Social Media Week Goes ‘Beyond Facebook and Twitter’

Tapping into the excitement over digital platforms not named Facebook or Twitter, Fenton hosted the Social Media Week panel titled “Communicating with Customers Beyond Facebook and Twitter: How Brands Are Accessing Start-ups to Collaborate and Communicate.

Certainly, the number of social platforms has extended far beyond these two behemoths. Beyoncé and Jay-Z, for instance, opted for a Tumblr page to reveal the first pics of little Blue Ivy (awww!) rather than selling them or posting them elsewhere. Instagram links pop up on our Twitter feed all day.

And, of course, Pinterest is of interest. The “Pinterest” name was dropped a few times at last night’s event.

Perhaps the best advice on the subject of using these alternative platforms came from Todd Olmstead, community manager at Mashable, who suggested, “Be a user.” Rather than rush to dive in to these new technologies, check them out internally, get a feel for them, and then determine how best to use them. We support this.

The M Booth team says they’re of the same mind as well. The firm usually publishes a round up of content of interest on its Fwd Thinking blog called “word.” Today, they published “word. monthly” on Pinterest. We asked whether this was just a knee-jerk reaction to all of chatter about Pinterest, but the firm says that they’ve been playing around with it for some time and found that using it for this newsletter would enhance it.

“…[I]t it shares the same roots with ‘word’ in that it’s based off of hyperlinks,” M Booth’s Gabrielle Schaefer told us in an email. “While some share pure visuals, most images are click-through enabled thereby redirecting observers to content sources.”

Among other PR firms that are using Pinterest are CRT/tanaka, which used it to illustrate their plans for Valentine’s Day. And Team Epiphany, which has boards for their work, infographics, and other categories. (Total aside: Mark Zuckerberg is on Pinterest.)

Another piece of advice from Olmstead was to build brand loyalty and identity by pushing out content from other sources. In other words, don’t make it all about you. And finally, the whole panel — Sean Barkulis, co-founder and CEO of UPlanMe; Sarah Rapp, community manager for Behance; Roy Rodenstein, co-founder and CEO at SocMetrics; Kathy Leake, founder and CEO at LocalResponse; and moderator Michoel Ogince, director from Big Fuel — agreed on the importance of reaching targeted, influential, and niche audiences with outreach efforts, irrespective of the outreach tool.