Social Media – What You Need To Know About Social Media

  • Social media is here to stay, in one form or another. You cannot ignore it
  • Every company, large or small, should have a clear-cut, unambiguous, not-open-to-misinterpretation social media policy – properly communicated and enforced
  • Social media comes to the fore in times of crisis and is a creator of issues – every company’s crisis management document should contain a section on social media
  • Every company should have trained spokespeople whose responsibilities include responding to comments/issues generated or communicated via social media. Sometimes they might even be proactive
  • The majority of a company’s employees, however, should not be allowed to post to social media, either on company time, on company business or about the company
  • Social media are not – yet – valid marketing tools. Your budget is still better spent elsewhere
  • Social media are, however, communications tools and, as such, belong to the PR or communications department
  • Everything that gets posted to social media on behalf of a company must either go through, or have gone through, an approval system
  • You do not need to spend a vast fortune on social media strategy or social media monitoring – one is an oxymoron, the other can be carried out perfectly adequately, in-house, in minutes, via search engines
  • Social media is not the same as digital. Digital is wide-ranging, well-established and value-adding – social is but one small, unproven, part of digital
  • Social media does not have a track record, no-one has much experience with it, and no-one knows what it can and cannot do
  • Traditional media can bite if mishandled – there’s no reason to suppose that social media won’t do the same
  • No-one has found a way of making money out of social media yet – not even the social media owners
  • Whenever successful social media strategy is discussed, some or all of these companies will be mentioned – Dell, Coke, Ford, Amazon, Starbucks, WholeFoods, Best Buy, Zappo, Domino’s – and it is not a coincidence
  • Social media is not limited to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Ecademy, Bebo and MySpace – however it’s only the first three of those that you’ll see discussed outside of genuinely niche fora
  • Inevitably, social media will consolidate – the question is which social media brand/s will survive
  • Social media is not the saviour of PR or IR or corporate communications – it is not a doorway to a new society or a new way of doing business. Engage with it by all means – understand what it is – monitor its development – but do not get carried away. If the Emperor has any clothes on, they are limited to a pair of baggy, grey y-fronts

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