Thursday night I attended an event put on by the Social Media Club of St. Charles. (St. Charles is the neighboring county to St. Louis in Missouri.) Lindsay saw it posted on the St. Louis Bloggers Facebook Page and asked me if I was interested in going with her.
I couldn’t pass up a chance to hang out with a new blog friend!
I drove out to her house and then we rode together to the event. It turned out it was a noisy bar…not exactly what we were expecting! We were the first people there and were totally lost since it didn’t seem like an event space. Just a few tables at the side of the room. Soon people started wandering in and while they all seemed to know each other, and everyone was really friendly once we introduced ourselves. Lindsay and I chatted until the panel started.
The host had a set of questions to ask each of the four panelists. Left to right, they were:
Vern Ross – @rosspr - Entrepreneur, Speaker, Executive Coach, Author and founder of Ross Public Relations a Social media and Public Relations focused company.
Danyelle Little – @thecubiclechick – Danyelle is the woman behind TheCubicleChick.com. She’s a full time blogger with brand sponsorships and publicity up the wazoo. She’s the creator of the Show Me The Blog conference as well.
Erika Weber – @edrebbweb - Interactive Marketer for a St. Charles based agency.
Ryan Griffin – @nutsocial – Social media community manager for Lindenwood University.
For Lindsay and I, Danyelle was the most educational to hear from. Being a blogger herself, her perspectives and ideas were a little different than those managing the social media of other businesses. I understood a little more from the others since I used to work at an agency, but there was definitely something to learn from each of them.
I thought I’d share some of the answers and tips I found most helpful:
What is Social Media?:
Social Media is a relationship tool not a promotional tool. It’s like dating for companies and brands.
It’s the great connector and a level playing field.
Which Channel Is Best?
Twitter breaks down barriers to entry and has greater SEO power. The new Facebook algorithm favors paid advertisers.
Get glue is a new site that Danyelle loves. I’ll have to look into this one.
Tips For Beginners:
Be patient. It often takes at least 6 to 12 months for results.
Don’t use automation except for scheduling blog posts. People can tell when it’s not a real person talking and it can sometimes make you look stupid!
Respond to everything (especially as a brand). Some people just want to be heard.
Learn which sites suit you best. Find out where your audience is.
Social media is for the most part free, but the cost is time. Don’t be on everything.
Don’t cross post from one platform to another. Each site is designed differently and you can tell. (Ex: posting your Instagram photos to Twitter AND Facebook AND your blog.)
Add value so people want to share your content and ask you questions. (Huge for bloggers!)
Tips Specifically For Bloggers:
Be yourself. Don’t do what you see someone else do.
Know your voice.
Protect your name by being everywhere, but focus on the networks you like best. (Danyelle suggested this. I think she means to create an account on every new site so that someone can’t set up an account in your name. I don’t have time for that!!)
Post your blog posts to your Facebook page directly, not automated. They don’t get seen unless you post them yourself. (SO TRUE and I never noticed! Gotta change this on my page.)
Best Social Media Tools:
Hootsuite (mentioned by all!)
Sprout Social which is more expensive but has CRM capabilities
Mention to create alerts
Statigram (Instagram with statistics!)
Getclicky for WordPress (A plug-in for real time analytics. It costs money after the first month.)
Gremln A local company that is a lot like HootSuite but also allows you to create “blocked words” so it wont allow you to post anything with those words unless you approve it. GREAT in case you are about to say something silly, or are drunk, or…anything.
Websites To Read:
Huffington Post tech
Social Media Examiner
Social Media Today
The Rise To The Top (local)
(Ugh. WordPress isn’t letting me link the above. Sorry guys!)
Anyway, helpful stuff, huh? Was any of this new to you?