Sunday, June 20, 2010

Something with more substance

Social Medi-duh
Told you - more substance.

Please can people STOP paying money for courses on Social Media. Please. Or at least, just use it as a last resort.

Why? You may ask. Well, this is the thing about social media. It is a medium which is not only evolving everyday, it is also a medium which has no definitive structure or guidelines. There is no way to place absolute value on the work that you do in this space, but know that it is a space you should be aware of.
Recently there was a Social Media Club held at Ogilvy I think. Paul Webster from Facebook and Tom Osborne from Wag the Dog were 2 of the people who spoke. I didn't attend. Thought about it, decided I'd rather go for a run in the freezing cold.

At any rate, I did watch the tweets come through. What I severely dislike, more than anything else, is people who criticise but never attempt themselves. I did not have to be there to know that Tom was talking about the 2 degrees Facebook strategy which involved a calendar of 2 status updates per week + conversation with customers who engaged with them. Pretty quickly the tweets about how 'Facebook shouldn't be held back to restrictions and interactions should be fluid' came through.
Now, having spent some time talking to Paul from Facebook about not pissing off your fans - 2-3 status updates a week max so that you're not spamming people and they end up hiding you - I agree with the strategy. Yes, have a conversation with people that come to you, but don't broadcast too much because people will hide you and then forget about you. I don't want to point fingers, but there are certain 'Social Media Strategists/Experts/Gurus' out there who have friended me on Facebook (believe me, they're on a list) who have been guilty of spamming my news feed and I have hidden all posts from them. This is the pinnacle of what a brand wants to avoid.
If you are responsible for a brand and want to get into the Social Media space, before you spend any money take a minute to find out from friends/family why and how they use social media. Most people on Twitter are pretty strong advocates and are more than willing to teach others about it, as it helps build their community.

You don't need to dive head first into the deep end, take a week to listen to what others are saying and run some searches for keywords which pertain to your brand. If your brand comes up, certainly respond, but otherwise just check out what's going on. Once you've witnessed some of the conversations which are taking place, you'll probably feel a lot more comfortable about participating in them.

Total self promotion - but check out Twitter for Beginners Part One, Two, Three and Four if you'd like a bit of a kick start. I wrote this for the most amazing woman in the world (she knows who she is) who had a Twitter account but wasn't using it as it seemed too hard. I am please to announce that she is rocking Twitter now.

Look, at the end of the day, we all started out 1 tweet at a time, even the Social Media 'experts'.

If you want to pay someone to teach you about social media - pay me. My email address is on the right hand side. It'll cost you a coffee, or a wine. Probably a wine. If you're still at a loss and want to do it yourself, then go on a course, but give it a shot first.

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