Category Archives: Social Media Networks in Business

Final Post – Blogging – A reflection

Well the time has come… time to hand this in…

What is a Blog?  Well to me I have always thought of a Blog as a personal online journal that can be like a diary or posts on a specific topic.  Pretty much anybody that has access to the web can sign up for a basic blog account and start publishing.

Personal I do not blog nor do I read blogs but if I were to read a blog it would have to be of interest to me and must be a “good read”.  For example the writer involves the reader, puts a little of themselves into the post, uses a bit of humour, the post are straight to the point and not too long. I think I got a little lost in specifics rather than voicing my own opinion.

The design of the blog would be the same principles of website design with lots of white space, not too crowded with lots of content and boxes everywhere.  The blog would have regular posts daily or weekly.

The reason why I pick this template design is because the design is basic, there is good use of white space, not too much advertising, not too crowded, nice font and the background is easy to read on.

WordPress and the tools were easy to set up and use once I had a play around.  At first it was hard to get into writing mode but towards the end I have found it enjoyable.  However I would have like to include more humour and more of a personal writing style but is not too appropriate for this subject and assignment.

To me it seems that blogs are changing now that businesses are utilising blogs they have become more formal and more like a website rather than a blog.  I find some of these too commercial and contain too much detail, where in the past it was more amateur, someone speaking from their own opinion.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog…

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Summary – Social Media in Business

I’m running out of words, literally, 1500 words is not many!  But the lecturer did say we didn’t have to go back and delete and edit 🙂

Well for my last post on Social Media I would summarise a few things and keep it brief.

The main things to consider before adopting any social media tools is to know what you want to use it for, research is required in to what suits you best and how the tool works.  It is important if you choose to adopt any of these tools to use it, engage, be active and ready to respond. Keep it simple, relevant and be interesting, nothing worst then reading a boring blog or receiving millions of tweets a day!

Don’t be afraid to blend with the other users, the whole thing about social media is that it is not so formal, be a little unprofessional and relate to the users.

Research, experiment, ask other people and businesses and most importantly have a little fun 🙂

Social Media Marketing
Rules of engagement

This guy pretty much sums up what I’m trying to say but also even uses the same words as me!

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Social Media Technologies and Tools

Well there is so much information available these days about social media tool and technologies.  As an organisation you need to find out what you want to use, who’s your target and which best suits your organisation.  The first question you should ask is “what do you want to use it for?” (Again we can group these tools out into the 4 C’s, note most of these can be in more than one category and these are just a few examples). These tools can create value for your organisation by facilitating communication, building business links and to create new opportunities.

Communication
There are a range of choice here, depending on who and how you want to communication, e.g could be for marketing, communicating, creating networks, the choice is yours:

Facebook and Twitter seem to be the most popular ones and growing the fastest in popularity.

Cooperation
People are able to share their knowledge through videos, bookmark and share links of interest.

Media Sharing: YouTube, Flickr, Mediashare, Treemo, SmugMug, Picasa web albums, Photobucket

YouTube is great for advertising, there are a lot of videos out there that organisations use to get their brand recognised or even ads before the video plays.

Collaboration
Great tools for team, project work and for knowledge management:

Connection
Connect your content and connect with others, build networks and new business opportunities:

What other social media tools can you think of?

Here are some articles you may find interesting:

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Social Media –The Mix

Well when you really thinking about it customers have always had an opportunity to voice their opinions… maybe just not as this easy as now days so nothings really changed.  Previously if a customer had a complaint it probably wasn’t widely circulated around the media, maybe just through word of mouth and only within a small community of individuals.  Now days it is so easy to publish online, consumers are able to find out almost anything (whether good or bad).  When you search on the internet there are loads of results such as reviews, forum postings, blogs etc, most people conduct research on the internet before purchasing whether it’s for a good or service because it is so easy to find information.  If you are not on the web you’re going to miss out!  The advantage here for the company is that they are going to be alerted to the situation, therefore they can response (have their say) or offer a solution.  Watch the Samsung video below, what it offered to IPhone 4 users and how fast the word travelled through social media.

How fast news travels on Social Media – Samsung Galaxy S

Social Media can help provide that medium in which networks can be created, links between individuals and businesses.  Again getting individuals to cooperate, collaborate and to build those networks.  So you’re thinking what are the advantages?

