Browsing articles in "Social media"
Feb 17, 2009
csalomonlee

Would YOU Trust a PR Agency Not Involved in Social Media with YOUR Social Media Programs?

A lot of PR firms are stating that they have social media capabilities and can help develop your strategy in this arena. So I thought, how many are actually practicing what they’re preaching?

I decided to see which PR firms were actively participating in social media. [update 2/20/09] I initially evaluated PR firms listed on O’Dwyer’s list of top 100 independent PR firms. This list was based on worldwide fees for firms with major US operations. As such, some prominent firms, such as Ogilvy & Mather, Ketchum PR and others. Since this post was published, the list has been exanded to include firms that have proactively included information in the comments or email. It is now sorted alphabetically and includes different types of firms, such as IR, healthcare and technology.

Some points to keep in mind:

- I looked at if the agency had a blog, Twitter profile, Facebook page (both group and/or fan), LinkedIn Group

- While there are individuals within each agency who have great online presences, I was seeking corporate presence. So some fields may be marked as “none” as a result

- And since I did this myself, I was trying to maximize my time:

* I didn’t categorize the type of PR each firm did – I took the list at its word

* If the blog wasn’t listed on the home page or easily found via a sitemap, I assumed there was none or you don’t really want me to find your blog

* I searched on the agency’s name or common abbreviation as presented on their website. Anything more exotic or too cute, would not have been found

* For Twitter, I used Twitter search or tried to manually type in what seemed like an appropriate Twitter handle

* I used the group search functions found on Facebook and LinkedIn respectively

* I decided not to look at other sites like delicious, slideshare.net, flickr, etc., frankly, because I was doing this myself =); however, I did include it if the agency made it easy to find 

Interesting Findings:

- Almost all of the agencies did NOT link to their profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. from their website. I would’ve expected this on their Contact Us page or linked from the Blog but this was very rare.

- While those who had blogs did a good job of putting the blog link front and center on the home page, some were too cute and hid the link under a different section of the website. If you’re one of these agencies and I found your blog regardless, it’s because it was listed on your site map.

- 39 agencies had blogs; 28 had Twitter profiles with one having a hashtag but no Twitter profile; 35 agencies had Facebook Group pages with two establishing fan pages; and 25 had LinkedIn Group pages while two created company pages

So let’s see how this little experiment works. If you’re a PR agency and I have incorrect information, please provide the corrections below or write a post that links back. I will then update the listing as quickly as I can. And if you have accounts with Flickr, YouTube and Slideshare.net, let me know.

But If you don’t have a social media presence, tell me why. I want to give folks the benefit of doubt. I was able to format the list into a table below captured the list in a jpg (couldn’t get it to format correctly, sorry!) or you can download a pdf version of this list. visit the public wiki and make changes to the table.

Table of PR Firms and Social Media Presence

Update: 2/19/09 – This table was updated to be in alphabetical order, includes additional PR firms not on the original list, and eliminates “none” from the table. You can also visit the PR Firms Social Media Public Wiki to make changes.

PR Agency Corporate Blog Corporate Twitter Individual Twitter Facebook Page LinkedIn Group

Additional

5W Public Relations, New CEO Blog Ronn Torossian’s Group (469 members), 5WPR Group (5 members)

YouTube Page

Access Comms., San Francisco The Access Point and PR Measurist @AccessPR: 14 followers Corporate group page Current and former employees

Airfoil PR, Inc., Detroit Airfoil Public Relations @AirfoilPR – 15 followers

Allison & Partners, San Francisco updated 3/10/09 @AllisonPR 30+ indiviual feeds Corporate Group Page

YouTube Page

APCO Worldwide, Wash., DC Unable to find blog @APCOJobs – 2 followers (protected account) A few groups for summer interns but no corporate page APCO Alumni

Atomic PR, San Francisco Particles

Bader Rutter, Brookfield, WI Former employees page

Bender/Helper Impact, Los Angeles BHI Alumni Society

Bite Communications, San Francisco bitemark @BitePR: 340 followers; @bitesweden Bite Communications US – HR, Bite Communications UK – HR, Bite Communications is HIRING!, Bite Sweden, Bite Alumni Company LinkedIn page

