Monthly Archives: October 2011
As social media has started to emerge as a discipline it is having trouble finding where it belongs. There are agencies that deal specifically with social media but often it sits within the offerings of a PR agency or web agency or in-house department. But where does it really fit?
Social media platforms (e.g. Facebook and Twitter) are simply tools that provide a method of communicating a message. You could argue that Marketing, PR and Web all do the same – but in different ways.
Is it a form of Marketing?
Traditional marketing is about an organisation deciding on how they want sell a product and using various tools (TV, newspapers, radio) to spread that message as widely and as many times as possible – hoping that it might fall on the right ears and that person will buy the product.
Social media is not about pushing a message but about engaging with an audience that have chosen to hear the message. Social media can be used for marketing, very effectively, but only if the marketer using it acknowledges that they will have to work differently and that it is now a two-way conversation.
Is it a form of Public Relations?
Public Relations (PR) is about an organisation using the media to spread a message. This is by creating a story related to the organisation, in the hope that it is picked up and creates positive media coverage that positions the organisation at the forefront of the media consumers mind.
You could say that, effectively, social media cuts out the middle man. Social media platforms give the organisation the ability to communicate directly with its consumers, and others, and to have complete control over the message.
Is it a part of Web Development?
Facebook, in particular, sits very closely to web development. It operates in within an Open Source framework that allows developers to create applications and html code to customise pages. Twitter also has many applications now attached to it that act as tools to maximise its use.
Social media also has the ability to drive traffic to websites and interact with them through social plug-ins. It can also help with search engine optimisation of a website.
So, in conclusion, it would seem that social media has a leg in all three disciplines. This is no bad thing as it demonstrates what a diverse and effective tool for communication social media is. The only downside, as there always is with any emerging field, is that many Marketing, PR and Web practitioners are ‘having a go’ at social media but often not getting it quite right.
The only way to ensure that your social media use is going to be as effective as possible is to get support and advice from a specialist social media agency.
Tagging is one the most simple and effective tools of social media marketing. It works differently in different platforms but all to the same end of increasing engagement and visibility of what you are saying.
In Facebook you can tag photos, and now friends and places, in status updates. For business use though the most effective form of tagging is the @ tag in updates. If your page is a fan of other pages they can be tagged in a post by inserting the @ symbol and typing the name of the page. If you then hit return this creates a link to that page and will also notify that page that it has been tagged. This in turn should stimulate some sharing and engagement with those tagged.
Tagging on Twitter has more options and the ability to make your 140 character update have even more reach. @ tagging on Twitter serves a similar purpose to how it works on Facebook. If you use insert the @ symbol into a Tweet and start typing one of the usernames of someone you follow it should bring them up in a list that you can then select from and tag that person in your Tweet. This then means that they are guaranteed to see that Tweet as it will come up in their ‘Mentions’ feed rather than get lost in the very fast moving ‘Home’ feed. If they are an active Tweeter this should stimulate them to reply and provide the start of some engagement.
# tagging on Twitter serves two purposes. By # tagging a word e.g. #socialmedia you are helping to make it part of, what eventually could become, a ‘Trending Topic’. If multiple Tweets # tag the same word/topic they become part of a big conversation on Twitter and move up the trending list.
# tagging also gives those words the ability to be ‘seen’ more easily by those who are following those subjects. There are various tools /apps that have been created for Twitter that give users the ability to search for or be notified about Tweets that contain certain words. So again # tagging key words in your Tweet will enable it to be seen rather than get lost in the fast moving home feed.
- Melanie on Why you need a Content Strategy to make Social Media work
- Keith Osborn on Why you need a Content Strategy to make Social Media work
- Why you need a Content Strategy to make Social Media work - Social Monkey on Social Media Workshops
- Social Networking - Why Face-to-Face is still important on Norfolk Tweetup
- Melanie on Norfolk Tweetup