  • If customers, employees, stakeholders are cooperating, they are contributing, therefore collaborating which could benefit the organisation with ideas, help with problem solving, identify issues and problems, collaborate etc.
  • For internal use, social media allows interaction within the organisation, it keeps employees informed, the employees have somewhere to easily voice their opinions, allows everyone to contribute and get involved which could improve the overall employee morale and the organisational culture.
  • Builds a network of followers which could assist with customer relationship management, it makes it easy to advertise and market to these followers, free advertising e.g. if they tell friends and get them to join. Gives the ability to create new business opportunities.
  • There are so many social media applications out there and free therefore a benefit could be a good, cheap, and easy marketing tool.

These are just some of the benefits of social media, next time I will be looking at some social media technologies available to businesses.

Check out these articles which discuss some of the advantages for businesses:

Ford and Social Media
How Ford used social media to market its brand, built relationships and how it involved individuals (external and internal stakeholders).

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Social Media within the organisation

Okay so we’ve talked a little about how social media can benefit customers and external stakeholders but what about internal stakeholders?

One of the biggest benefits for organisations is the ability to break the lines of communication.  Most organisation have hierarchical or functional structures, but the use of social media will see a flat organisational structure which will give direct access to the top without all the “go between” to get through.  We will see collaboration between different functions of the organisation and social media will not just be limited to the marketing department.

Social media gives the ability for organisations to communicate to all its employees whether it’s through Facebook, Twitter, blogs or forums etc.  They are able to communicate easily, the employees are well-informed, and they have a medium that gives the ability to give feedback, comment and interact.  This whole “interaction” is important as it is part of the other 4C’s mention before.

  • Cooperation – which is getting people to share with others
  • Collaboration – getting people together to work on things
  • Connections which provides connection to and between people and networks.

It may be hard for organisations to get their head around this whole social media in their workplace and adopt social media tools but it is a reality and here to stay. Here is a good  article  about businesses tapping into social media.  For an organisational to stay competitive today it needs to keep up with these technologies.

Social media gives the ability for anyone to communicate their opinions whether bad or good and this could be quite dangerous for organisations, this is why organisations need to be ready to REACT.  On the other hand it also needs cooperation from the employees to adopt and use the tools too.  Check out this article when Coca-Cola’s social experiment when wrong and customer’s started attacking each other and other companies that faced issues when adopting social media that allow customers to share their thoughts and also this article about O2 and its follower of the week experiment.

Have you heard of the porous membrane?  Basically this represents internal conversations and external conversation, x is the membrane that can help separate the conversations if misaligned,  click on the link below for the full description.

The porous membrane: why corporate blogging works.

http://gapingvoid.com/2005/05/09/the-porous-membrane-why-corporate-blogging-works/

So now we’re thinking how is this going to work?  Internal conversations… external conversations… Is this a good mix?  Customers allow to share their thoughts?

Could your staff be damaging your organisation through social media?

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Social Media Networks in Business

So what can businesses use social media for?  As I gather my thoughts on the whole concept of social media and business networks I stop to think to analyse how social media can help businesses.

What comes to mind is communication and the ability to interact… yes Web2.0 and the 4 C’s outlined in Niall Cook’s Enterprise 2.0 book.  Communication, Cooperation, Collaboration and Connection, these are the primary functions of social software.  There are many social media technologies available but the popular ones we hear about all the time are Facebook and Twitter.  I think the main thing here is to focus on are these 4 C’s.  How these primary functions can assist businesses to form networks and communication with its stakeholders whether it be by text, video, image or a combination of these.

A good example is when BNZ turn to social media software Twitter after the Christchurch earthquake to tweet to its followers which ATMs/branches were operational and to help track down their staff.  Using Twitter they are able to build relationships with their customers and create a community of followers; which has proven successful for BNZ.  This gives BNZ  a competitive advantage and they can differentiate themselves  from the other banks.  In this case it was an easy way for BNZ to communicate information to its followers in an emergency situation.   The article states that BNZ is a leader and early adopter of social media compare to other banks and even goes as far to say “some people would switch banks because of the strengths of its earthquake-related social media activities“.   The full article outlines more information on future trends in banking and social media.

Another aspect of the Communication side is the ability to build a community of different stakeholders, whether this is the employees, suppliers, customers it gives the opportunity for these individuals to interact and collaborate.  Now what do you think the advantages are of using social media?

P.S. Something I came across today that I hadn’t encountered before is a chat box popping up while online shopping, “Do you require assistance with your purchase today”.. they were very helpful but how freaky is that!

Believe it or not… something to think about..

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