YouTube Channel; Flickr

Bliss PR (formerly Bliss Gouverneur & Assocs.), New York @BlissPR – 0 followers

Burson-Marsteller The Burson-Marsteller Blog @bmdigital and @bmglobalnews B-M on Facebook LinkedIn Group Social media spaces on the Digital Perspective Blog
Capstrat, Raleigh, NC Filed Notes #Capstrat update 5/10/2009 @rharris, and others:
@kalbritton
@cord
@stevenkeith
@tarheelevan
@oombrella
Capstrat Friends

Cerrell Assocs., Los Angeles

Comms. Strategies, Madison, NJ

Consensus Planning Group, Los Angeles The Front Porch – hyperlink wasn’t working

Cooney/Waters Group, New York

CooperKatz & Co., New York What’s New

Coyne PR, Parsippany, NJ CoyneExchange @CoynePR – 106 followers Corporate group page Company Page

YouTube Channel, Flickr Channel

Upated: 2/22/09 Crenshaw Communications, New York

(Formerly Stanton Crenshaw Comms. – On Feb 9, 2009, became Crenshaw Communications. I have focused only on this brand for the search.)

imPRessions
@CrenshawComm – 1 3 followers Corporate group page Company Page

CRT/tanaka, Richmond, VA What we are thinking about @CRTTanaka – 25 followers Corporate group page Friends of CRT/Tanaka and CRT/Tanaka Public Relations and Marketing

Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek, Stratford, CT Clever Witty Quick Corporate group page CJP Client, Employee and Alumni Group

Cushman/Amberg Comms., Chicago Corporate group page Cushmaniacs

Dan Klores Comms., New York

Davies Murphy Group, Burlington, MA

Davies, Santa Barbara, CA Corporate group page Employees and Clients Group

Development Counsellors Int’l., New York DCI Dialogue Development Counsellors International Group Page

Dye, Van Mol & Lawrence, Nashville, TN

Edelman, New York Speak Up, Pioneer Thinking Multiple: @EdelmanDigital, @EngageinHealth, @EdelmaninMIA, @EdelmanDE, @EdelmanSweden @steverubel, @philgomes, @rickmurray, @marshallmanson, @luebue Edelman Groups for China, Edelman Change and Employee Engagement, Edelman Poland, and Edelman Australia Alumni Past & Present Edelman Employees

Edward Howard & Co., Cleveland @EdwardHoward – not sure if this is for the agency. 0 followers Corporate group page

Formula PR, San Diego Formula PR Group

French|West|Vaughan, Raleigh, NC French/West/Vaughan Alumni

Has a Second Life office

Gibbs & Soell, New York

Gregory FCA Comms., Ardmore, PA

GYMR, Wash., DC Alumni Page

Hager Sharp, Inc., Wash., DC

Healthstar, New York – could not get to the website

Hill & Knowlton Collective Conversation Blogs

Hunter PR, New York

ICR (formerly Integrated Corp. Rels.), Westport, CT ICR Blogs – seems to be several topics under one URL @ICR – no followers

Imre Comms., Towson, MD

Intermarket, NY

Jackson Spalding, Atlanta

Jasculca/Terman & Assocs., Chicago

Kaplow Comms., New York Kaplow Global

KCSA Strategic Comms., New York KCSA Worldwide Interns

KGBTexas Public Relations / Advertising , San Antonio Texas @Kgbtexas:238 followers

Kwittken & Co., New York

LaunchSquad, San Francisco, CA (updated 2/22/09) What’s New, Exclamation Blog, Green Amy, Searching for Savvy @launchsquad – 215 followers @jmandell @throck @brettweiner @sistaklein Corporate Group Page Company Page

YouTube Page

L.C. Williams & Assocs., Chicago

Levick Strategic Coms., Wash., D.C. Bullet Proof

update 5/10/09

@richardlevick

@dallaslawrence

@crisisguru

LinkedIn Page

YouTube

Lewis Public Relations, San Francisco Lewis 360 @Lewispr – 50 followers Corporate group page Lewis Global Public Relations Group

