I attended the Triangle Tweetup on April 30th at Bronto’s office in the American Tobacco Campus with great anticipation.  I had been following the past tweetups online since I had not be able to attend the past few events.  The location was awesome since I had not been to Durham in over a year and the DPAC looked incredible as I strolled towards Bronto’soffice.

I was glad that I printed my ticket so I did not have to wait in line to check in.  I saw my colleague at SAS, Dave Thomas as I arrived and had a short discussion with him before he prepared for this panel discussion, Brands, Business and Twitter moderated by Kipp Bodnar @kbodnar32.  The panelists were: Dave Thomas, @DavidBThomas, SAS, Social Media Manager; Thor Kessler, @thorstenkessler, Raleigh Grande Movie Theater, General Manager; and Ryan Boyles, @theRab, IBM, Project Zero Community Manager.
The panelists began with introductions and some background on how their companies are using Twitter.  Dave Thomas explained how SAS Institute @sasinstitute has a Twitter account with only one tweet, “At SAS we’re letting our employees do the tweeting for now,” followed by a list of SAS staff members with Twitter accounts.  The reason for this is that people want to communicate with other people than brands.  SAS has used social media for events like the SAS Global Forum (SGF), the annual SAS user group meeting.  By using the #SGF hash tag and creating a NetVibes portal participants were able to communicate using Web 2.0 as well as allowing non-attendees to follow the event from a attendee’s perspective.
Thor Kessler spoke next about how he has been able to connect with customers of the Raleigh Grande Cinema due to his efforts on Twitter and Facebook.   Kessler noted his efforts in social media have allowed customers to bring concerns to his attention, allowing him to better serve his customers.
The next topic question posed to the panel was to tweet as a company or as an individual.  This was particularly interesting to me since I manage my personal Twitter account and three brand accounts right now. The panel agreed that the voice and power of the individual is greater than the brand.  Ryan Boyles added that, “@therab brings credibility to IBM.”
The final topic the panel discussed was, “can you use Twitter and get work done?”  The panel said yes and stated that lazy employees are not a social media problem,they are a management problem.  I found this to ring true as productivity stems from good management, communication, processes and measurement best practices that have to be set in place for today’s companies.
Overall the event was a great success.  Many thanks to the Triangle Tweetup team @dgtlpapercuts, @ginnyskal, @kbodnar32, @theRab, @ToAsTySnAcKs  and @Bronto for sharing their office space with us!

Brian McDonald

Brian McDonald started Square Jaw Media to document strategies and techniques he had used over his experience working in marketing and communications since 1990. During this time Brian wrote about many of the exciting Raleigh social media events where great knowledge was being shared and tries to share some of the tips and tricks. . Read Brian's full bio.