I was looking forward to the session called “Twitter for Marketers: Is It Still Social Media?” but so were lots of other folks, and when we arrived at the stroke of 5:00 pm the doors were closed. So about 50 of us migrated down the hall to the Panel Green Room area where we conducted our own discussion that gave most of us exactly the shared perspective we were craving.
This discussion continues at #tweethall (do a search for that subject on Twitter) plus you can find a fabulous post at La Luna Blanca which documents the event in detail including a number of best practices. Thank you @lunablanca !
One question that did not quite get answered in the tweethall was how do you manage Twitter in a large organization where individuals are encouraged to tweet but you also have a corporate voice you want to maintain. Those who commented, including some folks from very big companies, said essentially that they do it ad hoc. You keep track of who is talking about your company with a #yourcompany hashtag (a subject search with your company’s name substituted for yourcompany) and try to coordinate efforts without stifling enthusiasm.
The session prior to this one, though, had an answer that made sense, maybe because it came from journalists who are used to communicating with their public. Presenters were @robquig and @dan360man from @statesman and @coloneltribune. For an example with lots of best practices, check out @statesman or @broylesa … the general blogging guy and the food writer respectively … and then click the links to both of their websites.
These bloggers know what their audience wants to hear about: insider tips on what’s going on around Austin plus late breaking relevant news as well as, since they are inside SXSW, their immediate take on the day’s events. None of this “wish I got more sleep last night” personal bloviation. Then, when you click through to the web pages, you’ll find an aggregate of other tweeters at the same organization with links to their own handles or blogs.
I think this model should make good sense for companies too. Anyone is encouraged to tweet, but they always include a link back to a corporate page that organizes the tweeters. Make sense?