Archive for January, 2012

Blogging: Does Your Organization Have a Blog?

Do you have a blog?  How about your organization?  Blogs are an important communication tool in the world of new media.

Way back in 2005, Business Week ran an article about the importance of blogging for organizations.  Years later, nothing has changed.  In fact, blogs are increasingly important as a more human approach to PR, image management, and marketing.

An organization’s blog gives the opportunity to become an expert in something.  As you become the “go-to” expert in your field, your brand will benefit.

A companies blog is not just for product announcements, advertising campaigns, and other push methods.  The blog becomes an opportunity to share expertise, advice and other relevant information.

One of the biggest challenges to starting a blog is coming up with content.  Here’s a list of tips.

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Organizational Uses: 5 Things to Consider When Launching Your Social Media Campaign

Social Media offers so many options and possibilities, it can be hard to know where to start.  With the right plan in place, any organization can run a successful social media campaign and engage their audience.  Organizations working to build engagement and a following online should consider these 5 items from the beginning.

Voice/Branding or the “Feel of your Page”

Organizations should focus on the feel of their online presence early on.  If you do not decide how to present your social media presence to your audience, others will shape this for you.  While you can never be completely in control of your presence online, you should manage this from the beginning.  Ask yourself “what should our online voice be?”, “who are we as an organization” and “what do we want people to see when they look at interactions on our pages?”

Do you want your page to be where people go to find information on your organization?  Where people go for customer service?  A place where your audience can offer suggestions and ideas?  A page where your audience can interact with each other and offer support and ideas?  With this in mind from the introduction of your social media campaign, you can cater to these options and help to shape the feel of your brand.

Audience

Social media and the internet in general allow you to reach millions throughout the globe.  However you should consider your target audiences and tailor your content to them, especially when first building a following.  Not only can your content be tailored to target specific audiences, but your choice of social networks may be influenced.

Also, it is not enough to just create a Facebook page, Twitter account, and post a video to your YouTube channel.  Organizations need to be where their audience is.

For more on seeking out your audience, check out this article.

Interaction

Social media is all about interacting with your audience and potential customers.  Organizations need to include this in their social media plan.  A means for responding to questions, complaints, praise, anything really, is an integral part of successful social media use.  When people mention you on twitter, or comment on your page, you need to be prepared to respond to encourage further interaction.  Validating a consumers decision to put something about your organization online will lead to further interaction.

Note: This is not to be confused with fueling negativity or engaging trolls.

Example of what not to do.

Manage Expectations

In connection with interacting with your audience, it is important to manage their expectations.  In today’s world of smartphones and constant connectivity, it can be easy to interact when you have 3 fans and 12 followers.  Care should be made to ensure that as your page grows, you have not set any unrealistic expectations for your fans.  What is realistic and unrealistic will depend on your organization and the resources available.

Tracking

I wish I didn’t have to include this, but most people running a social media campaign will be accountable to someone for its success.  This will include the dreaded ROI question.  So if you are going to manage your audience’s expectations, you should also have a plan for tracking your social media success and managing your employers expectations.

Mashable has compiled a nice guide to metrics on Facebook.  Many of these are the same things you should be tracking on your other social media sites.  However the purpose of each site will vary, so the way you measure success on each should adapt as needed.

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The Big Seven- Facebook Launching “Frictionless” Sharing of Your Online Activities

This week Facebook is expected to announce new ways for users to share their actions online.  The past few months have seen actions such as “read” or “watch” used in apps to allow readers to share what they are doing.  Facebook now plans to rollout what it has titled “Open Graph.”  According to Mashable and CNET, this will include a variety of actions that users may share through Facebook.  With the continued move toward sharing the details of an ever increasing amount of time spent interacting with the web, come new opportunities and obstacles for organizations and consumers.

Consumers concerned about privacy will likely choose not to opt-in to this new form of sharing.  However for those who do, new opportunities to participate in a virtual community are made available.  In many ways this is the direction technology is taking society, and the ability to share what you are watching, listening to, or reading with your friends furthers that.

Organizations are given the opportunity to connect with consumers in new ways, as well as to gain understanding into what activities potential consumers and customers engage in.

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UPDATE

Facebook has rolled out their update, which according to Mashable includes integration with 60 apps.  From “pinning” on Pinterest, to running with “Map My Run” users now have the ability to share even more of their activities via their Timeline.  What remains to be seen is if this will be more of the same with many users opting out, or if this will lead to the sort of “frictionless sharing” Facebook desires.

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