I have just finished the Social Media for Enterprise Course with Steve Thompson. What an excellent course! I feel that I am starting out again on a new voyage of discovery into the World of Social Media.
‘Tweeting’, ‘Following’, ‘Likes‘ and ‘Facebook” are all part of this new World that has become so familiar to me within only a week! Steve Thompson delivers the course and has taken me from my starting point of knowing virtually nothing about all of these to the point where I am now Blogging and Multiposting.
I initially sought Steve out after seeing the course advertised on Teesside University‘s website. As I am involved in reaching out to students as part of my work I thought I need to keep abreast of developments in this field and harnessing this whole range of media in promoting the service we provide to students. With social media sites being very popular among the student population we can not afford not to use them.
Next part of the Journey
My colleague and I will be busy over the next few months establishing our presence on a number of selected sites. As with any marketing startegy we will need to select the vehicles that will work for us. With our knowledge of the sites that students prefer initially we will concentrate on Twitter, WordPress and Facebook. At a recent focus group we held woth our students ‘Tumblr‘ appears to becoming quite popular so this will be another site that I will consider. Hootsuite looks like a good site to use to manage all our sites and keep an eye on our followers so this will be used but again Tweetdeck is another possibility as I have heard good reports about this from the University’s web team.
Social Media sites allow everyone to become broadcasters and if doing this on behalf of an organisation then a policy is required to guide and protect.
What employees say reflects on a company. With the nature of social media if something is said and published online then it is there for the world to see. Employers need to establish the rules of conduct when employees are discussing issues online or are involved in promoting the company. Employees on the other hand need to know what is required and permissible and how they should conduct themselves when sending out messages on behalf of a company. A good policy should cover the type of persona that the organisation wants to cultivate online and this for us would be always courteous but also helpful and knowledgeable.
In his article ‘The need for a Social Media Policy within Enterprises’, Steve Thompson says that staff should join social media sites just to learn how to use them before using them on behalf of the organisation. This makes good sense, as a complete novice in this field I have found navigating the sites takes time and effort. I found this article thought provoking and very useful and thought a couple of links to examples of policies would be useful, for example companies like IBM have published their policy for all to see.
My first steps on Facebook involved setting up an imaginary business ‘Gills Cakes’ and I was amazed at the opportunities available for peer to peer marketing. I encouraged colleagues to become fans of Gills Cakes as this was part of the task that had been set before session 2. Two colleagues who became fans had a mutual friend who also became a fan when she saw that they were fans of the page on Facebook! It showed me that the social aspect of SMP’s and the opportunities to access other people’s networks provides organisations with powerful marketing opportunities.
One of the really good things about Facebook is how easy it is to spread the message. Jennifer Laycock in an article published online talks about the importance of using tools to spread the message and illustrates a good example of this when she was buying shoes: http://www.searchengineguide.com/jennifer-laycock/sparking-viral-spread-make-it-easy-for-t.php Quality of service, success stories, useful information will be some of our USPs which together with easily accessible tools will help us create a ‘buzz’ about our service.
The finishing point
Using Social Media Platforms is a step in a new direction for me. With the traditional media that I have used in the past, promotions were completed and that was the end of the story. With SMPs the aim will be to engage with the audience, keeping abreast of what they want through engaging in conversations. The more successful we are at doing this then in reality there will not be a finishing point.
- Day 1 – my thoughts (eimerbourke.wordpress.com)
The views in this article do not represent Teesside University.