Michelle Catin is the Digital and Social Media Manager of rbb Public Relations.
You can follow her on twitter:  @mimi2point0

What we know of social media is just the tip of the iceberg– there’s so much more to come.

  • In 2008, Internet passed newspapers at a source of national and international news.  
  • In 2007, Social Networking sites became more visited than porn sites.
  • We should all use Facebook for business “If you’re not on Facebook, you’re not on the internet.”
  • Every second, a new member joins LinkedIn.
  • Twitter use increased 1000% in February 2009.
  • YouTube:  100,000,000 videos are viewed per day.
  • Anyone can be a reporter on “Wikipedia.”

When Maurice Jarre passed away, a student penned a fictitious quiote on the Maurice Jarre’s wikipedia entry.  This quote was repeated in numerous newspapers and media outlets– even though it was factually incorrect.  The media is using the internet for their research… just like the rest of us.
(read more about it here)

Social Media is “Not a fad– but a fundamental shift in the PR industry.’

The Fundamentals of Public Relations can and should also be used in Social Media!

Listen.  Set up Google alerts, social media alerts utilizing socialmention.  Research the topics being discussed, the sentiment of these posts, the outlets being used to discuss your business, etc.
Other tracking sites:

Survey your audience.  Find out how they’re communicating about you.

Strategic Planning: Walk, don’t run.  If you build it, they won’t come.  You can’t expect people to just find you.

  • Build a foundation. Use familiy and friends to be your followers
  • Use existing assets to promote your social media channels.  Use signature file, website, etc. to promote
  • Establish critical mass
  • Don’t expect results overnight.  Social media is a commitment that requires a full-time commitment.

Implementation:  How to use different social media campaigns in your planning:

  • Use Facebook for community events.  Create a virtual invitation.  When people say yes, it will show up on their profile.
  • Use ustream to upload video of any event with your iphone. (other phones may be compatable)  You can also upload from your computer.
  • Use Flickr to link photos to relevant keywords, which is ideal for Search Engine Optimization.
  • Use cross-platform applications (example, set up your Flickr to automatically post to Facebook)
  • Use press release distribution services to create links, SEO for your website/organization.  (She does not reccomend the expensive pay services… she beileves that their releases don’t live as long on the internet as other services.  She prefers pressreleasepoint.com)
  • Use Twitter to build relationships with reporters.  Find them using tweepsearch, which searches twitter bios.

Evaluating: An important process that we sometimes dismiss.  How do you show results?
Measure results using socialmention, bit.ly (which measures clicks to shortened links)
YouTube and Facebook all provide “insights” for measurements

Question:  How do you convince a client that they need to be involved in social media?
1) Measuring their current mentions in social media platforms to determine their online reputation.

2) Looking to see what their competitors are doing.
3) If they’re afraid of losing control… they should know that they never really had control to begin with.

Question:  How does Google’s recent search algorithm change my web approach?
Yes… they use “real-time” search now, which means that more social media, particularly Twitter, are indexed.  Recent mentions will put you higher in search results.

Question: How do you determine what keywords are most relevant for people looking for you?

Google Keyword tool.  You type in  bunch of phrases, Google generates a list of similar phrases, and tells you which ones are most used.

Question:  How can you take advantage of hashtags and trending topics on Twitter?
Use existing hashtags or keywords (or make up your own) whenever relevant.  She does not know of a tool which tracks the popularity of particular hashtags.  Yes, a lot of hashtags are spam… but they can also be a great tool.

Question:  What is your crisis plan for if your twitter account is hacked?
You can work with Twitter to repair situations like this. She recommends changing facebook and twitter passwords every month.

Question: How easy is it to get things like that repaired at Twitter.  Do they have “Operators standing by?”
You can leave them a message on the twitter forums, but it will take a long time to resolve.  You can also send a public tweet to twitter’s administrators.