Linden Alschuler & Kaplan, New York

Lippert/Heilshorn Assocs, New York

Lois Paul & Partners Beyond the Hype

@Tweismann: 217 followers Corporate group page

Flickr

Lou Hammond & Assocs., New York

M Booth & Assocs., New York FWD Thinking

@mrinklin

Flickr

M. Silver Assocs., New York M. Silver Associates Blog

Makovsky & Co., New York Mckovsky + Company Alumni Associaton Group Mckovsky + Company Alumni Association

Maloney & Fox, New York

Marx Layne & Co., Farmington Hills, MI Responsive, Individualized Results @Marxlayne – 16 followers Corporate group page Marx Layne & Co Small Business Development Forum

Matter Communications, Boston

McNeelly Pigott & Fox, Nashville, TN Corporate group page MP&F Group page

MCS, Bedminster, N.J.

Merritt Group, Reston, VA Merritt Blog @MerrittGroup – 65 followers

Morgan & Myers, Jefferson, WI

New Media Strategies NMS Blog

(update 2/22/09)

@NMSosphere

NMS has several employees who participate in social media. NMS Fan Page NMS Group Page on LinkedIn

Delicious, Flickr, YouTube, FriendFeed

New West, Louisville, KY new.west blog

Padilla Speer Beardsley, Minneapolis The Lead Current and former employees

Page One PR, Palo Alto, CA The Page Wonders @Pageonepr – 109 followers Corporate group page Company LinkedIn page

YouTube channel

PAN Communications, Andover, MA @PANcomm – 74 followers

Peppercom, New York Reason Enough

Pierpont Comms., Houston Pierpontifications @PierpontCom – 98 followers

Porter Novelli Multiple blogs @porternovelli, @pndigital, @pn_atx, @marjinalpn, @pn_chile, @pn_uk

Corporate group page LinkedIn Alumni Group, and group for our London office

Flickr, Delicious

Public Communications, Chicago @PCI – 0 followers

Qorvis Comms., Wash., DC The Q @Qorvis: no followers Corporate group page

Quinn & Co., New York @Quinnandco – 225 followers

Rasky Baerlein, Boston update: 5/10/09 @betsykelly
@laurenChisolm
@bethbres13
Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications

rbb Public Relations, Miami Careers Page

Regan Comms., Boston

RF | Binder Partners, New York RF/Binder Partners

Rogers Group, Los Angeles The Rogers Group Employees, Past and Present

Ron Sachs Comms., Tallahassee, FL Several blogs – Ron, Michelle, Ryan, Alia and Sachs

Ruder Finn Group, New York Ethics Blog, (Updated 2/22/09) Left Brain, Right Brain, RF Voices, Communicating Promise (Middle East), Dot Org (UK), Dot Comms (UK) @RuderFinn – 2 followers, @RuderFinnUK – 207 followers Four group pages for China, Healthcare Group, Israel and corporate

S&S Public Relations, Glenview, IL public relations evolved @SSPR – 40 followers

Schneider Assocs., Boston Internship Page and Intern Group

Schwartz Comms., Waltham, MA Schwartz Blog @Schwartz – 0 followers (protected account) Corporate group page

Shelton Group, Dallas -

Shift Communications, Brighton, MA PR-Squared, slice snackable PR Group Page

Spark PR, San Francisco sparkpr blog

updated 3/12/09 @ paulasantos

@ donnasokolsky

@americanadian

@syreetam

@timrturpin

@rbremer

@clarissaspark

@jacqattack

@jamiewalker19

@ilikegranola

@koodot0

@otnerak

@sparkpr_katie

@chansamerica

@mattmarquess

Corporate group page Sparkpr Company Profile

Spectrum Science Comms., Wash., DC The Spectrum Blog @SpectrumScience – 48 followers Groups for the company, Summer 2008 and Staff Spectrum Science Communications Group

Spring O’Brien & Co., New York

Sterling Communications, Los Gatos, CA Gearheads @SterlingPR – 108 followers Corporate group page Company Page

Upate (2/22/09) Delicious, Flickr, FriendFeed, YouTube,

Taylor, New York /

Text 100 Int’l., San Francisco HYPERText, London, Sydney, Malaysia @Text100: Over 600 followers Hong Kong, London, Madrid 1, Madrid2, Bangalore Text 100 Alumni

