I’ve been involved at first hand in a couple of revolutions. The first was VoIP which took 10 – 15 years to develop into full scale engagement. The second is social networking which has covered the same ground in about 3 years.
Today I went to a social networking master class conducted by Pirate Glenn @lesanto. People attended because this revolution is happening so quickly. Today felt like a WW1 recruiting session with volunteers standing in line to take up arms. Everyone needs to know where they fit in – it is unpatriotic not to be seen in uniform.
The biggest challenge for businesses is that social networking represents a totally new discipline to embrace. It covers sales, marketing, customer service, tech support, PR and more I’m sure. There may be some overlap in this list but it gives you an idea of the scope.
I’m not about to expound on how each of these disciplines should use social media but one of the problems for a business is deciding exactly how to go about it. This is new territory.
The skills required can be learned and in most cases will have to be because there aren’t many people around that might be called social media experts – witness the fact that Tesco is willing to pay £60k for someone with the right experience.
Most businesses can’t afford to take on more people just to handle social media. They have to reuse existing staff that are already working on something else.
For example a marketing department might have a team of people working on print media production. It takes a serious decision to change the way you work to stop doing one activity in order to concentrate on another but diverting resource from print media to social networking might be one of these.
I picked an easy one there – print media is on the way out but the same issue applies to other areas. Customer service for example. Big businesses are already known for the amount of effort they put in to engaging with customers using twitter. Dell supposedly had 50 people on their virtual social media team.
It’s all very well for a giant multinational but if you are a small business doing this from scratch there has to be an element of faith involved – you will be betting some of your scarce resource on the effort.
I think I’m going to explore this a bit more. If anyone wants to come along to a “workshop” I’ll happily host one and provide refreshments. Drop me a line or leave a comment. I think we can aim for a February get together. Look out a date/announcement next week.
Exit to the sound of “Two Tribes – Frankie Goes To Hollywood”…
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blog
6 replies on “social media – have you got your uniform yet? #twitter #facebook #linkedin #blog”
I think its vital that businesses realise social media is here to stay, and banning employees from accessing it at work is cutting their noses off to spite their faces, simply because the employees are learning how to use it and carry on doing so at home. (if they can get a connection at home that is) 😉
Those are the employees you want to recruit into your social media team, or get them to train up the dinosaur who heads up your print media section mebe?
If everyone just realised how easy it is once you get going there wouldn’t be this ‘twitter? why should I care what everyone had for breakfast?’ attitude. Folk would try it for themselves and could see the advantages it could offer them.
Great idea to have a workshop, you want to try to get our @johnpopham down to be a surgeon, he’s mega. If you get any council types wanting to come then @loulouk would be another good one to nab. If they can’t make it they may know other socmed surgeons more locally based to timico? Notice we don’t use the word ‘expert’ as there is no such thing as a social media expert.
Nice post – you might need some more Photoshop practice though! 😉
One of my small business clients (but they cover the UK) told me the other week that he had just returned from a Local Council conference thingie – and the only thing people were talking about was TWITTER! He came away from the conference with the message “GET ON TWITTER” ringing in his ears… He said it was all people were talking about.
He contacted me to setup a Twitter account and design him a corporate looking account using elements from his website. So people are definitely getting the message.
There are many failures out there though. #FAIL – see what I did there?!
The PR company that ran BT’s Infinity ‘Race’ famously messed up by exposing 900+ email addresses (including mine!). I checked out their numerous Twitter accounts and they were a forgotten mess.
BT themselves still haven’t got it. They use ‘Debatescape’ software that looks at various sources for BT comments/noise. But within Twitter the various BT accounts don’t use Twitter ‘replies’ only ‘mentions’ (due to Debatescape) so it’s nearly impossible for people to follow conversations!
I spent quite a while pointing this out to them and after they eventually understood the issue before they said their s/w people would look at it – but nothing’s changed 🙁
If you say “BT line problem”. “BT Broadband problem” enough times they might turn up 😛
For myself I’m probably doing plenty wrong.
As a self employed bod working from a home office I don’t really want everyone out there to get all my contact details etc. So I mostly use this anonymous(coward) account which is attached to my anon play website as my mouth piece!
Interesting times 🙂
Has anyone mentioned posts on trefor.net are an hour out?
Could be down to a dodgy host?! BIG 🙂
Even more Off Topic(!) – I see most trefor TLDs have been snapped up but .co is still available.
I’ve registered .COs for a few of my clients but I’m not convinced this TLD will take off.
.co TLDs are quite expensive to register which isn’t good. But my clients wanted to protect their brand.
Please DELETE if this is too random 🙂
While I’m in random OT mode…
It would be an interesting touch for visitors if you added a “viewed by xxx people” to your posts 🙂
Fixed the time issue – at some stage the settings had changed to GMT+1 (maybe it was always like that!)
Thanks for the (random) comments HmmmUK, in particular the one re the timestamp – I’ve never noticed. Might be a wordpress thing which I will check out.
I don’t use photoshop – I use IRfanview which is free – all I ever need to do is resize and crop photos. Just whilst we are on random subjects photos do add a fair bit to the amount of time it takes to write a blog post but I do have a”corporate style” I;m trying to stick to (when there is time 🙂 ).
Also I am trying to keep the clutter down so won’t be going for the visitor counter sorry.
I have now registered trefor.co thanks for the tip. You are right these TLDs are proliferating and it can get expensive. Unfortunately Trefor is also the name of a village in Wales and so the .co.uk went right at the start. Someone had trefor.net but gave it up – I was lucky to find it. trefor.com became available after I had registered .net but I missed that one.
PS yes you are right – it’s not many people that have a village named after them 🙂