Liveblogging’s BlogWell DC

Yesterday, I made my way out to USA TODAY’s headquarters in McLean, Virginia, to liveblog BlogWell DC, an event about how big brands use social media. I covered presentations by USA TODAY, Discovery Communications, Delta Air Lines, and the IRS.

I was pretty impressed with the quality of the presentations and the variety of social media strategies discussed. Among the highlights:

  • What America Wants, a 4-day Twitter campaign to win a full-page ad for your favorite charity (USA TODAY)
  • Streaming live tweets onscreen during a primetime show (Discovery)
  • An April Fool’s joint press release with the Bronx Zoo cobra (or, at least, its Twitter account holder) for a Snake on the Town documentary (Discovery)
  • Tweeting at a user who was wondering what TV show to watch (Discovery) (this was one of the most interesting — the idea of searching for relevant tweets then encouraging a user to buy/use/consume your product)
  • Quick customer service on Twitter (Delta)

Some of the common themes:

  • Make it easy to engage and participate
  • The worry that users will share personal information (phone numbers, SSNs) on sites like Facebook
  • Be human (send direct messages, respond to tweets, etc.)

Overall, the event just opened my eyes to all the innovative and targeted ways to use social media to engage customers. Well done!