Second Life

The Edison Group, Atlanta Corporate group page Company Page

The Hoffman Agency, San Jose, CA Ismael’s Corner

The Horn Group, San Francisco Brass Tacks HornGroup – 3 followers Several groups for PR Horn Group Alumni

The Jeffrey Group, Miami

The Standing Partnership, St. Louis, MO Where do you stand? @Susanisk: 668 followers Corporate group page Standing Partnership Group Page

Vollmer, Houston

Waggener Edstrom, Bellevue, WA Multiple blogs written by several individuals @WaggenerEdstrom – 513 followers Fan page, Careers With Waggener Edstrom Waggener Edstrom Worldwide

WeissComm Partners, San Francisco

Widmeyer Comms., Wash., DC Corporate group page

William Mills Agency, Atlanta Financial Industry Marketing Blog @Wmagency – 34 2 followers (updated 2/22/09) Multiple…Pres Scott Mills’, Network Facebook Group Corporate Group Page

Winning Strategies PR, Newark

Wragg & Casas PR, Miami

Zeno Group Zeno | acropolis Corporate group page

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All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post.

Feb 13, 2009
csalomonlee

What Mistakes Have I Made

Recent Stats for Free eBook Post

Recent Stats for Free eBook Post

I’m taking inspiration from Mack Collier who recently wrote about the the social media mistakes he made. With no further ado, here are the mistakes I’ve made:

1) I use WordPress.com because it was free and easy to start a blog. I wished I had went through the effort to buy my own domain name and host it. This way, I could’ve incorporated Google Analytics or Quantcast to better track and analyze the traffic on my blog. As it is now, I am reliant on the stats that WordPress provides with their free version. Why is this a drawback? I unfortunately don’t know how many people recently downloaded my free eBook on Using Social Media. I can only assume that every person who visited the page also downloaded the book (see image). While I can get a domain name and keep the blog at WordPress.com, I don’t want to break any of the incoming links and build up everything again.

2) I’m not an early adopter and prefer to see how others use the different tools first. I only recently adopted Twitter – I believe in mid-2008 – and started using TweetDeck or Twhirl over the past few months to manage who I follow. I haven’t posted many visual, audio or video items online, such as Twitpic, YouTube, Flickr, etc. With Twitter driving a significant portion of traffic to my blog, I know that this next level of activity can also contribute to my blog traffic.

3) I tried to write posts that I thought other people would be interested in versus writing what interested me. I had this epiphany in September 2008 when I wrote about my blogging motivation and promise to everyone to write what was of value to me, motivated me and thereby contribute to the larger community. Since then, I have seen an increase in comments on the blog, RSS subscribers and daily traffic to the side. And I’ve found it much easier to post more often.

4) I didn’t customize my blog until recently. I’m only starting to update my blog look and feel, cleaning up my sidebar and blog roll and adding a logo to my header (still incomplete though). It’s important to continually update this information to maintain freshness.

5) Balancing my participation on the different social networks. I think I can get carried away by focusing on one outlet versus balancing how I participate on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc. For example, I have a FriendFeed account and belong to Gooruze, but I have to really pay more attention to these two communities.

So thanks to Mack for making me think about my mistakes to date. Frankly, it’s by knowing one’s mistakes can you truly learn and grow, don’t you agree?

 

 

All content copyright Cece Salomon-Lee, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, with the attribution: By Cece Salomon-Lee, PR Meets Marketing, and a link to the post.

Feb 9, 2009
csalomonlee

FREE Using Social Media eBook

freeebookcover1After the past week’s distractions, I’ve been able to finalize a FREE eBook that compiles the Using Social Media Series into one easy-to-use guide. The previous posts included:

1) Using Social Media: Part 1 – Microblogging

2) Using Social Media: Part 2 – Search Feeds

3) Using Social Media: Part 3 – Social Networking Sites (Updated link)

4) Using Social Media: Part 4 – Linking Strategies

5) Using Social Media: Part 5 – Blogger Relations

6) Using Social Media: Part 6 – Measurement

Again, the purpose of this eBook is to provide a quick guide for using social media. If you find this eBook valuable, please forward this to your friends, share on Facebook, retweet it or let me know what you think. I just ask that you provide attribution to the site.

