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The Grand Social Media Experiment. We learn by doing.


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Decisions, decisions…on choosing the right social media channels

What if social media channels had been around in 1959?

So, you’ve decided to go social. Now how do you choose the best social media channels for your group or organization?

Blogging or microblogging? Social networking or social bookmarking? Multimedia, reviews, opinions, and wikis, oh my!

It does get a little overwhelming out there, but don’t worry: you don’t have to use them all. Choose your channels for the audience you want to reach, the kind of content you want to share with them, and the results you want to achieve.

Channels are great tactical tools, but to use them wisely, you have to get strategic. Plan your communications so that social media serves your objectives, your goals, and ultimately your mission. Otherwise, why bother?

Let’s say your mission is to make the world better informed by sharing your expertise. If your goal is to build and strengthen your clientele, choose a channel where you can go into depth.

Blogging is a natural for professional advisors—lawyers, tax accountants, editors, and consultants of all types. It’s also good for teachers, researchers, stay-at-home parents, authors, government officials, and politicians—in other words, people who do a lot of explaining.

If you blog on the basis of your expertise, you can also provide guidance on review and opinion sites as well as wikis. Likewise, businesses that depend on being reviewed—the hospitality, restaurant, and travel industries come to mind—will also want to be in dialogue with reviewers.

Suppose your content is primarily verbal, but its value is highly time-sensitive—think of reporters, activists, celebrities, crisis communicators—you can share up-to-the minute information on a microblog. This channel is also good for cross-promoting updates to your other social media channels.

But suppose you want to show, not just tell. In that case, focus on multimedia. Some channels specialize in still images—good for galleries, museums, artists, designers, garden centers, or mail-order retailers, to name a few.

For more multimedia impact, focus on moving images with sound. Video channels are just the thing for a how-to demonstration from a skilled tradesperson, a travelogue from a tourism bureau, a teaser from a film or TV company, the latest release from a musician, or a political action not covered by the major media.

Would you like to keep up with industry news? With social bookmarking, a typeface manufacturer can track the use of its fonts in the digital world. Are you a fan of popular culture? Share and save the latest links with social bookmarking. Do prospects have trouble finding your niche product or service on a too-general Internet search engine? Try social bookmarking and get noticed faster by the right people.

If you’d like to tailor the scope of your appeal, social networking works for both mass and niche marketing campaigns. Business-oriented social networkers include retailers, nonprofits, fundraisers, and executive recruiters.

Again, there’s no need to use every channel. Start with just one or two that suit your strategies. Keep them updated with content that your audience(s) will value. Get strategic, and get social! (LA)

Note: Thanks to ApartmentTherapy.com for showcasing the “Faux Vintage Tech Ads” from Brazilian ad agency Moma.


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Social Media Controversy: As A Marketing Tool

http://socialmediatoday.com/tobymargetts/1505976/key-social-be-controversial

According to some analysis, controversy can have a positive result on some organizations. Let’s face it everyone has something to share when it come to organizations that are in the media for something that was said or an issue that company is facing.

The negative media attention can be a great way for companies to can exposure and boost its followers.

In 2012, Oreo posted its Oreo Pride cookie and the company later took it down by issuing a public apology to the LGBT community. In a statement Oreo posted the following blog:

Oreo accompanied its post with: “Proudly support love!” in clear support of gay rights – an issue that continues to polarise the United States, a territory where Oreo is extremely popular. In a matter of seconds, Oreo, usually known for its inane and wacky ramblings on the best way to consume its sugary treats, thrust itself into the frenzied midst of a social and political debate. Everyone that was talking about gay marriage was suddenly talking about Oreo because the brand dared to voice an opinion.  

The update received over 140,000 likes and 19,000 comments. Many were from disillusioned churchgoers claiming Oreo was destroying religious values and teaching immorality. Others commended the brand for its bravery and supported its stance on equality. The levels of social engagement were almost unprecedented and waves of media coverage followed, putting Oreo firmly in the public eye outside the context of the initial purpose of the post.

Oreo successfully drew the world’s eyeballs and its reputation soared, bolstered by its Manager of Corporate Affairs, Stephanie Minna Cass’ unwavering declaration that: “Kraft Food has a proud history of celebrating diversity and inclusiveness. The Oreo ad is a fun reflection of our values.”

