Listen and Think Before You Tweet

    March 12, 2009
    Chris Crum

Recently I’ve discussed how businesses can use Facebook and Twitter to drive traffic to their sites, and even looked at some specific examples of how local businesses here in Lexington, KY are using Twitter.

A lot of existing brands are jumping on the social media bandwagon, and though some still struggle to find a good fit, many are reaping the benefits. This was the topic of a session called Moving Old Brands into New Social Media at PubCon South in Austin, Texas.

Coverage of PubCon South Austin continues at WebProNews Videos. Stay with WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.

Lisa BuyerLisa Buyer of The Buyer Group discussed using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and company blogs for PR purposes as well as social branding opportunities. She says LinkedIn is good for corporate groups.

Twitter works well for online branding. You can have both a personal account and a brand account, but watch out for irresponsible employees on Twitter, because as she says, "Twitter news travels fast."

Your company should have a policy on social media for employee use. Talk with employees about their social media use, and create an action plan for reputation management. Buyer offers these three social media lessons:

– Think before you tweet
– Avoid gossip
– Use Google Alerts

Certainly good advice for online reputation management (I’ve got an article on that here.)Pat Strader

Pat Strader of Matterhorn Marketing also spoke, and says "social media is not a tactic. It’s a collection of tools." That is well said, because often people get caught up in whether or not they should be using social media to market their businesses when they should really be focusing on what they hope to accomplish with it. He offers the following advice:

1. Extract primary keywords – group them by topic

2. Create a demographic profile

3. Compare to profiles of social sites

4. Look at when your primary keywords begin to trend

5. Identify locations and develop editorial calendar

6. Listen!

Strader says, "If you don’t take anything else away from this, take listening." I was thinking the same thing.

Abby Johnson contributed to this report.