OFFICIAL BLOGHER '10 LIVEBLOG: BlogHer Business - Twitter and Facebook Strategies

BlogHer Original Post

Welcome to the liveblog of the BlogHer Business '10 panel: Twitter and Facebook: Let’s talk specific implementation strategies

This panel starts at 1:30pm and ends at 2:45pm Eastern time on August 5, 2010. Keep refreshing this page as the panel takes place for more liveblogging!


Social media marketing is not about just capturing eyeballs – it’s about capturing hearts and minds and building long-term relationships with your customers. Maria Niles, Project Manager at BlogHer, moderates the conversation with Ekaterina Walter, Social Media Strategist at Intel, Gayle Weiswasser, Vice President of Social Media Communications at Discovery Communications and Terri Holley, founder and small business social media strategist at Creative Blog Solutions. They'll discuss specific and successful ways to integrate Twitter and Facebook into corporate social media plans; how to determine who should implement and oversee social media within organizations, and how to listen and respond when you find yourself in a potential crisis communications situation.


Welcome Panelists

Maria Niles: Are there corporate policies for using Twitter? Are there multiple accounts?

GW: There are multiple Twitter accounts. It can get a little messy. Some talent have Twitter accounts. No policies per se, we go through a process of deciding when a show should have its own account or when it should have tweets from the network account. It's decided on a case by case basis.

EW: At Intel, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are all part of key features and guidelines. One of the requirements if you are going to engage on behalf of Intel, you have to take a mandatory 35 minute social media class.

TH: Working with small businesses, they use Twitter as a listening tool. Where are conversations taking place, how do you aggregate and triage that information?

MN: Question to Gail: How do you maintain interest and engagement in between shows and seasons?

GG: Twitter is good for getting people to watch shows when they’re airing instead of time shifting. We try to provide inside information. Someone tweets from the set, behind the scenes insights. We try to add value for people who are getting our Twitter feeds.

The hosts of Mythbusters are very active on Twitter. For example, they were at Comic Con, so they sent live tweets from there.

MN: Twitter seems great for short term things, but are there ways to use Twitter to build long term relationships with customers?

EW: Twitter is definitely a tool. Attracting audiences to build audiences is good. You continue to monitor the name of the business and what people are saying about it and address those things. That’s relationship building.

MN to TH: We always hear, “Listen first.” How can companies figure out the best way to listen?

TH: This is exciting. They can take all these conversations and turn them into action. With the NetVibes tool, you can create a rich environment of all kinds of conversations taking place online about your company.  “Never underestimate the power of listening.”

Audience Question: How do you balance your personal Facebook page with your professional or business page? Which should you use?

TH: I love Facebook. I don’t think that Facebook knew that so many businesses were going to use it, because it’s not very intuitive when it comes to business. The best way is to get set up as a “person” then once you’ve done that, set up a business page for your business.

The reason is, if you set up as a business you can’t access all the applications that you can as a person.

Audience Question from an author who is trying to get people to her book page but most people are on her personal page.

EW: There are certain limitations that groups have so the better way to go is with a fan page. When you start a fan page, there are so many cool things you can do. You can do more things and be more flexible. Keep fan pages and personal pages separate.

GW: It depends on what you’re comfortable with. There’s no right or wrong in that. If you want to keep friends and family and your book contacts separate, it’s a personal decision. Ask yourself who do you want in your stream when you log onto Facebook?

Audience Question: (Similar question about family and business on Facebook.) I’m trying to build traffic to that other page, but last week I decided to pay for an ad on Facebook just to experiment. Was it a good investment? Any recommendations for getting the most use out of Facebook page ads?

TH: A study done on the way businesses did things said that ads had a very low return on investment. Successful tactics involve branded applications. The use of surveys and also friending people who have other corporate pages is often effective. One way of getting more “Likes” is using tactics offline. For example putting urls on business cards and offline marketing materials. You also have to give it time. It does take a lot of time.

MN: Email people your Facebook page.

EW: The best thing that works is if your landing page, the one that welcomes people has a simple call to action. Put an arrow near the “Like” button and say, “Like this.”

TH: Facebook has social plug-ins that allows “Like” buttons to start working for you.

MN: You might need to work with a developer to design that.

GW: We try not to say, “Watch me, watch me, watch me.” What we try to do with Facebook is devote 20-30% to “tune in” messages and the rest to things about the shows. The Science Channel is a good example because people who watch are very interested in science. So we try to add any kind of links related to science.

Audience Question: Facebook said they were eliminating boxes. Some of our clients are wondering when they might have to transition away from boxes.

EW: I don’t see it happening any time soon. Facebook always says they're going to do something but a lot of times it never happens.

Audience Question: So use boxes on your pages?

EW: Yes, I love them.

Audience Question: What about Twitter contests?

GW: They're good if you make them a regular thing.  For example, one client has a trivia contest every Monday.  DSW, every Friday puts out a trivia question. The first people who answer can get a $100 gift card. If you tease something like that throughout the week it seeps into the memory of your followers.

To get more oomph, ask them to write a blog post about a particular topic and tweet the link.  Then use Twitter as a mechanism for them to submit their responses. Create a hashtag and search for the hashtag to judge.

You can’t do Facebook contests because of regulations.

Audience Question:  What are your thoughts about Facebook ads and do you use them?

TH: Businesses are using different tactics and ads aren’t as effective as using surveys, friending. 

EW: Some people use them for small audiences. If it’s very targeted it might work.

Audience Question: I have a hard time getting people to interact. It's hard to get fans and "Likes." How do you develop community?

EW:   Ask questions.  Make sure they are easy to read and easy to answer. Create a question of the week where you give out something small, a guest blog post or something. Post the results. You will be surprised. My traffic jumped 3X after asking questions.

Audience Member:  I gave up on that..

EW:  See, there’s the problem.

MN: A perfect example is when Denise, the community manager of BlogHer asked a question about Pop Tarts.  There were scores and scores of responses.

GW: Highlight content from people in your community. Be a good steward of the community and that person’s followers may comment and it mushrooms.

TH: If they don’t respond it doesn’t mean they’re not engaged.  There are a lot of lurkers.

EW: Anything you do with social media, take a risk. If it works continue doing it.  If it doesn't move on to something else.

TH: Social media space is getting so crowded now. The more creative you can be the more successful you'll be. The YouTube videos for Old Spice:   brilliant! He’s cute too. The more creative you can be the more success you can be. Get your authentic voice out there.

Audience Question: Have you ever told a client, don’t mess with blogs, just use Facebook?

TH: Yes and no. I will tell clients it’s better for them not to use a certain social tool. I love blogging. It’s powerful. But I will tell a business, I don’t know if Twitter is best for you or if Facebook is best for you. It’s all about what they want to accomplish.

But I love blogging. There aren’t enough people using that platform.

Audience Question: I have a blog, I’m strictly a blog. I’d love to make money from this blog. Am I looking to get advertisers?  My product is my writing and I’ve been killing myself with it.  I have lots of connections but it’s not bringing me any money.

EW: The best thing that you can do is provide content that everybody wants. If you’re relevant if people are getting a ton of value, money will come. Keep focused on the content. Something unique.

TH: It really is about the content. Become a trusted adviser, an authoritative expert. Be so on fire, people want to share you with brands.  Focusing on the content is really important.

Thank you.

Check out more BlogHer '10-related posts:

Megan Smith is the BlogHer Contributing Editor covering Television/Online Video.. Her other blogs are Megan's Minute, quirky commentary around the clock and Meg's Rad Reviews.