How to NOT Suck at Social Media Notes

Purpose: To guide businesses in effectively using social media to engage with their customers

Audience: Small businesses. The audience affects the topics discussed in this guide because the author, Malcom McCutcheon, frames his advice more towards what smaller businesses should do to build their brand and gain a following.

In Relation to Baym’s Social Discourses of New Technology:

  • Social Construction of Technology: The author is giving more guides and personable tips for when it comes to using social media. He writes as if it is more about the responsibility of the social media user, how he/she uses social media is up to him/her.
  • Social Shaping: There is a relationship between the user and the social media/technology – both play an important role in order to get a result

Related CSMT Concepts:

  • Slater -> Disembedding: Author focuses on the online communication associated with social media since it cannot physically connect businesses and their customers
  • Marwick/boyd -> Self-Performance/Authenticity: Author talks more about being personal with social media/authentic but still perform as a business. (In my personal opinion, he emphasizes that there should be a balance, but does not go into detail about the importance of authenticity – he could talk more about authenticity, the imagined audience or context collapse rather than just saying don’t suck, don’t overdo it, etc.)
  • Baym -> Media Multiplexity: strong/weak/latent ties – goal is to maintain ties and build new ones with customers
  • Terranova -> Digital economy – mix of culture and information, tips on utilizing technology, being a new worker, collaborating with others (customers) on social media to build brand

Author notes that businesses are often impersonal, late-adopters, see social media sites as marketing channels.

Four Main Goals:

  1. To not suck – social media is all about building relationships
  2. To engage with your current and prospective customers – anyone that you want to be interested in your business, cause, blog
  3. To build your “tribe” – amount of people who you have an influence on across social media channels; take a genuine interest in people that choose to follow you
  4. To network, damnit
  • Be consistent across platforms
  • Facebook – can have personal page and make a Facebook [business] page
  • Twitter deliberately forces people to be brief
  • Radio Test – imagine you have 5 seconds to relate name/twitter/fb page
  • Google+ – “+1’s” are like Facebook’s likes
  • YouTube – huge power of video for marketing brand and building tribe
  • LinkedIn = social network for professionals, content centered around people’s careers and company info, join few groups related to your industry, start/participate in discussions related to business or blog = great way to gain exposure and make new connections
  • Pinterest – primarily image-based social media channel, show what we think is cool/represents own aesthetic sense of design
  • Instagram – give followers of business opportunity to learn about person behind tweets and status updates
  • Yelp – major source of reviews, especially of local businesses

Tactics to Achieve Four Main Goals:

  1. Separate you, the person from you, the business/blogger – don’t heavily promote business to current social network, don’t heavily promote personal life to followers of business/blog, be neutral in business
  2. Never use hard-sell – keep it conversational, online activity can form relationship that can ultimately lead to success for business
  3. Show interest in followers – show genuine interest in what others are posting – like/retweet/commenting
  4. Bring value to followers – people should find updates helpful, useful, entertaining, or funny
  5. Share just a little bit of you, the person – show more than faceless business – balance and moderation
  6. Post frequently, but don’t overdo it – stay active on website and blog and on social media channels
  • RSS feeds –  find news stories on regular basis meaningful to audience & subscribe to feeds ex. Feedly, Flipboard, Buffer, Hootsuite


  1. […] or caring for a relationship through social media. This idea was discussed in Tyn205’s and  michellepark’s notes. Social grooming can include liking, favoriting, sharing, retweeting, or whatever on […]

  2. […] Aimee and Michelle make strong arguments for why the book fits into a social construction mindset, I like Shivonne […]

  3. […] from Marwick and Boyd‘s “social grooming” was discussed in Tara‘s, Michelle‘s, and Christine‘s notes. Social grooming is exactly what it sounds like […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s