The Social Media Wars (Part 2 of 2) By Holly Nielsen, Social Media Manager and Webmaster, Human Ability and Accessibility
In the Social Media Wars (Part 1 of 2) I defined the terms of social media, social networking and social business, reviewed why you might want to include social media channels in your marketing plan, and how to define your objective before you select a channel(s) and get started.
Here are my thoughts about the current top pros and cons of each of the Big Five (in alphabetical order) to help you decide which social media channel might best meet your needs.
Use of #hashtags makes it easy to extend your message beyond your existing followers.
Many third-party apps available to help you categorize your account, thus finding accounts to follow and add followers.
Mobile version available.
Unique URL available.
Multiple third-party clients available.
Retweet (RT) capability makes it easy to find and share relevant information from other Twitter users with your audience.
140-character limit means your messages must be very brief, and depth of interaction is limited.
Profile information, called your bio, is also limited to 160 characters and a URL.
You need to repeat your tweets multiple times because there is so much content that it is easy for your followers to miss your tweets.
Some general rules apply
across all of the social media channels and you must be prepared for them before
you execute your social media plan:
All of the channels take significant resources to
maintain, whether you trade off among staff or dedicate one person. One of
the worst mistakes is to start an account or page, then neglect it. Your
followers will drop off and not come back, a potentially paralyzing blow
to a corporate brand.
Spend the time doing your competitive research.
Which channels are your competitors using? Are they using them well? Could
you do it better?
There is no
avoiding negative feedback. Professional naysayers, known as trolls, are also a fact of life online. Consider social
channels as a mechanism to address legitimate customer concerns promptly
and publicly. Ultimately, resolving customer concerns in these highly
visible public forums can improve overall customer loyalty and
satisfaction. Acknowledge complaints immediately, even if you don’t have a
resolution or you could become a case study in a blog like the one I wrote
in January 2012, Preventing
Customer Service Fumbles from Going Viral: A Social Media Cautionary Tale.
a troll tries to engage you, keep your responses professional and on topic. As
a rule, if trolls can’t get the emotional reaction out of you that they’re
seeking, they will eventually leave you alone and search for easier targets. If
the interaction becomes profane, offensive, abusive, or continues for more than
a couple of interactions, don’t hesitate to ban the troll and delete posts.
Your followers don’t want to see that stuff either.
just passed a law against online trolling that is waiting for the
governor’s signature. It’s not expected to hold up in a court challenge, but it
does show that trolling is an annoyance, and unlikely to go away, so having a strategy to deal with it is the prudent thing to do.
My recommendation is start slowly. Pick one
social media channel and work on building your
following there, then add more channels as your bandwidth allows.
Engage in conversation, be a resource for relevant, related content and build your community. If you do nothing but push your products and services, you’ll turn off your potential customers quickly. A good rule of thumb is to only mention your “stuff” every 10 posts, tweets, or pins.
I manage social networking
for IBM Accessibility, and for now, you’ll
find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. At
some point, we may increase our presence in additional channels, but we’re
meeting our objectives with our activities in these three.
A few resources to get you
started (I can hardly do this justice—so many talented and knowledgeable people
are out there):
Readers, if I missed your
favorite social media experts, please add them in the comments section.
Holly Nielsen is the Social Media Manager and webmaster for the Human Ability and Accessibility Center, IBM Research. Located in sunny Northern California, Holly manages the IBM Accessibility social media program and the www.ibm.com/able website. She is passionate about accessibility and social networking, and frequently blogs about social networking trends and assorted topics that spark her interest.
Reimagine work in the cloud
Fri, Nov 21st 2014 6:12a Colleen Burns This week you heard about IBM Verse – a new cloud solution to help you re-imagine the way you work. We’re excited to be at the forefront of delivering these capabilities first in the IBM Cloud.
It’s easy to get started today, taking advantage of the latest capabilities from our social and collaboration cloud offerings.
We have some great new capabilities coming this month, designed to help you:
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Put the user first. It’s such a simple idea, but to come up with a truly user-friendly product is no simple feat. We all know this intuitively, based on all of the frustrating interfaces we deal with on a daily basis. It happens so rarely that it seems like some sort of alchemy when it does happen.
A big part of the problem is that too many tech companies in particular think that the more features they can pack into a product, the better. They don [read] Keywords: connections
KISS: Keep It Small, Stupid
Wed, Nov 19th 2014 9:12a Colleen Burns We are all accustomed to reading books and articles that reference history, be it in the form of mythology, old wives tales, ancient civilizations or breakthroughs of the past two centuries. So when I read Shane Snow’s book, Smartcuts, and heard him speak at the IBM Verse event in New York City, it was startling to hear him refer to transient, specific events from the past two years. For example, with an entire chapter of his book devoted to the fast rise of YouTube phenom Michelle Pha [read] Keywords: connections
Now We Really Can Work Smarter, Not Harder
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Our Ecosystem Speaks: Spotlight on Business Partners
Mon, Nov 17th 2014 12:19p Colleen Burns As in previous years, we are thrilled to highlight partner solutions in the Spotlight on Business Partners track. These sessions are some of the best examples of integration and interesting use cases from trusted, savvy partners.
Attendees to these sessions will:
learn about partner solutions that you could use; and
get inspired and learn how to integrate your own solutions to products within the IBM portfolio
A few examples of this innovation include Trilog’s [read] Keywords: connections
Excellence is never an accident: Building a smarter workforce
Fri, Nov 14th 2014 9:18a Colleen Burns Posting on behalf of Megan McNamee
Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. -- Paul J. Meyer
In this incredible time of competing pressures—demand for profitable growth, financial market volatility, political uncertainty—finding and engaging the right employees in the right behaviors in the right job remains a critical component of how companies thrive. Business leaders a [read] Keywords: collaboration
Which email confession hits home for you?
Fri, Nov 14th 2014 8:18a Colleen Burns You know you're guilty. Hit reply all for no good reason. Emailed something to the wrong person. Not included the primary recipient. Missed an important email. Forgotten what you were working on because you have so many windows open. We've all done it. We need a new way to communicate. IBM is going to help you find a #newwaytowork. Codename: IBM Mail Next is mail like you have never imagined. Join us for this epic event at 11am ET on November 18. You will be among the first to learn how [read] Keywords: ibm
#20Questions with Leah Lawrence
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