Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Social Media. WTF.

Ah yes. The hidden joy of having a day job: business conferences. This morning was the Providence Business News' Social Media as a Marketing Tool.

I always enter these warily, expecting a thinly guised sales pitch, but this one was not. It was informative and discussed differing techniques for utilizing social media across varying industries featuring social media marketers in consumer product, design, legal counsel, insurance and non-profit organizations.

The major takeaways:

  • The majority of Facebook users are in their thirties and college-educated
  • Every one of the panelists has a full-time person monitoring their social media networks (and not an intern. Someone familiar with the brand and the way it should represented.)
  • Followers like giveaways and contests. They also like to input their opinion. Lolita Healy, Founder & President of Designs by Lolita, uses her followers to create collection ideas
  • Followers also like to vote and nominate. The Newport Art Museum allows people to upload their own art and users vote on their favorites
  • Followers do not respond as well to open-ended questions, rather a choice: Vanilla or chocolate?
  • Customize your Facebook page with the Facebook Static FBML app
  • Create an icon for your product. Alec Beckett, Creative Partner for Nail Communications created Hector, the paper mache cockatoo, for the Margarita's Mexican restaurant to converse with customers

As writers, think about how these techniques can apply to your own social media marketing plan. Can you create a Facebook page for one of your characters? Allow people to upload ideas for your story and vote? Which authors do you think take charge of Twitter and Facebook?

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