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Whats Next DC Live Blogging, Social Media @ Large Organizations

Katharine Zaleski of the Washington Post pointed out that around the 2008 election, visitor numbers to their website was stagnating. “Why was it stagnating?”, she asked. The problem was that the Post wasn’t utilizing social media to its fullest potential. After this realization, they began investing in social media. They found that viewers to their website shot up, especially after they then created tools to make the process easier, which drastically helped them gain users and visitors to their website.

Sabrina Calouri of HBO, who was the second speaker, noted that social media isn’t about the company, it’s about the the users. They’ve tried to break down the “4th wall”, meaning they’ve tried to livetweet conferences and interact with followers. However, it’s impossible to keep up with all of the tweets. To make up for this, they’ve made tools as well, which allow followers to interact with each other more easily, along with the company. This takes a lot of pressure off of HBO, rather than frustrating users by not participating in the conversation.

Eric Ludwig of Rosetta Stone spoke of figuring out how valuable your activity on social media. Rosetta Stone has, rather than keeping the brand name in their hands, put the brand in consumers hands by listening to engagement on social media. He says that the best ads are the ones users create, not them.

What was the take away? Social media is not static. Interact. If necessary, interact by using tools.

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Steve Cottle

I like the point about social media being about the users, not the company. You can definitely see some brands to try impose their brand on users through social media, which never creates the kinds of engaging communities or back-and-forth that would probably be a lot more beneficial in the long run.