MARK4474: Considerations in Social Media

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(Courtesy: LA Weekly)

While I found that a lot of facts presented in “Users of the world, unite!” we’re obvious, there were still a few takeaways. Most importantly, it presented the challenges that companies face when using Web 2.0 applications (and social media by extension)

Despite the obvious fact that Web 2.0 platforms (social media) have grown exponentially over the last decade or so, there are still challenges for the companies using these platforms. Finding the right platform, aligning activities across platforms, and presentation, are all what I think are most important when using a social media site.

Finding the right platform that fits: Make sure the platform you choose fits within the operation of your company. If used improperly, you may be reaching the wrong audience (and wasting time). This means you need to spend more time understanding your target market before you can actually choose an application to use. If the right platform/application isn’t at your disposal, consideration should be given into building your own. This way you can satisfy all of your needs.

A good example of this in the travel industry would be Expedia (even if we hate them). Because their target audience can be very broad they have done a good job of using as many social media sites as possible. Their Twitter account is used mostly for promotional activities, where they include a link to their promotion with a picture of what they are promoting. On top of that, Twitter users are able to tweet them about any issues they are having and the Expedia account directs them to the right place. On Instagram, they are slightly less professional by sharing photos from other travellers.

Another important aspect is making sure you know who will have access to these social media accounts. Make sure those who are involved know the direction your business is going. It’s also important to ensure that “Bob, from accounting” doesn’t have direct access.

More importantly, lighten the heck up. Personally speaking, there is nothing worse than following a company on Twitter, if their average message involves regular business activity that we already know about. You aren’t going to send the proper message to your audience if it isn’t personable or funny. Then again, if you are an accounting firm using social media, you are as boring as can get (so don’t worry about impressing us).

Despite the time that needs to be put into presenting the right image, I think everyone should use some form of social media to reach their audience. When compared to paying for actual ads it is a great alternative.

Reference:

Andreas M. Kaplan, M. H. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media . Business Horizons, 53, 59-68.

Categories: MARK4474- Social Media

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