PubCon: Going Beyond Social Media Buzz

    November 12, 2008

Facebook this, Twitter that . . . you’ve heard the talk.  Social media is on everyone’s minds these days.  But a session at PubCon titled "Social Media: The Big Sexy Buzz" went a bit beyond the hype into the details of why social media’s important and how you can use it well.

(Coverage of PubCon continues at WebProNews Videos.  Stay with WebProNews for continued coverage from the event this week.)

Guillaume Bouchard
 Guillaume Bouchard

In the face of some Internet problems and a surprisingly cold room, Warren Whitlock, a marketing results coach, started things off by discussing Twitter.  Whitlock pointed out that Twitter hit the billion tweet-mark this week, and that it can be a great tool for forging connections.  A takeaway point: Since customers use Twitter, and customers control the market, businesses should use the service, too.

Brian Carter, who was spotted before the session in close proximity to a My Little Pony toy, then picked up with what he called the social media trifecta: blogs, bookmarking, and Twittering.  He suggested that people optimize by identifying their goals, establishing measurements, determining their current positions, and planning routes to the goals.  Just let the results guide your progress, Carter, Fuel Interactive‘s director of search marketing, advised.

Guillaume Bouchard, the CEO of NVI, spoke next, and actually ran out of time before he was through.  Yet he got out a Mark Twain quote – "it’s better to be popular than right" – and emphasized the massive audiences available through Digg and StumbleUpon.  To attract them, he advised not going overboard with text, making a minimum of clicks necessary, and ensuring that your servers can actually handle the extra traffic.

Finally, Ken Schoen, a product manager at Facebook, wrapped up the session by sharing some statistics.  His company’s site sees 120 million active users, 15 million mobile users, and about 1 billion profile details.  Given all this, Schoen called word of mouth the most valuable marketing tool.

WebProNews videographer Roger Akers contributed to this article.