Feller).

Here are some highlights from Brian Solis’s keynote and the closing panel discussion on integrated marketing:

  • Social media is an earned privilege. A ‘tweet this’ or ‘like us’ button on its own doesn’t mean anything. Ask yourself why audience should care. You have to compete for every ‘like’ by being compelling.
  • Influence is not popularity. A large number of Twitter followers or Facebook likes doesn’t necessarily equate to the capacity to change behavior or perception.
  • What used to be an audience is now an audience with audiences. An average Facebook user has 130 friends. An average Twitter user has 140 followers. Everyone is now their own distribution channel.
  • Context, not content, is now king. People want to feel that the great content they are seeing was created for them specifically, on the network that they are on. Don’t blast your message identically on every network, customize it to the platform.
  • Social media marketing should not be done in silos. Tactics like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc should be integrated and linked with traditional marketing channels. Don’t focus so much on the tools, just focus on what you want to do, then find the right distribution point for your message.

Speaker Chuck Hester talks about LinkedIn

Here are some tips & insights from Chuck Hester & Neal Schaffer’s session on LinkedIn:

  • A LinkedIn profile is not an online resume. It’s an online portfolio. LinkedIn is not just for job seekers.
  • Optimize your LinkedIn profile for search by putting keywords in your headline & summary. Don’t leave your headline as your current title; use the terms people are likely to search for.
  • When adding people to your network, don’t send the generic “I’d like to add you” message. Personalize your invitation & ask what you can do for the connection.
  • Include up to three URLs in your profile. Besides your website, one good one to include is the URL for your media center or online newsroom.
  • Users can follow & recommend companies on LinkedIn. Company pages have a section where you can highlight specific products & services.
  • LinkedIn groups are a good way to promote best practices & position subject matter experts. Leave your group open to ensure discussions get indexed. Be descriptive in the titles of your groups: use keywords you want to come up in search.
  • Consider creating subgroups to enhance the SEO of your LinkedIn groups. Each subgroup & main group gets indexed separately, so you can target keywords in your descriptions to different audiences. For example, a subgroup for “LA tech jobs” under the main group “tech jobs” further targets by geography & would show up under a search for “LA jobs” when the main group might not.
  • Include your LinkedIn, Twitter & other social media profiles in your press release contact blocks.
  • Treat your connections on LinkedIn & other networks like they are physically in front of you.

For more tips on LinkedIn, see Guy Kawasaki’s classic blog post, 10 Ways to Use LinkedIn. You can also find Business Wire on LinkedIn.

See more live updates from this event on Twitter: hash tag #smm11


Tech PR Peeps Poll: 80.4% Say Twitter Overrated As Tool for Pitching Authors

October 25, 2010

This is a guest post from Travis Van.  Travis is the founder of Business Wire partner ITDatabase, a research platform for tech industry PR.

Social media fever runs so high these days that it’s tough for tech PR pros to distinguish real opportunities from the useless fluff regularly offered up by pundits.

Particularly unclear is to what extent the tech PR community is actually getting results with their social media efforts.  Anecdotally, we all know that social media can engage customers in unique ways. But what about the big picture? Are intensive social media campaigns consistently productive, or are they wild goose chases punctuated with an occasional success story? Has social media really become a staple of tech PR pros’ everyday interaction with journalists and bloggers?

ITDatabase recently polled tech PR pros to share their experiences with what’s working (and what’s not), and focused our questions on these most popular social networking channels. While the sample only really scratches the surface (230 tech PR pro respondents, of which 30.4% were in house at a tech company and 69.6% were on the agency side), some of the results may surprise you.

Here are some of the key findings:

Presence of Journalists / Bloggers on Social Media

As a pretext for the survey, we did our own research and found that of the 5,000 most active tech journalists and bloggers:

61% are on LinkedIn
56% are on Twitter
28% are on Facebook
27% do NOT publish email addresses as a method for contacting them

Email
Despite the social media hype, pitching by email is still the norm. 97.8% of respondents still pitch either exclusively or primarily by email, with only 2.2% claiming to pitch “primarily” via social media channels. 50% said tech authors are less responsive to email pitches than they used to be, and only 15.2% said they were more receptive. 89.1% were either “mildly” or “very” concerned that their email pitches were sometimes zapped by authors’ spam filters and never read.

Twitter
Tech PR reps are indeed using Twitter heavily, but more for research than for outreach. Only 4.3% said they “frequently” pitch authors via Twitter. 26.1% have never pitched an author via Twitter. 54.3% think the media relations results they’ve gotten out of Twitter have justified the time investment. 80.4% think that Twitter is “overrated” as a tool for pitching authors.

LinkedIn
More than one quarter of tech PR reps use LinkedIn to reach authors. 28.3% have pitched someone using LinkedIn InMail.

Facebook
Out of the Big Three (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn), Facebook draws the most skepticism from the tech PR community. Only 10.9% connect with tech journalists and bloggers on Facebook “often”. And 80.4% believed that Facebook has the least practical use for tech PR (compared to LinkedIn and Twitter).

Check out the full findings here:  http://memos.itdatabase.com/index.php?report=sm


Portland-Area Experts Answer Social Media Questions

December 30, 2009

The Business Wire Seattle office held a social media event in Portland, OR at The Governor Hotel on November 19.  The event was entitled, “Social Media: Your Questions Answered.” Led by moderator, Hallie Janssen of Anvil Media, the panel addressed multiple questions from an audience at all levels of social media knowledge.  A show of hands showed half the audience considered themselves well-versed in social media and half considered themselves beginners.  Twitter was the most talked about and asked about aspect of social media. 

Hallie Janssen, Vice President, Anvil Media, Inc., led a panel, including (L-R):

Here are a few key takeaways from the discussion:

Getting Started With Social Media

Monitoring & Measurement

  • Make use of Twitter search & trend-tracking tools like Waggener Edstrom’s free Twendz tool.
  • Try Google’s new real-time search
  • At the end of the day, must be able to show ROI. Set measurable metrics before you start.
  • There are soft metrics like awareness and building relationships, which are important. Approach it by asking “Are we helping people?”

Building a Following on Twitter

  • Follow people with similar interests.
  • Make use of keywords important to your audience.
  • Re-tweet and share content. It’s a “scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” kind of thing.
  • Make lists and reach out.

Local Business Wire offices host several events each year on PR, IR, SEO & media topics.  Check out the Business Wire Events page to find upcoming events in your area.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


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