I’m continuing to live blog — well as I confessed in Part One — edit my rambling live blogging at last week’s BullDog Reporter bootcamp with social media pros Sally Falkow and Doug Hay of Expansion+. As I mentioned, I have no talent for participating in a workshop and blogging at the same time — call me multi-tasking-disabled.
Sally and Doug, besides being social media experts extraordinaire, are wonderful teachers and evangelists. Any PR person listening to them and still doing PR the old way should be immediately condemned to reading boring press releases for the rest of his/her life.
If you are still exclusively focused on traditional media in getting the word out, consider that the Number One Financial News Sites is Yahoo Finance, and the Number Two, MSN Money. These rank above traditional media sites, Dow Jones, Reuters and Forbes.com, Number 5, 6, and 7 respectively.
Beginning a social media campaign can be daunting if you’ve never done it before. Sally and Doug laid out a helpful roadmap:
- Use blog(s) and website to help participate in existing web conversations
- Identify as much social media exposure as possible, on as many appropriate niche and high-traffic areas
- Find online communities to establish alliances and help spread the word.
- Provide those interested with current, relevant information that’s valuable to them.
- Provide dialogue capabilities with customers and prospects.
- Enhance branding and positioning.
- Identify influential bloggers/user communities
- Create a linking strategy to increase SEO results
- Generate prospect interest leading to increased sales
Here is Doug and Sally’s Rule Number One: You really need to be listening. The recent “brandjacking” of Exxon Mobil is an object lesson. The oil giant was “brandjacked” by a woman named “Janet,” who has been tweeting about the company while claiming to be an Exxon employee. Meanwhile, Exxon claims it has nothing to do with this and that it had no idea it was occurring until brought to its attention by a newspaper reporter. What a shame. Instead of using this as a great opportunity to embrace social media itself — why not start tweeting itself? — Exxon is apparently remaining on the sidelines. Meanwhile, Janet continues to post. Talk about an old media response to a new media problem.
In the new age of unending conversation, it’s important to remember that everyone is a publisher. All you need is engaging content and a little social media savvy. Here are some ways to promote yourself and/or company online:
- Optimized press releases & articles
- Micro blogging (Twitter)
- Socialize your web content — let people tag it in sites like Delicious.
- Social Networks
- Social Media Sites
If you’re intent on monitoring the social media space, here are some tools (most are not free) to help you do so:
If there’s any major mantra for social media practitioners, it’s “Don’t sell them, tell them.” Video is a great way to do that. Check out Intercontinental Hotels, which has done a super job telling their story through video, according to Sally.
And here’s a great resource for social networking sites. What are your thoughts/recommendations on social media and promotion? I’d love to hear from you.