Highlights from #SMX Social: Keynote Roundtable: Real Social Media Stories From The Field

By Janet Driscoll Miller | Dec 5, 2011
More Articles by Janet


Danny Sullivan introduced the panel of Drew Conrad of Zagg, Martin Beck of the LA Times, and Jean Scheidnes of Nieman Marcus. The panel’s focus was on the daily life of social media.

Drew started off by introducing himself and saying that at Zagg, an internet retailer, social media is working with all types of teams from search to web developers. For the most part, their social media team is marketing-focused.

Martin handles the social media for the LA Times, and there are two people on the social media team there. He’s in charge of the engagement with social media as well as comments. There’s a team of people who tweet and schedule tweets. Facebook presence is more selective and Martin and his assistant handle that. Martin also responds directly to those that reach out via social media.

Martin said they have a whopping 150 Twitter accounts… most are RSS feeds. They have about 20 Facebook pages. The copy desk helps with social media.

Jean said her role is to oversee a small team of editors who create the content for the social profiles and to respond to inquiries/comments. She said that Facebook comments ended up being a huge time commitment.  Their goal is to be focused on fashion content, so she partnered with customer service to help with the Facebook comments.

Drew said that someone else owns @Zagg and @ZaggDaily, so he has to monitor those too in case requests go there. They don’t necessarily monitor everyone who follows them. Martin said they reach out to individuals occasionally, like when they are looking for influencers. Jean said that they reach out to people too and look for brand mentions and interact with certain folks, regardless of follower count.

Danny asked the panel which was the most important social channel for them. Drew said that, in terms of revenue, it would have to be Facebook. Martin also said the bulk of the social media traffic also comes from Facebook, in large part due to the “like” button and sharing. Jean also said that Facebook would likely be NM’s choice, but she really believes the blog is crucial and she favors Twitter.

As for Twitter, Martin added that he felt that reporters are more apt to respond on Twitter than other social networks.

Danny asked the panel about their take on Google+. Martin said it’s easy enough to get on and do something similar to what they do in Facebook.

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