Ask the Speaker: Jason Winocour on the Next Generation of Social Media Tools

With new social media platforms continually popping up, PR professionals are tasked with keeping up with new sites and how to leverage them for PR. We asked PR practitioners what their top challenges are with social media and their questions are listed below. Jason Winocour, social and digital media practice leader and agency partner for Hunter Public Relations, shares his expertise to overcoming these hurdles. Winocour will address social media strategies, new platforms and more at the Digital PR Next Practices Summit on October 6 in New York City.

Question: What do you consider the best ways to monitor brand and reputation in social media?

Jason Winocour: Monitoring brand and reputation in social media is a challenge because it’s exceedingly difficult for social media measurement tools to keep pace with the relentless pace of change in social media. Hunter Public Relations utilizes a combination of paid and free social media monitoring services, coupled with expertise culled from our agency’s 13-person Social and Digital Media Department. We use a variety of qualitative and quantitative benchmarks to monitor brand and reputation in social media. On the qualitative side, key measures include sentiment, tonality and “speed of spread.” On the quantitative side, unique monthly visitors, number of fans/likers, number of followers, and impressions/views are common yardsticks.

Question: How does your agency go about providing, essentially, press clips of mentions in social media? 

Winocour: We’ve created a social media status report template that all account teams can tailor for the specific needs of their client. The template is broken out into tabs for: blog mentions, Twitter, Facebook, forums/message boards, video sites, geo-social sites and social news sites. We mock up “best hits” for top social media placements in much the same way we mock up best hits for high-profile placements in traditional media. 

Question: Twitter wants to be like Foursquare (geo-based), LinkedIn wants to be like Facebook: Will the platforms all converge to the point that they resemble each other so much? Will companies need to be more selective about where they concentrate resources? And is MySpace relevant for companies outside of the music industry?

Winocour: With the growth of geo-based social networks and Facebook unveiling Facebook Places, there is much discussion on whether Facebook will crush the smaller Foursquare and Gowalla. My view is that there is room for many different types of social networks to coexist and thrive as long as each network effectively differentiates itself. Twitter is most often used as a news source, Facebook is used as a way to connect with friends, and LinkedIn is used as a professional networking and recruiting tool. While MySpace is no longer the biggest player in the game, they have found their niche in the music and entertainment space. As is the case with traditional media, social media channels are becoming increasingly fragmented. As a result, companies will need to be more selective and thoughtful in terms of how they allocate their social media marketing dollars.

Attend PR News’ D
igital PR Next Practices Summit on Oct. 6 and learn more from experts like Jason Winocour.