YOUR 10 COMMANDMENTS

This list is by no means complete. Its a summary of key considerations when creating and implementing a social media campaign within a wider marketing strategy.

Focus on people not tech

Technology is a hygiene factor, a ticket to the game everybody can buy. Connecting with people’s hearts and leaving them emotionally positively disposed to you is the only sustainable currency. It seems intuitive and very obvious but for most brands it remains elusive. Apple have repeatedly made a success of launching products that are people centric hence the sustainability of its success and its ever increasing share price and market valuation.

Build conversations, not campaigns

Campaigns have a finite timeline be it weeks, months and even days, but conversations linger. They push, prod and permeate your thoughts.

Content is an enabler

Content should not be the objective. Ultimately it’s a means to an end, it’s the firelighter sparking a call to action and hopefully the beginning of a lingering conversation.

Add value

Make a difference! Sometimes its tangible but most often its an intangible a feel good factor which over time is reinforced into a hallow effect for you and your brand.

Listen

Campaigns are perceived as communication in one direction whereas a conversation requires a speaker and a listener. Listening is inherently complicated, as missing messaging nuances can easily derail a positive experience. Listening requires patience, a willingness to understand and add value.

Spread the word

Positive reinforcement and remaining relevant requires action and persistency. Across multiple social media platforms this can easily be achieved without making the messaging redundant, stale or appearing repetitive. Get family and friends to share your content, remember sharing is caring.

Be prepared (Alert, Assess, Act)

Given the always on nature of social media engagement, remaining connected at all times is essential. Using an aggregator like Hootsuite allows for easy and timeous reviews of timelines without flipping through a number of web pages.

Measure progress

For a defined objective set up key metrics to measure the success of the engagement. Set benchmarks for specific milestones and never stop measuring. There is never too little data.

Continual optimisation

Tweaking and finessing interactions as they unfold is one of the key benefits of using social media platforms. Social media can be highly interactive or as dreary as a newspaper, the greater the investment in generating a positive conversation the greater the long-term engagement.

Be in it for the long-term (relationships take time to build)

Much like beneficial offline personal relationships which are developed over time through consistency of interactions, online relationships are no different. The same principles apply but are often forgotten given the perceived anonymity. Focus on remaining relevant.

 Until next time, please send your comments and thoughts.

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SOCIAL MEDIA HERE UNTIL FOREVER

Social Media and Social Networking Sites are a collective term used to describe Internet hosted and Web powered applications and platforms allowing interactions with each other across a wide variety of social activities.

Massi

Although in our generation it appears to have been a newly minted concept the process of interaction, the human need for this interaction and the motivational drivers underpinning it have always existed. Massi summarises and superimposes the motivational drivers for Social Media & Networking usage on the famed Maslow hierachy of needs:

  • Discovery
  • Altruism
  • Social
  • Fame
  • Escapism
  • Expression

Not difficult to argue the science and this study was completed in 2010 when MySpace still featured.

What arguably has changed significantly is the speed, breadth and depth of interaction. Ranging not only from initially posting a video or a comment on one platform to multitudes of platforms with a single click. Social Media have ensured we are always connected.

It is important to remember all Social Media users are active Web users but that not all Web users are Social Media participants! Similar to the evolution of the Web, Social Network sites have over time evolved allowing users and publishers to push and pull content form each other. This not only was underpinned by the technology evolution causing the Web to transform from being one directional but was hastened predominately by the the sharp and sustained rise in in mobile device adoption rates and technology advancements.

Today we have the tools to co-create, collaborate and partake in immersive experiences from across the world without leaving our chairs. For Brands and Businesses this has significant meaning:

  • Social Media is here until forever
  • Social Media ensures depth and breadth of interactions are increasing
  • Timely, consistent messaging & content across platforms are crucial
  • Ensure content consumers are engaged transparently or you will be caught
  • On and offline experiences should complement each other not be an obstacle

Web 2.0 and beyond

The Web and the Internet are often used as interchangeable terms and viewed as one inseparable utility. The Web should be viewed as the interface to browse and interact across the Internet effectively a hypertext linked set of documents. The Internet on the other hand is the infrastructure or network the Web utilises. It facilitates the transfer of data across its globally interconnected network.Source: Radar Networks

The  accompanying chart sourced from Radar Networks and Nova Spivack, illustrate that since 1980 underpinned by the mass rollout of computers, major Web development cycles have averaged about 10 years.

Delving a bit deeper

Web 1.0 is characterised as an environment where information was predominately pushed online to consumers who had limited means or functionality to share it with others. Web 2.0 provides the capability for increased content co-creation and sharing online by producers and consumers within a truly global context. Sir Tim Berners-Lee views Web 3.0 or the Semantic Web as an extension of Web 2.0, not a separate new Web. It is based on the existing functionality and ensures information is given a well-defined meaning better enabling computers and people to work collaboratively.

The enhancement of the Web has facilitated a world which is the most interconnected it has ever been. As Web 3.0 is implemented and data is given increased meaning users can expect a more personalised experience at greater speeds as computers and humans are able to co-operate more efficiently.

Web 2.0 applications and Social Media have further permeated our lives providing platforms of always on and connected communication channels. Increasingly companies are integrating Social Media into their Client Relationship Management strategies. As smartphones and other mobile devices increase in functionality and decrease in price, user adoption rates will continue to surprise on the upside and positively impact Web usage. The era of the Internet of Things is upon us and we should expect deeper and broader connections being made in unexpected places.

The Alpha Post

TIoT from Shutterstock

TIoT from Shutterstock

In this series of posts I’ll be discussing how social media as a channel continues to shape and impact our lives and how within a business context one can take advantage of it. Essentially it will use extracts and thoughts from my thesis and will weave in current and relevant trends and observations.

First though is a comment about the medium or platform social media sites uses to interact with us not so much the device but the network of machines which enables us to instantly communicate with each other. Effectively shrinking the world.

Since its creation with roots in the 60s, the Internet and World Wide Web (Web) continues to permeate our lives. It has become an instantaneous platform of interaction. Not only are we able to send and retrieve emails, transmit large volumes of data wirelessly but also communicate verbally and visually. Increasing user activity and Web functionality has underpinned the usage of social media as a communications tool. It is imperative we understand the trends and its implications, as this knowledge can be used to derive more effective interactions personally and professionally.

The Web continues to evolve into a multi-directional model of interaction. As this evolution continues we’ll increasingly be in an era of “The Internet of Things”. Effectively a period where increasingly everything will be connected to the internet. This next phase of development is underpinned by the implementation of Web 3.0 or the Semantic Web. It is about having data as well as documents on the Web so that machines can process, transform, assemble, and even act on the data in useful ways (Yu, 2007). This sequential development follows previous iterations of the Web defined as Web 1.0 (predominately consumption only) and Web 2.0 (increased interaction across websites).

Hope you found it informative.

The next post will discuss Web 2.0 and social media sites, see you then.

Follow me on Twitter: @marlinecas