Bridging the Gap: Social Media Advice That Doesn’t Suck

This post is part of our PRSSA 2012 National Conference series, where members of our Executive Board will be sharing tips from various breakout sessions.

There are a lot of people who claim they’re social media experts these days. Spoiler alert : most who say they are geniuses or evangelists usually aren’t. So it was a breath of fresh air to hear from Michael Brito, a Senior Vice President in Edelman’s San Francisco office. Even the title of his presentation didn’t boast about social media directly.

Instead of providing a play-by-play commentary of the presentation, I’d like to share a few direct quotes that I thought really stuck out – and then briefly comment why they struck me.

“What’s the purpose of listening if you’re not going to do anything?” But seriously, the point here is that social media should be used for a end. Tweeting just for the hell of it isn’t really going to do anything for your business, organization or their respective brands – online or offline.

“Everyone is an influencer. Everyone has a voice. Klout doesn’t matter.” I was so excited about this line that I literally almost stood up and cheered. This is a realization that we all must come to because even Johnny Appleseed from halfway across the world can cause damage to your brand via social media. You cannot take chances with anyone. And just because someone has a Klout score of 78 doesn’t mean you should treat them differently.

“Core business objectives remain despite the external landscape.” The single thing so many people forget. At the end of the day, your boss or senior executives want to know if social media is helping out the bottom line. A core business objective is making more money than last year. Therefore ,social media must be used strategically to help your business make more money.

“How do you reach consumers through a high degree of noise?” The Internet is a non-stop fire hose of information. Brito gives good advice when he says that the way to get through this is deploying the same message at different touch points. This means unique content for each social network (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Foursquare) with occasional posts promoting blog content. Only then is your message omnipresent.

Finally, did you know that YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine? Forget Bing. And the most-searched video? How-Tos. I read a lot about social media, but that was something I didn’t really think about at all.

All in all, it was the best presentation on social media I’ve ever heard. If you’re interested in looking at some awesome charts, check out his slides right here.

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