It continues to be one of the fastest growing social brands on the planet.
Among others are American Red Cross and Ambercrombie & Fitch. So social media is an results driven society that can change a negative outlook into a positive one. @GrahmsJ

 


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Valuing your social media posts DEJ

One can add value to social media posts by making sure there is always a good sense of good customer service. It can only help get your message across clear and precise. Make sure the information is easily accessible for those viewing your page. Create a frequently asked questions portion, links, and contact information. Create multiple channels to help alleviate frustrations when searching for information.

Ben Davis with The philosophy of social customer service stated “Companies need to move from managing customers, to facilitating collaborative experiences and on-going dialogue that customer’s value. By doing this companies will create the ability to monitor what consumers do and say to one another on social platforms accessing unbiased feedback and behavioural data on a huge scale. This insight should revolutionise the way marketers think and what they do.” DJ


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Comments and the art of social media home maintenance

Is there any better season to procrastinate than summer? When it’s too hot to weed and mow, and a pile of unsorted mail is cluttering up the kitchen counter, let’s find a nice, cool place to chew over social media. I’ll have a tall, virtual glass of iced lemonade with that, how about you?

Comments in your channels are like handwritten notes among the ads and bills in your mailbox. In an over-hyped, over-messaged, over-memed world, someone noticed you and cared enough to respond. So now that you have an audience, what should you do with positive or (gulp) negative comments?

Managing your channels is an essential skill for social media success. Skillful management can be tactical or strategic. Clever tactics are great in the short run, but smart strategies will prepare you to handle—and possibly avoid—controversies or other problems that come with the territory. With that in mind, let’s consider how to handle comments both tactically and strategically.

• Why are you using social media? If you just want to start a conversation, consider it done. But if you want to promote something specific—a brand, idea, product, or service—look for patterns in the comments. Then ask yourself whether your message and channels are reaching your intended audience.

• Who is commenting, and why does it matter? If you just want to filter out spambots, use a CAPTCHA utility to identify human visitors. But if you want to build relationships and align values, develop what linguists call “communicative competence”: the ability to use language appropriately for your online community. A values-based community supports its members—and you. That matters.

• What is the overall tenor of the comments? If you’re mainly concerned about verbal abuse, install a profanity filter, post a comment policy, and maintain it consistently. But if you want to grow a supportive community, engage people with courtesy. Thank them personally. Ask open-ended questions. Healthy debate is is a sign of engagement.

• Concerned about complaints? If people simply want to be heard, a kind word at the right time may be all they need. But if you want to earn their loyalty, help them solve a problem. Your professionalism will shine through, and your engaged community may come up with an even better solution.

• When controversies arise, don’t ignore them. Regret is not an admission of guilt. Let people know what they can realistically expect from you. Resolve private issues offline. To be proactive, include social media strategy within your organization’s crisis communications plan. You’ll be better prepared to turn problems into opportunities.

Think of comments as linguistic currency that builds social assets. Managed skillfully, comments ensure that messages, channels, and audiences are consistently aligned in support of your mission and objectives. An engaged, supportive, values-based community is an asset that money can’t buy.

So be authentic. Don’t settle for astroturfing. For real grassroots support, cultivate your comments and answer the mail. You’ll have an online home that welcomes visitors again and again.

Now back to work!—(LA)


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“Value” and values in social media

Adding value to social media posts is more than a matter of incorporating the latest multimedia tactics. Though pictures, videos, and links attract attention, flashy special effects can just as easily distract or annoy Internet visitors. Comment forums promote interaction, a key benefit of social media, but neglected forums can devolve into sinkholes of spam and verbal abuse.

In contrast, the perception of value is a strategic outcome: the result of a communications program that provides usefulness (“value” in the instrumental sense) while aligning an organization’s mission and objectives with those of its audiences (“value” in the ethical sense).

A truly valuable post provides the right content to the appropriate audience in a timely and engaging manner. Such content may take various forms, depending on the product or service being marketed through social media.

For example, law offices market expertise by blogging on legal topics. Film companies market entertainment through movie trailers on YouTube. Nonprofits market social uplift through targeted crowdfunding appeals on Facebook. Colleges market affiliation through alumni networking on password-protected forums.

Pictures, videos, links, comment areas, and the like are worth adding when they are useful to selected audiences, drawing them into closer alignment with the organization. Enhanced reputation and supportive networks justify the return on a social media investment. Now that’s value. (LA)