Conference encourages business to get social

Sidney Keith

The fourth annual YouToo conference in Franklin Hall on Friday taught the sold-out audience how to use social media for business.

“It’s not just about how to be on Twitter or Facebook,” said Amber Naslund, the vice president of social strategy at Radian6. “It’s about how you actually take social media and bake it into what you’re already doing.”

“Businesses need to realize that it’s not emerging anymore, it’s here,” added Naslund, the co-author of “The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter and More Social.”

Dominic Litten, leader of interactive marketing at Point to Point, presented “Ignoring SEO, at your own peril.” Paul Roetzer, founder and president of Cleveland-based marketing and public relations firm PR 20/20, led another session called “Content Marketing for PR Pros.”

Roetzer said that content can be created by anyone, but creators need to be aware of their audiences.

“You have to win their hearts,” he said. “If you don’t, someone else is going to come along and do it.”

Geoff Livingston, founder of social media consulting firm Zoetica, spoke during lunch and compared Facebook to McDonalds.

“I’m likin’ it … I’m lovin’ it…?” he said.

“Social media isn’t just for socializing. It’s for connecting to customers in a unique, personal and intimate way.” – Jan Gusich, founder and owner of AKHIA

He argued that keeping conversations alive and relationships connected is the main use for social media. Social media starts the conversation, but it won’t keep it going; it’s only the first step, he said.

In an interview after, Livingston said he wanted to leave everyone with a message.

“Stay focused on your community and the people talking with you because they’re your future,” he said. “Public relations is about working with organizations and people and making sure there’s an understanding.”

Employees from Marcus Thomas, LLC. hosted another session titled “Blog Development, Implementation, Promotion & Measurement.”

Then two employees from AKHIA, a Cleveland-based public relations and advertising firm presented about social media in business-to-business relationships in a session titled “Because B2B marketers can be social, too.”

Ben Brugler, AKHIA executive vice president, explored many reasons for using social media in business-to-business relationships, and he explained that many of the reasons businesses give for not using social media are excuses.

He offered specific insight and tips for businesses using Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

President, founder and owner of AKHIA, Jan Gusich followed Brugler in the presentation.

“Social media isn’t just for socializing,” she said. “It’s for connecting to customers in a unique, personal and intimate way.”

She emphasized that companies need to follow guidelines for social media during crisis communications or things could get out of control.

“Good news travels fast, but bad news travels faster,” Gusich said.

She urged professionals to follow a response formula.

“You aren’t fooling anyone by pretending it didn’t happen,” she said.

The conference ended with a panel of four public relations and social media professionals discussing the future of social media.

More information about the presenters, conference schedule and sponsors can be found on the YouToo website.

Contact Sidney Keith at [email protected].