Its not about the platforms but how you use them (courtesy of Blogworks.org)
I was invited to the Strategic Online PR & Media Relations Asia 2010 conference to share how my organisation embraced social media and managed to glean some useful lessons from the other sessions.
There were a broad range of topics covered – online campaign planning, crisis communications management, brand communications, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), defamation law, social media sentiment monitoring, and web analytics.
What struck me most was that social media strategy is increasingly becoming a mainstream discipline. It is no longer about “gurus” making broad sweeping statements. Instead, it is a richly multi-layered and highly nuanced subject.
Some of the key learnings I have picked up are below:
1) Ensure that your website/blog is able to be picked up easily on mobile platforms. With so many people on Android and Apple devices like iPhone and iPad, it is critical to adapt to mobile surfing needs.
2) Don’t just game the system for traffic by using popular tags that have no relevance whatsoever to your product or service. People will loathe you for deceiving them this way!
3) Measure and assess how your social media platforms are doing. This should go beyond the traditional unique visitors and pageviews to information like traffic sources, number of conversions, time spent on specific pages, search engine phrases, and the popularity of specific content.
4) Learn to listen – and maybe even eavesdrop – on what your online stakeholders are saying. Through web monitoring and sentiment analysis tools/services, you can pick up both the quantity and quality of digital conversations, and adapt your communication tactics accordingly.
5) When building online communities, understand the dynamics of how these work. Develop content and topics that will encourage participation and interaction rather than pure hardsell.
6) Always integrate both your online and offline communication strategies, especially when managing a crisis. Don’t say something in your blog or tweet that is uncoordinated and ill-timed. You may pay heavily for it – just ask Jackie Chan!
7) Understand the dynamics of digital dialogue – authentic, personable, realtime, transparent, and reciprocal. Don’t hide behind a facade or a mask. At the same time, don’t be silly and let a moment of unbridled spontaneity destroy years of goodwill.
8) Protect yourself online by learning about certain basic legal principles like defamation law. Don’t stir trouble for yourself by unnecessary attacking individuals or organisations online without a sound basis for doing so. Better yet, don’t even begin – the online world has enough negative energy as it is!
9) Having a presence on every available social networking platform isn’t enough. At times, it may even be unnecessary. What you do with them is far more important, and each have very different dynamics. While Twitter may be useful to connect to fellow professionals, Facebook could be a better way to share more personal and social content.
A hat tip to organiser Linda Teo of T.U.N. International, chair Donald Steel, and fellow speakers whom I met like Lars Voedisch, Charlie Pownall, Tina Di Cicco, Joel Cere, Ian McKee, Andrew Chow, Kelly Choo, Brian Simon, John Chang, and Prantik Mazumdar.
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