Let me know what you think. I look forward to improving this moving forward.

downloadtoday  

 

Feb 3, 2009
csalomonlee

Using Social Media: Part 6 – Measurement

 

Copyright 2007 by noblelgnoble

Copyright 2007 by noblelgnoble

This is the sixth post in a 6 part series on how I using social media. In this sixth installment, I discuss measurement.

Measure What Counts

There has been discussion about how to measure social media and can it truly impact your bottom line. The same could be said of public relations. In the end, it’s measuring what counts for your business.

Personally, I think it’s important to determine your baseline measurements to gauge the effectiveness of your strategies over time. Consider keeping it simple, selecting 3-4 points to track. As you gather more information, you can better refine and expand your measurement criteria. Here are some basic points to measure:

Tweetburner

Tweetburner

* Subscribers, Followers, Fans: One way to track the success of your programs is by the steady growth of subscribers to your blog, followers on Twitter or fans on Facebook. Feedburner is a nice way to track subscribers to your blog or any RSS feed that you create for corporate updates, such as press releases, newsletters, etc.

* Audience Reach: The key aspect of social media is tracking “word of mouth” or the reach of your content to your key audiences.

Twitter - Tweetburner allows you to create a short URL for Twitter and then tracks who has retweeted the link or clicked on it. You can keep your stats private or public. While this is a great tool, I’ve found that people will create their own short URLs for the content, so you may want to actively search on your Twitter ID for possible retweet. I then add up the number of subscribers for these individuals to get a “number” regarding reach.

Online Reputation: Another way to determine reach is to track who is talking about you online. I wrote a bit about this in my second post – Using Social Media: Part 2 – Search Feeds. The added component is determining the reach of these online outlets. While ad equivalence can be used too, I’m not a fan of this method as I point out in my next bullet point.

* Incoming Leads, Inquiries: There are a couple of free tools such as Quantcast and Google Analytics that provide good detail about your incoming traffic. The key is to closely track the referring sources for the incoming leads and the conversion rates. For example, Twitter is quickly becoming a driver of traffic to my blog or answering a question on LinkedIn can lead to an inquiry about your services.

* Increased Links: Before you start your programs, take a quick snapshot of sites that link to your website. While a basic stat, this can have huge SEO implications for your site, which in turn, increases your visibility on search engines. Check to see if your efforts increase this basic stat.

* Conversation Index: Steve Boyd discusses the Conversation Index as a way to determine which blogs are successful. Basically, successful blogs are those have a more comments than posts. I would think that the same value can be applied to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. The more that people interact with your company and messages, one can assume the more engaged they are with you.

Conclusion

No matter what you do, measurement has to be an integral part of your program. Identifying the key data points relevant to your business, you can better justify these programs to your executive management. And who can argue with a program that has a low cost per lead and high conversion rate for sales?

Other posts in the series:

Using Social Media: Part 1 – Microblogging

Using Social Media: Part 2 – Search Feeds

Using Social Media: Part 3 – Social Networking Sites (updated link)

Using Social Media: Part 4 – Linking Strategies

Using Social Media: Part 5 – Blogger Relations

Jan 29, 2009
csalomonlee

Using Social Media: Part 5 – Blogger Relations

Blogger Social 2008

Blogger Social 2008

This is the fifth post in a 6 part series on how I using social media. In this fifth installment, I discuss blogger relations.

“Blogger Outreach”

While I would consider blogs an integral part of any “traditional” public relations strategy, blogs are somewhat unique compared to reporters at traditional publications. Bloggers are writing to communicate their distinct perspective on a topic. And most are writing in addition to their day jobs.

I previously wrote a guest post for WebMarketCentral on PR and Blogging Outreach: 8 Practical Tips. Since writing the post in September of 2007, I believe many of the pointers are still valid. I’ve reviewed what I wrote and updated based on what I’ve learned over the past year:

* Bloggers are not journalists: Bloggers write because they are passionate about the topic. Journalists write as a job and part of that job is receiving tons of emails and calls from folks like me. Most bloggers don’t come from the traditional reporter background so treating them as such can backfire.

