Enterprise Social Media Help

Social Media is Taking Shape Across the Corporate World

In the last couple of years, Social Media has evolved from staying in touch with friends to being the most widely used medium to manifest news, information and resources. The hype transformed business communication into a new avenue to extend their reach to the public and build awareness about their brand. Thus creating and redefining the structure within the corporate entities to conform to social media and adopt it within the marketing, PR and/or communications departments. Not sure that all businesses have determined where social media should exist within the corporate walls, but they do know that it must take shape to remain competitive in today’s market.

Here’s a list of a few of the corporate heavy hitters using Twitter:

@BoeingCorporate provides followers with status updates of their plant operations, including assembly production, industry news and executive conference coverage.

@Ford has over 31K followers and has a number of employees involved in the twitter verse to bring the organization’s news to the people. Ford is not only ingrained in Twitter but also a number of the top social media channels used today (i.e. Facebook and Twitter).

@McDonalds is lovin it on Twitter! With exhibiting a presence in Twitter, McDonald’s not only tweets out what it serves but also uses the channel to interact with its customers. What’s not to love about it! Oh and for the coffee lovers you can  get in on the McCafe love with @McCafeYourDay.

@Target where else can you expect more! Target jumped into the twitterverse and amassed over 20K followers with just over 400 tweets. Peeps want to know where the deals are so by following Target, they can get the low down on daily deals without have to hunt for them!

The above is a mini list of the corporate heavy hitters on Twitter who have aligned themselves with social media. For the most part if you can find them on Twitter, you are more than likely to also to channel up with them on YouTube, “I Like” them on Facebook and view their latest activity on LinkedIn.

Giving you a sample of who to find in social media doesn’t mean that it is only for the heavy hitters. The platforms are built to be used by everyone across the globe, big or small and anything in between. Businesses without a PR or Communications department can still dive into the social media arena and learn the ropes just like the corporate giants. It’s not the size of the company that determines the success in social media, it’s the values and targeted strategy that returns greater results. If an organization does not exhibit transparency when interacting/engaging with people or portraying a confident mission, they will not amass a social media presence like those who understand humanity.

To wrap it up, there are no concrete rules in social media other than respect. The platforms provide opportunities for people and businesses to grow, build and communicate across the globe. And the good news, with every new tool there are resources! For a list of social media networks and resources, go to Social-Media-Help, in particular for the ladies in business browse through DownTown Women’s Club for an array of connections and networks to learn from. Then there’s social media training to fit any budget and because not one size fits all there are options to attend on your own or in a group – check out Giovanni Gallucci’s course offerings. If you are not able to find what you are looking for from the above options, then you may be in need of a social media champion to form a foundation to get things off the ground and immersed into the social media frenzy!

Stay tuned for the next post with tips to help extend your reach and understand the need to adopt a social media policy.

Non-Profits Getting Social

For the most part non-profits are already engaged on the web and have an established donor presence. But with the new resources in today’s market, they are now jumping into the social media frenzy to extend their reach.

Social networking turned from a trend in building sustainable relationships both professionally and personally to the norm.  Committing to be actively present in the social media arena can be very time consuming, but is key to the success of social engagement online.

Most wonder what is it and how can it help non-profits?  According to Wiki, social media is information content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies. At its most basic sense, social media is a shift in how people discover, read and share news, information and content. It’s a fusion of sociology and technology, transforming monologue (one to many) into dialog (many to many) and is the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers.

While there are advantages of enhancing an online platform through social media, with any type of marketing, it is important to remember what is important to building a positive presence. Authenticity and transparency prove to be the frontrunners in building rapport in any relationship so why not demonstrate what you do offline with everyone online!

Develop A Social Medial Strategy
As you plot out your social media strategy, you can integrate some of the tools and resources you already put into practice while engaging in local community efforts to non-profit networking events.  And it can’t be emphasized enough, your reputation across networks are equally important both online and offline.

With a strategy in place, it is time to set out your goals and which social networks to join.  Just like networking offline (in-person), you need to develop a presence, give back and add value.  Let’s say one of your goals is to increase donor awareness, then you need to maintain an active presence in the social media channels in order to keep your donors coming back for more.  Additionally, you will want to include donation opportunities on your networking pages to foster awareness and draw attention to the mission of your cause. Based on your strategy and your goals, as well as know who your target audience is, will help determine which social media network will be the best ROT (return on time).

An array of options to Get Social!
There’s an array of social media sites out there so be sure to take stock of which sites will give you the best return on your time invested each day in social media. Most importantly find out which social media environments you need to target for your non-profit whether it be a social news site, social bookmarking or social networking. Here are a few questions to compel your thoughts: What type of non-profit do you have? Who do you want to extend your reach to? What  are your specific social media goals (i.e. raise money, draw awareness, donor support, etc.)?

Social News is a website wherein users submit and vote on news stories or other links.  A few examples of the 50+ sites out there are Digg, Reddit and Mixx.

Social Bookmarking allows users of the internet  to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages.   You may have heard or browsed through Delicious which is one of the most popular bookmarking sites out there.  Other ones are Faves (formerly Blue Dot) and Diigo.

Social Networking is the primary channel for non-profits to “get social” and here’s an short list to help get the ball rolling.

