Tuesday, June 19 , 2018, 2:05 am | Fair 57º

 
 
 
 

Business

B2B Panelists Outline Rules to Tweet By for Businesses Using Social Media

Transparency, relevance, knowing your audience and having a strategy can help ensure success in the virtual world

Ashton Kutcher screwed up in less than 140 characters.

In the wake of the firing of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, Kutcher tweeted on Twitter: “How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste.” Kutcher explained that he walked by the television and simply saw a headline that Paterno had been fired and assumed it was related to his age.

But the tweet he sent out to his 8 million followers wasn’t the problem. Everyone makes mistakes, said Peter Shankman, founder and CEO of The Geek Factory Inc. and Help a Reporter Out (HARO).

“Apologize, fix it and move on,” Shankman told more than 200 people at Montecito Bank & Trust’s Business-to-Business event on social media for businesses Wednesday night at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort. “The first rule (about social media) is transparency. The first way to get in trouble is lying about it. Know you will screw up, own it, admit it and move on.”

Shankman said that while Kutcher owned his mistake, he didn’t move on. Instead, he gave up control of his Twitter account — his biggest mistake.

“Mistakes make us human; we relate to people who screw up,” he said. “You have to own it, that’s the difference.”

Panelist Shawn Mulchay of SocialMash Media advised to be real and engage people through compelling content, even if it’s somewhat “unprofessional.”

“You don’t see enough businesses (on social media) being human,” he said. “Some businesses take a suit and tie to Facebook. Things needs to be more casual. Post fun things. We’re here to entertain.”

Panelist Lynda Weinman of Lynda.com said people respond to authenticity.

“Don’t try to be something that you are not,” she said.

The second rule is relevance. The key to being relevant is the third rule — knowing your audience — that’s what generates revenue, according to Shankman.

“Don’t be afraid to be relevant to your audience by whatever means necessary. Having an audience is a privilege not a right,” said Shankman, who illustrated his point by showing a picture of a man holding up a sign at a triathlon that read, “You are all nuts.”

People on social media should be listening more than talking, Shankman said. But when someone does post, according to panelist Nicki Gauthier of Web Marketing Therapy, be sure to have a strategy.

“It’s important to know your strategy first, know who you are and what your goals are before you dive into social media,” Gauthier said.

Practice concise and clear writing, take advantage of Google Alerts, don’t be afraid to step out of comfort zones and engage with all types of feedback, Shankman advised.

“It comes back to good customer service — those people will do your PR for you,” he said.

Mainly, he said, social media comes back to one thing — being remembered.

“Whether you know them or you don’t, your one job should be to find someone and figure out how to make them laugh,” he said.

Noozhawk business writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Dianne and Brianna Johnson
Dianne and Brianna Johnson
"We are committed to making our clients feel special by providing the concierge level service they deserve."

Full Profile >