Your Social Media Questions, Answered
- 25 Comment
Ed Cabellon (@EdCabellon): Given the speed that technology and social media are moving at, what advice would you give Higher Education Administrators on where they should focus their energy? Should they focus on Facebook, Twitter and blogging, or location based services, video production, and mobile accessibility?
Many businesses fear social media simply because they can’t control it and the fear of the unknown is overwhelming. Emerging media is about two-way communication; it’s not just another advertising alternative or push marketing tactic. Businesses can’t just sign up for a Facebook or Twitter account, post items/status updates and talk “at” their audiences. They have to listen, learn how to engage their audience and become part of their conversations…that is if they think that’s a valuable and viable communications tactic.
Where should higher ed administrators focus? Go to where their stakeholders are. For the student audience it is most likely Facebook, parents, faculty and others may use Twitter. Point being that different tools may work for different audiences. Think about it this way, the majority of us have cell phones, yet many prefer text versus talking. You need to identify the right platform and the right way to use it (i.e. what works best for the audience).
Sharon Lee: Is pitching to the media on Twitter going to be the next big thing? Is it effective?
Never before have we had the opportunity to connect with people in vastly different places beyond the telephone or the email – social media is a vehicle that helps us engage with others in a meaningful way, whether they live next door or a thousand miles away.
I don’t think it’s the next big thing as opposed to a new(er) way to reach media. I’ve had much success developing stories with media via Twitter, but even more important I’ve built relationships. These relationships have often progressed to regular email and/or phone communication–which have allowed me to send targeted pitches to the right media.
Hillel Fuld (@HilzFuld): How do you suggest a blogger go about monetizing his/her blog using social media?
Kevin Flavin (@kevinflavin): What long-term harm can an offensive tweet do to a brand?
With more than 43,773 tweets per minute, it’s a good idea to keep tabs on any online conversations that people are having about your organization. You can use free monitoring tools, including www.icerocket.com or www.socialmention.com to find articles/posts and gauge sentiment on blogs, microblogs like Twitter and traditional media.
Think of social media as a virtual town hall forum. It’s SOCIAL for a reason – you want people to express their concerns and provide feedback so that you know what problems need correcting. Communicating directly in two-way conversations helps to humanize your brand.
A tweet’s “harm” level is going to depend on: content of the tweet, reach of the tweet and potential reach of the tweet. For example, Kevin Smith’s tweets to Southwest Air had a substantial reach and almost immediate impact. Most of us don’t have that kind of initial impact.
Taylor Vick (@TaylorVick): When launching a product, what is the most effective way to promote on Facebook specifically? contest, giveaway, coupon, Q&A?
Joan Grott (@joangrott): How do you break into a career in social media?
- Create a website and blog
- Listen and track online conversations with a digital dashboard
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and HTML (and for a bonus FBML) coding (e.g. create a hyperlink)
- How to develop a keyword vocabulary
- How to write a social media release optimized for the web
- Video and photo editing and social network sharing
- Build a strong media list, including: mainstream or traditional media, bloggers and online influencers
- Track, measure and report online activities (e.g. share of voice, overall impact, sentiment, etc…)
- Familiarity with popular social networks, including how to create online profiles and a presence
- Tactical understanding of how to incorporate digital into a public relations and/or communications strategy
- Digital empathy (i.e. ability to relate to stakeholders through various digital platforms)