“How to NOT Suck at Social Media” Notes

Objective/Audience: To help new businesses/older businesses without a social media presence with their entrance into the social media world and guide them on how to “market” their business without really marketing. To teach them the do’s and do not’s. Also to teach one the difference between their personal social media presence and their professional social media presence.

Applicable Social Discourses of Technology (Baym):

  • Social Shaping (when technology and society influence each other): Twitter was not made with the intent of businesses reaching consumers, but one of its affordances is that it allows users to do just that.
  • Social Construction (humans shape the technology and users hold the power): Social media would not be effective if people did not use it.
  • Domestication of Technology (technology is introduced and integrated into everyday life): Social media sites have expanded to more than just the PC, but to mobile devices, causing them to be accessible anywhere at anytime.

Applicable Course Concepts:

  • Reach: Business’ goal in social media is to not only increase its reach, but to engage members within their reach into their brand.
  • Perpetual Beta: Social media is constantly changing, meaning businesses will have to keep track and constantly know how to adjust
  • Dis-embedding/Re-embedding, Disembodiment (Slater): Physical location doesn’t completely matter, transferring into the virtual world. Business’ online presence is irrelevant to its physical location to a certain extent. If it’s a restaurant, there will be a delivery radius in which physical location does matter, but if it’s a retail store, one will most likely be allowed to buy from anywhere.
  • Media Multiplexicity (Baym): Social media presence across platforms, business accounts will likely consist of weak/latent ties
  • Imagined Audience/Context Collapse: Think of ideal reader/consumer business is targeting, “tweet to lowest common denominator” in this case “tweet to idea consumer,” meaning things can get lost in translation if a post targeted for a consumer of a certain brand was seen by someone outside of that consumer demographic.
  • Idea of Performativity/Authenticity: When one sees a business social media account, a sense of performance is already associated with it just because. What consumers tend to lean toward is a kind of authenticity (not trying too hard, there are imperfections) and away from theatrical, which I think would relate to McCutcheon’s method of avoiding the “hard-sell.”
  • Digital Fluency is key for businesses to be taken seriously on social media.
  • Attention economy: Businesses fight for attention within social media platforms.
  • Immaterial Labor/Affective Labor/Digital Economy: Social media is apart of the virtual world, making it virtual/immaterial labor on behalf of businesses, by creating connections with potential consumers they are creating affective labor; a mix of culture and information, where businesses may work with consumers to build their brand through social media.

Book Notes: 

  • Automated direct messages are not at all useful, can be seen as spam and will not engage the consumer. Will usually turn them away. Considered “robotic, scripted, junk mail.”
  • I agree, most of the time, that direct messages should be avoided by businesses, unless they are personable.
  • Example of company that “sucked”: AT&T’s September 11th incident. Probably the only relevant example he used.
  • Says businesses usually suck at social media because they are often late-adopters and see it as a marketing channel. I can agree with that.
  • Says to take off marketing hat, and put on networking hat. Is networking the marketing of social media?
  • Like that he pointed out that social media was around before current giants of Facebook and Twitter.
  • Sometimes he gets too into the technological aspect, that is really sort of irrelevant in the purpose of this book (BBSes). 
  • Like that he compared presence on social media to presence in an actual room filled with people. Think it gets the point across better on how to conduct a business’ social media presence.
  • “must follow much of the same rules applied in real-world socializing.” Yes.
  • “never use the hard-sell,” agree. it takes away from authenticity and gives to theatrical, which is not good for consumer reception.
  • Social media is about building relationships with actual people, so treat them like so.
  • Social media is not an optional place for a brand any longer.
  • Goes in-depth about the identity of customers, but I find it odd that he uses the term’ ‘customer,’ when businesses are trying to appeal to consumers, and doesn’t reference that it’s better to refer to the consumer as something other than a customer, but rather a member, guest, friend, fan, or apart of their entourage.
  • He tends to repeat himself somewhat. Example: in the beginning he compares social media presence to presence in a people-filled room, and then at this point he talks about how the general rule of thumb is to treat people on social media like how you would treat a new person you meet in person. He’s getting the same message across.
  • Social media with a loyal following can be more powerful than an expensive ad campaign. Very true.
  • Says that methods are much less self-centered, and that one can build a “tribe” based on looking out for others, engaging them in things they find interesting, “liking” or “retweeting” their posts. I argue that’s not any less self-centered because it is most likely that business is doing it with self-face and mutual-face in mind. By being nice to some, they seem nice to others.
  • ‘networking online is much easier online for most people’ Feel like this can be argued due to reduced social cues.
  • Found the tip about keeping the same username across platforms to be extremely useful and the namechk site as well.
  • Found the “radio test” to be interesting and useful for businesses. Wasn’t something I ever really thought about.
  • Google+ seems to be more of a system-based thing rather than a personable kind of thing on behalf of businesses. For example, businesses can engage with their followers on Twitter and have fun with them, while Google+ seems to be more useful regarding reviews and actual business information.
  • Did not understand that whole thing on Google Authorship. Why would your person matter if it should be your business page you’re worried about? You don’t want your personal associated with your business.
  • Didn’t like that he encouraged businesses to use YouTube even if they aren’t good with videos and suggested making screencasts of PowerPoint presentations. No. That makes the business look behind the times. Nobody is going to go on YouTube for a PowerPoint they can download. They go on YouTube to see actual presentations with people discussing things, or showing things. YouTube is not for everyone, and by trying to partake in it with something like stale voiced over PowerPoint presentations, it can actually hurt it.
  • Pinterest is like recreational use for a brand. I found it odd that he decided to post an album based on the inspiration on the business, rather things they worked on and their experience examples. I feel that more people would be more inclined to be more engaged by that than what they were inspired by to form the business. A person doesn’t want to know what made a person open the bakery, they want to know what the quality of the cakes they’ve made more were.
  • Note: Instagram is now on Android, and limited use on Windows phone and not necessary to sign up with Facebook account.
  • Odd that he says not every business will fit in with Instagram, when businesses are more likely to find beneficial use in Instagram rather than YouTube.
  • Says its good to let customers see a little of the face behind the keyboard. I agree that it can cause a more loyal reach considering it would be more authentic. However, I still believe that personal should be separated from business, and instead of sharing more about one’s person, the person manning the business should manage social media in a way that the brand seems to be an identity or person of its own.
  • I think that he should have elaborated on Yelp! considering it has the power to potentially make or break a business because of its reviews. A lot of people look on Yelp! and it’s important for a business to have all of its information updated, photos available, and it looks awesome when a business responds to reviews (both good AND bad).
  • He goes over on how to gain followers, which I find to be just a bit like a performance. I think a key thing for business to gain followers is for them to be a quality business and market their online presence at their businesses because if a business is of great quality, people will come. If they’re doing business right, they wouldn’t have to go about his method; this method would be pointless.
  • RSS section confused me a bit, but the main thing I have to say about this is that if Google, which is usually ahead of the game and very successful in this field, discontinued Reader, they did it for a reason. I feel like this may be like buying a VCR after the DVD has been introduced and VHS’s are dying.
  • HootSuite seems useful for businesses in the way that they allow them to see all their accounts on one screen.

 

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