I was lucky enough to
win a ticket to the Social Fresh
conference in Portland on March 29. This conference is different than many I’ve
attended previously as it features people working in the trenches and highlights
what they do in social media day to day. Sure, there was the higher level
thinking and big picture conversation, but I also walked away with ideas of
things to implement right away to improve my social media engagement. I could
give you my six pages of notes, but instead I’ll give you the main points that
stood out for me.
Pick the Right Tool
Hi, my name is Karianne
and I’m a Twitter addict. There. I admit it. That said, Twitter does not equal
social media! Heck, Twitter shouldn’t even be the biggest part of your social
media campaign. Facebook, YouTube and especially blogs should all be part of
your social media plan.
According to Nielsen,
social networks and blogs are now the 4th most popular online
activity, even higher than email. So obviously, having a social media presence
is a must these days. But there are so many different services out there, how
do you manage it all? Each different service can reach a different audience, or
your audience in a different way. Peter Shankman
of HARO suggested you ask your customers and see how they would like you to connect
with them. Also, he had a fantastic point to embrace the concept, not the
brand. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube could all disappear tomorrow, so build your
social media plan around the concepts, not the hot thing of the moment.
Business Blogging Basics
Blogs were so 2000s and
no one cares about them any more, right? Nope, not true. Sure, the blogs that
read like your junior high diary might be a bit outdated, but blogging is still
a very effective tool for businesses. It is an easy way to engage with your
audience, establish your business as an industry leader, release company news
and increase brand awareness.
Mike Volpe of Hubspot, Andrew Sinkov of Evernote and Kristy Bolsinger of RealNetworks had
some terrific advice for corporate blogging. First off, they let us know it is
easier than you think. You don’t have to start from scratch, use what you have.
For example, the emails between your customers and customer service department
can be re-purposed to be blog posts.
Also, the blogging
responsibilities don’t have to fall on just one employee’s shoulders. You can
have many authors so the blog will have different styles and perspectives. All
of the various voices will blend together to represent your overall company
voice. Finding authors can be easy if you use fame as a motivator, or you can
even write it into employee’s job description so they know blogging is
expected. One employee can oversee the blog to be sure posts are done and
No matter how many
authors you have on your blog, it is paramount that you allow comments. Without
comments, it is just a static Web site. Comments will allow engagement and
interaction with your audience. Sure, they may not love everything. Just handle
negative comments with class and professionalism.
Finally, use your blog
to motivate your audience. What do you want them to do? Buy your product?
Download a white paper? Let the readers know what they should do with a call to
action at the end. My call to action for you, go start a blog for your business!
These were the key
points I walked away with, but (in the vain of Reading Rainbow) don’t
take my word for it, here are the reviews from some other attendees and
and SoCleanClean: Social Fresh 2010 by Kristy Bolsinger
Social Fresh Portland Purely
#sofresh by Sarah Kay Hoffman
Learnings from Social Fresh Portland by Eric Berto