LinkedIn – primarily referred to as the professional social network that allows you to create a compelling profile.  It also gives you the option of joining groups of interest and add applications such as a blog.  Additionally, LinkedIn allows charities to form their own non-profit profile and it can be associated with all employees and volunteers working for the non-profit.

Meetup.com is a portal that facilitates offline group meetings in various localities around the world. This site allows members to find and join groups unified by a common interest, such as politics, books, campaigns, careers, etc.

Twitter – primarily referred to as a micro platform wherein you post short “tweets” of 140 characters or less to inform everyone of current campaigns, educational information, important issues and/or causes, promotions, updated website content, etc. There are a number of Twitter apps to leverage but two that are widely used are TweetDeck or Twhirl. These apps allow you to filter tweets, shorten URLs/links and manage multiple accounts.

Facebook and MySpace – two of the most prevalent friendly social networks.  Both created for the school/college arena but then made their way into all streams of life, including non-profits.  One of the main differences between the two is that Facebook has made major leaps over the last year with developing their platform, but have failed tremendously recently with user privacy.

Here’s a list of other social sites to check out:
Hi5
43 Things
Gather
Live Mocha
Profilactic

Measurement is not always based on how much money is raised, but how the scope of influence has manifested across the globe. It is easy to focus on the short-term gain, but ultimately the investment made in social media today will reap a sustainable foundation built upon trust for the future!

What’s Your Facebook Cover?

Everyone actively using Facebook has a prerogative or goal in mind while navigating the platform. So which cover do you wear?

  • Friend
  • Celebrity/Artist/Entertainer
  • Entrepreneur/Business Entity
  • Philanthropist
  • Wannabe

Now that you have illustrated your cover, are you turning the right pages?

Facebook Profile: created by users to communicate with friends, family, colleagues and/or acquaintances about stuff happening in life.

Facebook Official Page: Allows communication with customers and fans on products, services, events, etc.

Community Page: This is for generating support for a favorite cause or topic. If it becomes very popular (attracting thousands of fans), it will be adopted and maintained by the Facebook community.

Groups: Have a professional interest or hobby? Then a group is the other option to create, allowing updates and communication on the topic of interest with like minded peeps.

As the saying goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover” and social media can easily land people in the wrong category if the platforms are used differently than what they intend to provide.  If you are actively engaged on Facebook, understand the do’s and don’ts in social media to avoid the pitfalls.  For instance, when you befriend someone on Facebook, you are extending an invitation to build on the “friend” connection. Don’t confuse this with promoting anything different because those who are within your friendship network circle may end up hitting the “hide” or “spam” button.

Social media is proliferating attention and the more who learn to understand it, will not only be successful with building relationships but also know that it can either make or break reputations.

Keep in mind that sending a friendship invitation is not intended to be someone added to your marketing list. Knowing your facebook cover will help maintain your reputation and the legacy you are creating to uphold.

Focused on Numbers or People?

With social media providing the opportunity to engage, connect and collaborate, it brings a different lens to the way peeps network.

Back in the day, most were plugging in hours to build their connections by relationship building with rich content and compelling information. But now, there’s a lot of “noise” in the social-verse and the blogging community. Meaning, online posts for the sake of posting and automating communications rather than building a relevant network.

To be effective in the social media arena, goals need to be clear and concise. If the goal is to increase mass followers than there would be less emphasis on quality. But if the main goal is to capitalize on the current social media opportunities to increase brand awareness and offer valuable information, then quality content must be the focus.

Remember, the only difference in networking online than offline are the geographical barriers. There are vast possibilities to connect with a greater audience online vs offline but keep in mind that there is also a greater risk for the wrong information to go viral.

The ultimate measure is based on when you reach out to your network with a call to action. For example, if you have 10,000 connections/followers, and a marketing campaign is channeled to these individuals, your invested return on your network will be reflected in the number who answered, the cohesive bonds. Those who are within your geodesic distance will more likely be your loyal base.

Bottom line, stay close to your social media strategy and don’t lose site of the true meaning of networking; it is never a numbers game!

Constant Rise in Social Networking

The new media channels have opened the doors to everyone to get social! Although the form of connecting through online communities has been around for years, it really started to take shape between 2002 and 2005. Since then, more and more sites have emerged and caused those in existence to become mainstream.

The new wave of socializing over the net provides the user with an option to start off slowly or just jump in and get social! For those who want to ease in, then Twitter is the right medium to explore by micro-blogging wherein you don’t have to say much to have your voice heard.  Even those who have experienced shyness or anxiety in a social environments are emerging in online social circles and uncovering interpersonal skills they didn’t know they had!

Additionally, companies and small businesses are discovering media channels to create brand awareness, recruit, learn about competitors and seek out potential customers. Yammer formed in 2008 takes micro-blogging to the business world!  Like Twitter, allows users to post and exchange “what are you working on” through limited access to those with a valid company address. For those who are “green” to the Twitter platform, on June 14 there is a conference being held in New York that focuses entirely on Twitter use for business. Click here for the details and register today!

Our social network resources do not encompass the vast array of help out there, but it serves as a building block to help get you plugged into the social sphere today. Stay tuned for additional social media posts, learnings, tips and trends!

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