The socialisation of the internet – Social Media World Forum

Social Media World ForumMy colleague Fran Taylor has kindly allowed me to publish her notes from the Social Media World Forum in March. There are some excellent tips below.

Socialisation of the internet

-    Social media encourages mob or herd like mentality, which can be really negative. The panel gave examples of this in Japan where users of social networks are often anonymous.

-    You need to think about your business objectives first when using social media.

-    If you have a strong product and brand, people will be receptive to you online.

-    More controversially, traditional branding is ‘plastic’, i.e. it’s based on an ideal not a reality. Organisations have to accept that they won’t be perfect and that they’re made up of real people.

-    It’s important to accept that you can make mistakes if you want to be innovative.  Organisations need to remember the importance of ‘playing’.

-    If someone ‘likes’ you on Facebook it doesn’t mean that you’ve made it.  Someone needs to buy your product and give it a good review – this is the end goal, not a social media output.

-    Marketers can be too optimistic when reporting on success e.g. “I have x thousand followers’.  Again, success is in reaching your business goals, not just having fans on social media sites.

-    Quote of the session: “Being dull is a recipe for disaster.” From Joanne Jacobs, social media consultant.

-    Sites like Trip advisor are going to increasingly come into trouble with litigation, which may affect the credibility of review sites in the future.

-    Worryingly the representative from Facebook had no idea if the site was accessible for people with a disability. The panel agreed it needed to be higher on the agenda.

-    You don’t have to be innovative i.e. first to market.  It’s fine to be an ‘adapter’ i.e. to build and improve on what others do first.

-    We can’t move completely to crowd sourcing and social decision making in the future.  You still need leaders and experts.

Measuring reputation and monitoring social media activity

Reputation

Klout Logo-    The two main tools at the moment are Klout and Peer index.

-    Reputation measurement is still flawed through social media – you need to take these figures with a pinch of salt as they don’t reflect the full picture, although they can be useful.

-    Sites like Stack Overflow are being used for reputation scores in employing people in the tech industry.

-    It’s important to know who are the major tweeters and bloggers in your industry and engage with them.

Measuring activity

-    There are lots of agencies and products that could help us measure our social media activity.  Brandwatch, Synthesio UK to name a few.

-    It’s important to remember that monitoring agencies can’t access private content e.g. a lot of LinkedIn and Facebook.

-    Good quote: “In real life all good relationships start by listening.”  You need to know what you are listening to online and what types of conversations you want to monitor.

-    It’s important to collect qualitative as well as quantitative information.

-    Sampling can be effective.

-    Sentiment analysis is when you look at whether content is positive, neutral or negative.

-    If you have more sophisticated systems, they can link in to your CRM data.

-    Google alerts are misleading – they only pick up around 5% of content.

-    Free tools are ok but very limited.  You have to weigh up time spent vs. value.

-    Measurement is about outcomes and changes in behaviour.  People are not ‘avatars’ or ‘clicks’.

Where social media fits in an organisation and PR

-    It’s important to be clear who is accountable for activity, but no one can own social media.

-    Be clear about how you measure your activity and what your business goal is.

-    You can’t control, only follow and contribute.

-    You need to set guidelines for staff, coach and train them.  Focus on empowering them, again, rather than controlling.

-    Sometimes the line between PR and customer service can get blurred through social media.

-    It’s not about being ‘liked’ it’s about adding value.

Fran Taylor
http://twitter.com/#!/BL_Creative

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