* Familiarize yourself with the blogger: Previously, I would have recommended reading the blog. However, I realize it’s more reading past posts. It’s about familiarizing yourself with the blogger. What has the blogger written in the past, what is the tone and what is the person’s background. I would even recommend googling the person to learn about the person’s online reputation. Go to LinkedIn and see if there is a profile on the blogger (Note: do this with reporters and freelance writers as well). There is a wealth of information on the person’s background. Take advantage of it.

* Beyond Email Pitches: Commonly, I would send a “pitch” via a contact page or email a blogger. I’ve discovered that bloggers, me included, also pay attention to other ways of connecting. For example, some bloggers only accept pitches via a Twitpitch. Or will take interest in your comment and want to learn more.

* Nurture a relationship: Don’t pitch, get “coverage” and then leave. It’s like getting ready for a hot first date and being taken to a McDonald’s for dinner. Once you’ve gotten a person’s attention, be sure to nurture that relationship like you do for any reporter relevant to your space. When appropriate, connect with the blogger when you have news, drop an email about industry news and occasionally comment to demonstrate that you’re reading their blog. For emails, an added touch is to incorporate something the person has recently written.

* Be Transparent: Whether you’re commenting on a blog or contacting a blogger, be transparent about who you are and what your intentions are. Do I really need to say more on this?

* Grammar and spelling do count: If you’re read the person’s blog, you should be able to identify the blogger’s gender and correct spelling of his/her name. And having good grammar just demonstrates you can write English well. Check out B.L. Ochman’s recent post on this topic.

* Don’t disregard “smaller” bloggers: Never disregard a smaller blogger. You never know who will read and link to a story that can gain a life of its own.

* Face to face is important: While I have met a lot of people virtually, I think it’s important to cement any relationship in person. If the blogger is local, have an open door policy to visit your offices, give in-person demos or just have coffee. If you’re traveling, reach out to bloggers in that town, especially those you’ve been in touch with in the past.

* Monitor and respond quickly: Your never know when a post can quickly spiral out of control for a company or person. You have to monitor what is being said and respond immediately to correct inaccurate information or diffuse potentially disastrous situations. Scott Monty of Ford recently handled a similar situation (check out the article at Fast Company). The key was Scott’s transparency, as well as his personable demeanor in all his online communications.

Other posts in the series:

Using Social Media: Part 1 – Microblogging

Using Social Media: Part 2 – Search Feeds

Using Social Media: Part 3 – Social Networking Sites (updated link)

Using Social Media: Part 4 – Linking Strategies

Jan 26, 2009
csalomonlee

Using Social Media: Part 4 – Linking Strategies

 stumbleupondigglogo

delicious_128x128This is the fourth post in a 6 part series on using social media. In this fourth installment, I look at linking strategies. 

Linking Strategies

I believe it was Jeremiah Owyang who mentioned that your website is no longer the first place that sales leads or customers see. Rather, Google’s search results is now the new home page for your company.

As such, SEO (search engine optimization) has become a strategic tool in every interactive marketers tool box for increasing a company’s presence on search engines. In addition to SEO, bookmarketing sites/services like Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, and Facebook’s share application can further extend your news to key audiences. Update: Per comment, claim your blog via Technorati so your posts are automatically catalogued by the site.

  • Bookmark Your Content: While Digg may be an obvious choice, my perception is that Digg is for more trendy or consumer related stories. Rather, I recommend establishing an account on delicious or StumbleUpon. While the former is more text based, the latter, to me, is more visually driven.

I recommend using delicious to bookmark press releases, website pages, white papers and other information related to your company. If you have videos or interesting images, consider submitting them to StumbleUpon.

  • Submit Your Link to Appropriate Sites: As I mentioned in my previous post, content posted on certain social networks will appear in search engines. When appropriate, consider submitting press releases, white papers, media coverage and rich media content to these social networks. There are also websites that will accept news releases for their daily news coverage.

  • Tag Your Content: This is a way to describe the content through keywords. According to Wikipedia, “This kind of metadata helps describe an item and allows it to be found again by browsing or searching. Tags are chosen informally and personally by the item’s creator or by its viewer, depending on the system.”

  • Add Users to Your Network: Regardless of where you submit your links, each website has a community of users and allows you to add other members your network. Consider connecting with users who 1) have already bookmarked your content as this demonstrates an interest in the subject matter and 2) have a network of active users who are bookmarking content in your industry.

