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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Grappling with Real Social Media Questions

 All this while we were planning to run a social media campaign to attract invitees for the networking event. Today, it is the third day of our Twitter strategy execution. Our objective is use Twitter to make connections with the right employers and build client relationships. Apart from telephone contacts and emails, we are using Twitter as a third medium to get through to employers to acquire internships for students. We are first adding the employers on our ‘Followers’ list and then we’ll populate the Twitter stream with messages so that employers can receive updates regarding the event in a non-obtrusive way.

Sounds simple…doesn’t it? Well, while discussing the Twitter strategy and executing it, some fundamental questions worth noting have emerged.  These are real questions people are struggling with in developing an understanding about social media. Nancy, one of the Event co-ordinators asked me how a person should react if someone writes BS about them for no reason. For instance, if I criticize Nancy on blogs with anonymous comments, what will she do? Will she let me say anything about her? Will she defend? She said that the whole social media thing sounds unfair. I told her that I could go and defend by positively dealing with comments but then time becomes a factor too. Nancy wouldn’t want to waste her time wiping peoples’ opinions when they talk BS about her. I was speechless because I hadn’t thought of it that way. 

Another question asked by her on the same grounds but on a macro level stumped me as well. She said that companies do want to adopt social media but they have a fear of being exposed to their customers. The new media gives their customers a platform to share their thoughts with others. This could damage their brand reputation forever. 

According to me, this is a huge risk and companies will have to take it sooner or later. Businesses will have to listen to the customers and respond to them. Gary Vaynerchuk, the author of Thank You Economy says that businesses have to get ready for a paradigm shift in marketing and those who don’t care about the customer will suffer. 

Any thoughts on how these questions could be resolved?  

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Facebook Introduces the ‘Send’ Button

Facebook adds another tool to its set by introducing the ‘Send’ button. The ‘Send’ button allows selective sharing of favorite content with friends. It is different from the ‘Like’ button in the sense that it allows Facebook users to share relevant content with selected friends rather than with everyone. For example, Humber College publishes a blog related to the launch of its Twitter account. If the Humber blog has a ‘Send’ button, then on clicking the button I’ll be able to select my friends at Humber and share the update with them. I won’t have to ‘Like’ the blog and share it with everyone, but instead, I will have the power to choose whom to send the update.  

How will it affect the growing online community?

Well, in my opinion, it will take some time for people to absorb the update. The usage will increase as people get accustomed to this button. I believe that people are still getting used to their ‘Like’ button so how long this will take will depend on how other websites incorporate this button and spread the word.
 When the users are fairly accustomed, it will give them a chance to selectively customize and share the message. The ‘Send’ button will help small business owners to distribute relevant content to their clients. This could be important for their business as it will give them another way to spark discussions and build better relationships. Overusing the ‘Send’ button could, however, crumble their relationship.

What do you think? Will the ‘Send’ button make a difference?