Beyond PR

Oct 10, 2012

Winning Online Visibility: 3 Tips From @Baratunde

Best selling author and comedian Baratunde Thurston knows a thing or two about garnering attention online.  After all, he’s guy behind some of the most memorable trends on Twitter, and during his tenure as director of digital at The Onion, the top tweets about events such as the President’s State of the Union address and the Super Bowl.

Baratunde on stage at iStrategy in Chicago. (Photo via iStrategy).

The advice he offered marketers in his keynote yesterday morning at iStrategy was pretty straightforward:

  • React swiftly
  • Cover it live – with strong point of view
  • Find new ways to share.  We have so much content out there, and we’re all vying for attention.

The first two suggestions go hand-in-hand.  Social media is all about immediacy, and to the fastest actors often go the greatest gains.  However, in addition to speed, Baratunde emphasized the necessity of a strong point of view.   It’s imperative, he noted, that you say something worth listening to.

That said, you can prepare ahead of time.  Tweeting evergreen (and prepared) content in conjunction with live events is a great way to “win” events, and takes pressure off the communications teams

managing the outflow.  However, simply cutting and pasting the same content across different channels is a mistake, Baratunde noted.  Instead, he advocates alter the messaging (and strategy ) for different  social networks.

“Most people don’t want to check out the things you think are interesting,” he noted.  “But somewhere, someone does. You have no excuse not to be a little more relevant.”   Developing the right content to connect with those “someones” is the opportunity at hand for most brands.

Author Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of social media.

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