Looks like the hype around Google Wave is growing. Helped in part by the severe dearth in accounts currently available. And you know what that does: leave us social media geeks working ourselves up into a lather.
Still, if you watch this presentation from Epipheo Labs, this may help go someway to see that there could be much more to this beyond the hype:
Should you ensconce all your social media buffs into one team? Geoff Livingston wrote a great post against this siloization (is that a real word?) claiming that social media can touch every part of the organization and so doesn’t deserve to be hived off in a special unit (normally within marketing or communications).
He makes the point that for social media to be effective, it needs to be integrated with the organization. It’s about two-way communication between a company and its constituents, and everyone can have a role to play.
Whilst I broadly agree with the underlying message, I see strategic advantages in consolidating social media skills within a central function.
This is particularly true when considering those parts of the organization that are most affected by emerging communications technologies. Marketing is one department: gone are the days of broadcasting messages at the target audience. These days marketing has a strong role to play in obtaining feedback from prospects and customers, and where necessary picking up external threads and championing these within the organization. The customer support team is another example: social media can help them get closer to their constituency and interact in ways previously not possible. This isn’t to say these functions should remain siloed. As an example, if marketing (through its social media monitoring) see a Tweet from a prospect asking a technical question, they may need to engage a product expert to frame a response.
Another key role for a social media team is to act as expert facilitators. Although they may not run every campaign, they can still have valuable input (for instance advising on etiquette on a network like Twitter). In many respects, this is what is happening in PR. Whether it be through blog posts, forum threads or a discussion on LinkedIn, more people within the organization are becoming communicators on behalf of the company they represent. Does that mean we don’t need PR? No, on the contrary, we need professional communicators who can guide and coach employees who are unwittingly becoming company spokespeople.
A centralized social media team can also ensure that best practice is isolated and transmitted. Whether this means letting a blogger know that their post received more visitors than any other, or finding out how one product team managed to build engaging discussions on LinkedIn, there is value in pulling this activity together. A social media manager can help motivate disparate teams and ensure good practice moves rapidly through the organization. They can also be the ones that sell the story at the executive level and build a case for more involvement in this area.
So, my vote goes strongly in favor of setting up a social media department, albeit one that is open to the whole organization and doesn’t just focus on its own projects.
Twitter FAQ: RT, HT, OH Explained (Brent Ozar)
If your new to Twitter, this is a great introduction on some of the abbreviations used to keep messages under 140 characters. Other random facts like the artist who designed the Fail Whale.
Businesses divided over the value of blogging (Business Applications Blog)
Although businesses see bloggers as an important and influential audience, 63% of tech companies do not blog, according to a study by Eurocom Worldwide and Simpson Financial and Technology PR (it’s not clear, but I think this is a European study). The time required for these initiatives is a major factor, coupled with the lack of perceivable value.
Why Bit.ly Will Upstage Digg
Tracking links from Twitter will become a bigger deal for online marketers. Services like bit.ly could be at the forefront of this.
What An Executive Blog Editor Needs to Know (Chris Brogan)
Chris Brogan proposes you think of business value when it comes to content creation:
‘[Blogging] can be built around solid business intentions, such as content marketing (writing posts that are intended to deliver action, or at least actionable information), thought leadership (ideal for consulting opportunities), or even media sales model (typical “write good stuff and put ads against it” thinking).’
Top 20 Ways to Share a Great Blog Post
It’s one thing writing great content, but you also need to get out there and peddle it (although funny that this article comes from Mashable: one of the few blogs with such massive natural readership it has little peddling to worry about).
If you are involved in setting up or running a corporate blog, you are probably well aware that one justification for the effort is the love Google will probably show you for your regular, fresh content and wonderful referrals (links) from the blogging community.Using a blog to garner links is growing in popularity as SEOs find that old methods such as obtaining sponsored links are becoming more and more difficult.
As SEO Ninja points out: ‘As link building becomes a more exhaustive and costly task, blogging is an area of the web, where savvy webmasters show a more kind-hearted approach to providing links. A blog can be positioned within or out with a company’s primary domain name, meaning that any residual page rank can be distributed to the sales page from highly content-relevant material.’ Read the full post
Google Reader now allows direct commenting Google Reader now allows you to add comments to the blogs you read directly within the interface. These comments are viewable by your Google Reader friends and at the moment can’t be exported out of Google Reader (to say, Friendfeed). Beware: yet another reason for your feed-reading audience not to visit your blog.
Spam-to-Content: A Ratio of Junk (Gartner)
This problem plagues us all. Personally, I find Akismet a useful solution to strip out most spam. This post raises another point: how far do you go with comment moderation?
Timing Your Tweets for Success (Twitip)
Timing is everything. Especially in the Twitterverse, where your 140-character nugget can easily get deluged by the stream. This is a big issue for Twitter, given the reliance of this broadcast medium on instant communication.
Robert Scoble’s Corporate Weblog Manifesto
More like a historical document rather than news, this is still earily accurate 5 years later. My personal fave: ‘If your life is in turmoil and/or you’re unhappy, don’t write.’