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13 Tips from Social Media Week

Whether you’re in B2B, B2C, or even just tweeting for your own personal brand, there’s a lot to learn about social media. Here are some top lessons from last week’s PRSA YPN, “How Young Pros Can Take a Social Media Leadership Role,” panel, which kicked off Social Media Week.

  1. Social media is a lot of things- social media isn't just Twitter, it isn't just Facebook, it isn't even just tech. It is about sharing something useful and getting someone to talk about someone. It is about building relationships.
  2. Choose content based on business objectives- It’s great that you have enough content to send 20 tweets a day, but if they aren't part of the bigger business plan, leave them at the door.
  3. Knowing “how to” is only 20%, knowing your audience is 80% - Whether you have 2 million or 20 followers, knowing your audience is much more important than knowing how to use the technology efficiently. Being able to engage on their level and push out content they will love and understand is what makes you successful.
  4. You’re not a guru, you’re not an expert—You’re learning, and so is everyone else. You've been on social media since the beginning? Great, now keep learning. You might think you’re an “expert” on social, but there’s actually no such thing. Social changes every day, every audience is different and you can’t ever know all there is to know.
  5. Conversions come from engagement- Don’t jump the gun. Before you worry about converting followers to customers, worry about teaching them something beneficial and starting a strong relationship.
  6. Data, data, data- If you want to be different, you need to first collect, then be able to understand and use data from your audience to get to the next level.
  7. No slang! Your audience probably doesn't understand, and they definitely don’t care how cool you sound. They want to connect on a personal level and feel like they’re talking to a person. No matter what brand or company you’re tweeting for, you’re still a person. Make sure they know that too.
  8. Social is NOT a distribution channel—it is an opportunity. Think about how social can fit into your bigger business plan, then go. Don’t distribute information over and over. Engage! (if you don’t understand your audience, see number 3 again). Social is an opportunity to understand your customers better, to have a relationship and to show your thought leadership, as well as SOMETIMES sharing exciting news for your company.
  9. Different clients should have different voices—It is great that you work on several different accounts, or that you run a brand’s twitter, but all of those should be different. Don’t forget what you sound like on your own account, and don’t forget to sound like what you should for each individual brand. Even if they’re two in the same industry, there should be a differentiation factor.

  10. B2B is about showing audiences you’re an expert, B2C is about having a direct, tangible tone and a distinctive campaign. It can be easy to get ahead of yourself and tweet something that doesn't fit right with business or consumer audiences. However, focus on sharing information that makes sense, rather than the information you think will convert (see #5 if you forgot why that’s important).
  11. Constantly reading makes you a better writer- The more you read, the better you write. This means Tweets, but also press releases, whitepapers and the like. Reading in a wide variety of sources and industries allows you to grow your expertise, as well as change your voice when needed.
  12. Social media will become “social business.” As it moves out of the marketing sector and becomes completely integrated in every aspect of our lives, PR and marketing won’t be the only department working with social, there soon won’t be business without it.
  13. It is easy to turn a negative comment into a positive experience for everyone else—Just because someone had a bad experience doesn't mean it has to be bad for everyone else. Show the audience that you understand that something went wrong and you have or are working to fix it.