Part One: Connecting Through Social Media

By: Jen Carter, PBS Interactive

There is a never-ending supply of social media strategy, marketing and promotional best practices, engagement initiatives, conferences and seminars, and the list goes on and on. It’s enough to make ones head spin. But what is the point of social media and how are people connecting in innovative ways?

The one thing to remember is that social media is about storytelling. At the recent State of Now/#140 conf, host Jeff Pulver, social media innovator, gathered together social media advocates and enthusiasts from all walks of life to sit, listen and share their stories with one another.

Rise of the Social Consumer
During the two-day conference dozens of stories where shared. The first day, businesspersons such as Robert Stephens, founder Geek Squad, discussed the Rise of the Social Consumer and how brands/companies can leverage these trends. Stephens stated understanding a user is paramount to success (Tron anyone? (2:18)). He also expressed that the social consumer isn’t always the most socially active. So while you are thinking about social media engagement, factor in how to engage with the non-hyper-social users.

Solving the Mystery with Social Media
Other speakers included Dan Lewis, Director of New Media Communications for Sesame Street, who discussed how they used social media to find the first Gordon. If we have learned anything from the Mr. Rogers Remix and Sesame Street: Share it Maybe videos, people love the classics and these often-nostalgic moments can be leveraged in the new media world. The search for the first Gordon campaign was no different. At the start of the campaign, the video, which features this mystery man, was posted across Sesame Streets’ social media outlets and eventually the family of the first Gordon came forward.

Social TV…Hype or Hip?
Panels from that day included, Caroline Giegerich, Founder/Editor, Daily MarauderIan Schafer, CEO, Deep Focus; and Rishi Malhotra, Managing Partner, 212Media. The panel discussed the trend of social TV. We’ve seen this on shows that have tweets, posts or comments pop-up during programing. The panelists view was that there would be a line, for most users, where they find their content is being disrupted. More often then not users will continue using smart devices to consume social media while still watching there favorite program, hopefully it’s a #localPBS show.

Leveraging Social Media in Education
One of the most dynamic speakers of day one was Kevin Honeycutt, a music teacher, who is “out to change the world…one classroom at a time.” His philosophy is similar to that of many in Public Media, which is to bring interested parties interesting information. Honeycutt showcased how he leverages social media to engage and include students who otherwise feel intimidated by learning a new instrument, for example. He feels that because kids think digitally, by not utilizing social media, you are amputating kids’ digital limbs and businesses or institutions are losing a potential connection.

More Storytelling Information
There were honestly too many interesting and innovative sessions to share in one blog post, so, if you are interested in hearing more about this conference and social media engagement initiatives, check back on our blog for part two of this series.

Next Steps? 
Can’t wait to get started on social media engagement strategy building? Here are some related blog posts we’ve recently posted: Twitter, Tips and Tricks; FYI Friday: Engaging your Digital Ecosystem; and FYI Friday: Mobile Matters; or check out our Social Media Engagement best practice guide.

Is your station Living Social? If so, how? Tweet us or share comments below.

The second installment of this post will be published on Monday, July 23rd, 2012. Be sure to check back then.

1 comment:

  1. After teaching me all these tricks, I'm now excited to apply all these strategies to maximize the use and potential of social media platforms. I could even suggest this to the telemarketing companies in Sydney that I worked for.