social media

You are currently browsing articles tagged social media.

Reputation management services have been getting a lot of attention. A recent New York Times article featured these companies, who use a variety of ingenious techniques to help counteract negative attention online. Certainly when others are posting things about you or your business that you can’t control, a service like this can be helpful. One bad review can rise to the top and undermine your reputation.

But another key to reputation management is being proactive about controlling your content in the first place. A good content strategy should include a plan for social media. The challenge is to balance the dichotomy of the essential spontaneity and immediacy of social media with the need for planning and controlling the content you release.

The elements of content strategy for social media include the creation of a content calendar, rules of engagement, and editorial guidelines.

A Content Calendar plans your content distribution in advance, to account for seasonal content, new products or services being offered, and key announcements. It is a living document that by definition will change to respond to relevant news, current events, memes, and changes. But planning ahead determines you’ll always have appropriate content ready, and allows advance planning for releasing that content.

Social Media Guidelines are the golden rules by which all your social media posts are governed. This is particularly important for those for whom multiple people are posting via blogs, Twitter, or other channels. For a small company or a single individual, these guidelines can be simple, outlining which topics are appropriate, whether it’s acceptable to mention competitors or endorse vendors, talking about current projects, and so on. For a larger company, it might include legal restrictions (consult with the company’s legal team), privacy policies, and rules around the protection of intellectual property. It is important, however, to not be too restrictive with these guidelines, as it undermines the essence of social media — the individual conversation. IBM was a pioneer in creating social media guidelines, creating a wiki in which employees could discuss and contribute to the rules and guidelines for social media. Together, IBM’s employees created a guide to posting that serves as a model for others and continues to evolve with evolving social media channels.

Editorial Guidelines
are a more creative exercise. You have identified the content you want to distribute via social media, but have you thought about how to present it? Your voice is important. It should reflect your brand strategy, but also recognize the forum in which you are speaking. Don’t try to be hip and cool on Twitter if your brand isn’t hip and cool. But don’t embarrass yourself with a lack of understanding of the medium. (For example, don’t tweet every day with a promo for your latest product.)

Social Media requires planning, just like any other communications channel. Make sure you have a content strategy in place before you start participating.

Tags: , , , , ,

We frequently discuss how we will reward users when we reach a certain number of Facebook fans. Coupons are always welcome for consumer goods, and everyone loves a prize, but there have to be more inventive (and less logistically challenging) ways to get people excited about getting your numbers up.

Piggly Wiggly, the supermarket chain, came up with a great idea: users voted on what type of dance Mr. Pig, their mascot, would perform on their Facebook page on the day they hit 25,000 fans. Voters got excited, numbers got boosted, and now, you and I can enjoy watching Mr. Pig do the “Single Ladies” dance. Not to be missed…

Tags: , ,

After the success of Content Strategy Applied last year, eBay and Red Lorry/Yellow Lorry again present the only conference that provides the tools and guidance for real-world application of content strategy. Featuring case studies and workshops, Content Strategy Applied 2012 gives attendees the “how-to” of Content Strategy, not just the “why.”

The conference features four tracks to address the needs of beginners and experienced content strategists alike. I will be leading the track (or “stream,” as the UK folks call it) for Content Strategy for Social Media and Mobile.

Developing a complete content strategy is no longer just about web content. With the explosion of social media as both a popular consumer choice and an invaluable business platform, it is critical to consider how your strategy works in these new channels. More and more, people are consuming content not on their computer but on mobile devices. And now, tablets are shifting the digital paradigm again.

How do you plan for something like Facebook, where the conversation changes and evolves daily? What’s the right content for a Facebook page, and what content would be better on YouTube, in an app, or on your web site? How do you know what is the right channel to distribute your content? Do you even need a Twitter account, and if you do, how can you use it strategically to distribute valuable content? And how can you measure your success?

In this track, we’ll explore key social media channels and how to integrate them into your overall Content Strategy. Learn how to develop effective content for Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and more. Discover the value of social bookmarking and content sharing. Workshops, case studies and interactive sessions will explore the challenges of creating an effective and usable Content Strategy for these moving targets. You’ll come away with an understanding of best practices for social media and mobile, and the skills you need to develop effective, integrated Content Strategy across all of today’s dynamic digital media.

Please let me know if you have particular questions you’d like answered or topics you’d like to discuss at the conference. I would love to hear from you!

Tags: , , , , ,