Top Twitter Takeaways from UT’s Social Media Week

Leading up to Social Slam 2012, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, School of Advertising and Public Relations hosted Social Media Week. This two-day event featured presentations, panels and interactive sessions with social media experts from companies like Scripps Network Interactive, Cox Enterprises, McCormick & Company, Inc., and Dell(home of the splendid Social Media Command Center).

The digital world is growing and re-shaping public relations, marketing and advertising – not to mention communications in general. A new report cites 39 percent of Americans spend more time socializing online than they do offline.

An event that would typically cost hundreds for professionals to attend, UTK provided this learning experience geared toward students to teach best business social media practices.

Thanks to the beauty of Twitter and the hashtag (#), those not in attendance could still absorb great information. Search #UTSMW  on Twitter to view tweets related to the event. Many of the sessions are available online to view at Ustream, but if you don’t have 8+ hours to watch every session, don’t worry…DVL has compiled our top 15 Twitter takeaways below:

Twitter: Go where the people are and build your message there. #utsmw -@UTSMW

You can’t always expect your entire audience to be seeking you out.

Twitter: Listen. Engage. Act. You have to do all three, and you have to do them in order. #UTSMW

Find out who’s talking and what they’re saying. Interact with content that they’ll care about. Use feedback to better serve them.

Twitter: Not every social media platform is appropriate for every audience. @kgranju #UTSMW

Believe it or not…not every business “has to be on Facebook.”

Twitter: Purposeful Edutainment: don't tweet just for the sake of doing so. "It's about conversation." -@adamcb #utsmw

Have a plan and strategy in place.

Twitter: "@elizhendrickson @adamcb says new SM metric is "PTA" (People Talking About it), not impressions. #utsmw" Don't collect fans, engage fans! -@camimonet

Don’t focus on the number of “Likes,” but the quality of engagement.

Twitter: Social media has expanded customer service even further. Sorry businesses, you cacn't escape. #utsmw -@utsmw

Showing them you care – in real-time – can go a long way.

Twitter: Final word: Social media lets companies get past "the velvet rope" and reach clients they might not have been able to otherwise. #utsmw -@utsmw

Discover a whole new world of engaging with customers and clients.

Twitter: EdgeRank is how Facebook has figured out who your close friends are (and why you no longer see "that girl from high school"'s posts). #utsmw -@utsmw

Facebook’s algorithm decides which posts you get to see in your news feed – and where they show up.

Big underestimation... Twitter: Facebook contests can be surprisingly complicated to run. A "like" is not equal to a vote. #utsmw -@utsmw

Facebook has strict rules about how you can conduct contests, giveaways and sweepstakes on its platform.

Twitter: Now in a psychology class where it is impolite to Tweet during speakers/presentations #feelingdefensive of #UTSMW -@CaitlinBradley

Remember, not everyone was born with a smart phone in hand…

Twitter: Great quote! "For this generation, a retweet from an athlete is like an autograph" @tomsatkowiak #utsmw

From the “Social Media Use of UT Athletics and Policies for Student Athletes” session

Twitter and College Sports: Top twitter football page is Michigan w 86,000 followers. They put a hash tag on their field to raise awareness. UT is 20th w/ 21,000 #UTSMW -@ErinWhiteside

Michigan’s “Big House” is the largest college football stadium.

Twitter and College Sports: On a side note, if you're aching to see that Pat Summit tribute again, here it is, courtesy of @Vol_Sports's: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYqHMcn_Fbw #utsmw -@UTSMW

Had to share this touching tribute to Pat Summitt, “Chances,” from the UT Athletic Department:

And just for fun…

Twitter: This is hilarious! Thanks #UTSMW http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUs7iG1mNjI -@Holly_Kane

Katie Couric to NBC “Today” show producer, circa 1994: “Can you explain what Internet is?”

Facebook – More Social Than You Think

How do you use Facebook, the most popular social media site?  Are you simply sharing links to cat videos on YouTube or posting pictures of your friends, kids and self?

Or are you part of a growing audience that treats Facebook as a personal focus group?

Many of my “friends” now use Facebook as a resource for finding skilled professionals, new restaurants or physicians who are reliable and provide great outcomes.

I’ve watched this happen frequently. Recently, a friend was seeking a good GYN, so she turned to her friends who she trusted. Her Facebook friends, that is. Dozens of responses, both negative and positive, were posted within minutes.

In the old days, we might have asked our neighbor or someone in the office for advice. But today, we have the power of social media and easy access to friends around the world. And there’s nothing more social than helping a friend solve a problem.

I decided to give it a try. When my roof leaked, I turned to Facebook. After previously finding, AND hiring, every horrible, over-priced, unreliable contractor in the area, I was determined to find someone who was honest, qualified and reasonably priced.

Guess what, it worked!  Minutes after I typed in my request to my Facebook status, numerous friends posted on my wall and even called me to talk about the awesome – and not-so-awesome – roof repair professionals.  A Facebook friend, who I never would’ve thought of calling, recommended a company she hired after weeks of researching and interviewing several firms. The one she chose restored her belief in talented, honest and reliable craftsmen.

I hear talk about how social media is making us “less social” – but in some ways, I think it’s connecting us with more people and on more levels than we ever imagined. We all have our own ways of using Facebook. Seeking opinions of others through social media could open doors you didn’t realize were there to open. Maybe the next time you’re looking for a yoga instructor, dog sitter or a new contractor, you should ask Facebook.

On the flip side, if you’re a business owner, keep your eyes peeled to friends’ updates in your online networks. Your next customer could very well be behind the latest social media post.