Conclusions

I have to admit, this is one area that I’ve paid minimal attention to. It is a time intensive strategy that has huge implications for driving traffic to your website or content if done well.

I recommend checking out Tom Pick’s series of posts on social tagging at WebMarketCentral.

Other posts in the series:

Using Social Media: Part 1 – Microblogging

Using Social Media: Part 2 – Search Feeds

Using Social Media: Part 3 – Social Networking Sites (updated link) 

Jan 18, 2009
csalomonlee

Using Social Media: Part 3 – Social Networking Sites

facebook

linkedin

 Update: I’ve edited this post to provide a more objective view of social media and how it can be applied.  

This is the third post in a 6 part series on how to use social media. In this third installment, I highlight how yoru can participate in social networking sites.

Social Networking Sites

Marketers are seeking to break into several social networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace. From my perspective, there seems to be two popular models right now – create a group or fan page or participate in existing communities (what Jeremiah Owyang calls “fishing where the fish are“). The former requires dedication to manage the community and ensure that there is fresh content. The latter requires participation in a group without the onus of owning that community.

And while I believe social media should be an integral part of B2B marketing, the reality is that this takes a concerted effort and time. As such, I recommend aligning your efforts with the latter strategy until more staff or focus can be given to the former. While there are different communities to join, LinkedIn has some benefits that you should consider.

Why? I hate to say this, but frankly, of all the social networking sites, organizations can be overtly salesy on LinkedIn. I know, I know – that isn’t the point. So let me be clear, I DON’T RECOMMEND THAT YOU SELL FROM THE PLATFORM. Rather, apply the same rules you would apply elsewhere – be transparent of who you are and offer valuable information. So even when others are being blatantly self-promotional, you and your company are seen as contributory. You’ll see what I mean below.

LinkedIn Specifics

LinkedIn AnswersWith that said, here are the aspects of LinkedIn that I recommend:

  • LinkedIn Answers: Monitor questions for topics that are you related to your company. When appropriate, respond to relevant questions to position you and your company as an industry expert. There will be instances when you can recommend your company as a prospective vendor. Again, you have to be careful that you’re not too self-promotional as your answer can be flagged as inappropriate. Overall, LinkedIn Answers is a good way to provide brand awareness for your company. And since LinkedIn Answers are searchable, your responses may appear in Google search results.

  • Groups: There are numerous groups within LinkedIn. It’s important to research specific groups as some may be more self-promotional than others. I recommend seeking groups with audiences that are relevant to your company and have good participation by its members. Once you join a group, monitor the discussions before fully participating.

    • Group Questions: Like LinkedIn Answers, each group incorporates this same functionality. By responding or asking questions in a group, you position your company as an industry expert to a targeted audience relevant to your business.

    • News: You can submit article links, like Facebook Share, that are relevant to the groups. In addition to blog posts, you can submit general news articles that mention your company or are relevant to your industry. You can also consider submitting submit press releases. While this is slightly self-promotional, make sure the article or press release discusses a larger trend of interest to the group.

  • Events: LinkedIn recently introduced a way for members to post events. If you have a webinar, in-person seminar or other gathering that you want to promote, LinkedIn events is a place to promote it. What I liked is that they have an option for “virtual events” as well. You can then share this event with your contacts as well as be searchable by other LinkedIn members. One drawback, in case you have to cancel the event, there doesn’t seem to be a way to delete the event.

Conclusion

Overall, LinkedIn is a great way to position your company or company spokesperson as an industry expert, while increasing brand awareness with key audiences. Your participation can also have competitive advantages as well when potential sales leads are researching and evaluating vendors.

And if you or a colleague is dedicated to moderating an online community, consider setting up your own group. HubSpot has done an excellent job at setting up their own group, moderating the group and finding synergy with their Facebook presence as well. 

Other posts in the series:

Using Social Media: Part 1 – Microblogging

Using Social Media: Part 2 – Search Feeds

 

About

Cece Salomon-LeeCece Salomon-Lee is director of marketing for ACTIVE Network, Business Solutions division, and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.

This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.

Learn more about Cece.

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