Thursday, August 06, 2009

Social Media Engagement Best Practices

Posted by Amanda Walsh

One aspect of the World Wide Web that I appreciate most is the ability to read news from other parts of the Unites States and around the world. Today’s blog is inspired by a news article from The Portland Business Journal out in Oregon.

The article, “Rushed Facebook, Twitter efforts can easily backfire” by Courtney Sherwood, outlines tips in regards to using social media effectively. Sherwood interviews many professionals working strategically within the social media realm.

Many companies are realizing the importance of an ongoing commitment to maintain social media communications. “You have to commit resources and you have to be dedicated to keeping concepts fresh,” says Rebecca Armstrong, managing director of North, a Portland creative agency.

Along with commitment, it’s important to have fun and enjoy social media. Understanding how to use social media in the best way is crucial as well. “Real estate agents who post every listing they have or businesses that use Twitter like paid advertising, are being boring,” Armstrong said. “You can’t bore your customer into buying.”


Some great takeaways from the article are:


  • Companies need to understand that the social media world is different than traditional marketing campaigns.
  • Social media is best used for client relationships and cultivating new connections.
  • Time and manpower are required in order to keep social media connections active and growing.
  • Most importantly, engaging in conversations is done through listening and responding to your “followers.”

My favorite quote from the article was from Kelly Feller, Hillsboro, Oregon-based social media strategist at Intel. “If Twitter is like a global water cooler, Facebook is more like a family backyard barbecue,” said Feller.

It is important to engage many different social media outlets, for that reason! Each provides a different way to reach a variety of audiences. Also, take a look at one of my recent posts on The PR Lawyer called “Social Media Engagement = Big Bucks? One Study Shares Findings” about the top social media brands. The post examines a study that connects big brands with dedicated employees and teams assigned to monitoring and engaging social media and their annual revenue.

These two posts reiterate that successful companies are realizing that not just having a million social media accounts, but using them effectively is the key to listening to customers’ needs and complaints. The goal of committing to and maintaining social media outlets is a growing, worthwhile investment of staff, time and money.

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