Month: March 2014

Issues and Challenges of Social Media

How to take your business “Online”

How do i go about marketing my business on Social Media ? Do i need additional Staff to ensure my business goals effective? Some of the questions that have been on my brain today. I have been thinking more and more about the implications and challenges of social media as I’m writing not only an Assignment but this ongoing blog about social media.

Im left wondering what is actually needed to get the social media aspects of your business online?

“All one needs is a computer, a network connection, and a bright spark of initiative and creativity to join the economy.” -Don Tapscott

Issues Surrounding Social Media

I have decided to investigate 2 main areas around the issues and challenges of social media that I feel are key to any business using social media:

  1. Managing the time taken to effectively use social media
  2. Hiring dedicating staff to manage social media relations

Managing the time taken to effectively use social media

Social-Media-Time-Consuming-ClockSocial media is one of those things that small business owners know they need to do, but they are not quite sure how to find the time to do it. As commented earlier you don’t need to necessarily be the most tech-savvy person to effectively maintain a effective social media presence. A few key steps to effectively manage time spent on maintaining the social media aspect of your business could be:

  • Have a Plan of Attack

Research and find out where your customers and prospects are having conversations and where your business can add value.This will help your business reach its target audience and also grow in the right area of the social media environment. Google alerts or other such apps are effective in achieving this

  • Don’t worry about perfection in every post. 

Start by listening and learning from others, Research into other companies operating close to your business will help you understand what traction is needed to grow your business in the social media environment. As your confidence grows you will become more confident and can become more effective with your time management.

  • Master one Social Media Tool at a time. 

It is much better to be effective using one social media tool than to use five of them poorly. Choose the tool based on where most of your customers and prospects are, this will be important while your confidence is still growing and your will effectively reach your target audience.

  • Dedicated Time to Social Media.

If you can only spend one hour a week, consistently manage your time so that you meet this expectation. This is a much better strategy than spending 2 hours one day and then 5 minutes the next week. Your target audience will likely respond better to consistent and effective social media use.

Extra Staff to manage social Media Relations

great-social-media-manager

Does it make sense for a small business to hire someone to manage the businesses social media presence?

Absolutely, small businesses should work with someone on social media. It’s not as clear-cut as posting every other day or sending a few tweets every other tuesday, to keep your audience entertained and engaged. You must develop a game plan, and then follow it through with the appropriate actions.

Effective use of social media combines excellent customer service, expertise in the market, dependable and engaging content, and the delight of engaging with your audience online. Social-media presence must also reflect a company’s advertising, marketing and public-relations strategies.

In an ideal situation it would be far better for one person or team to handle public relations, marketing, advertising and the social media aspect. This helps keep the message or campaign cohesive and consistent. However, that can become pricey and isn’t necessarily attractive for most budgets, especially small businesses which are a huge part of the NZ economy.

If separate departments are used then it is particularly important to ensure both departments have oversight, this will ensure the message and campaign objectives are met.

“The best way to engage honestly with the marketplace via Twitter is to never use the words “engage,” “honestly,” or “marketplace.” ― Jeffrey Zeldman

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Government and Social Media


A soldier of the Kenyan Contingent serving the AMISOM gestures at an al Shabaab flag painted on a wall at Kismayu airport

Government Organisations Using Social Media Huge Advantage or Huge Mistake.

Information is not knowledge. ― Albert Einstein

As social media becomes more popular it makes me think about how much official information that has been leaked onto the internet. How many  times have you posted something on the internet in the heat of the moment? Have you ever let your emotions dictate a post on social media that could compromise security ? What checks and balances does a government organisation have on social media, and how do they control what is posted on the internet?

These are all hot topics up for debate in todays digital age, I’m all for social media and how information is shared as long as its controlled and there are guidelines in place to prevent security being compromised.

Military Operations and Social Media images

Coming from a military background i think it necessary to comment on how a large government organisation uses social media to engage with the public while ensuring its goals are maintained and information is secure. Social Media is fast becoming the easiest way to share information, this has its advantages such as being able to reach such a large audience almost instantly however with the ease this information is available its always a huge security risk if not managed properly.

The New Zealand Defence Force has strict guidelines on what information can be displayed on social media forums and also about securing its employees profiles so that they can remain safe at all times. I think its essential for all companies to accept that social media is a great tool readily available and essentially free as long as the guidelines are adhered to and that the expectations of the organisation are outlined to the employees.

Government Departments setup to Troll the Internet for Information

Troll-Warning-Photo-by-Gil

With all this information readily available it would be pretty safe to say that there are organisations out there setup to find this information and turn it into intelligence for other government organisations. We live in the age where computers are in most households and most people have a form of social media like Facebook,Twitter,Instagram ect… These are great sources of information for intelligence for the right people. However as i said as long as the posts are regulated and the guidelines are outlined to all personnel using this systems the treat to information compromise is minimal.

Importance of Operations Security (OPSEC)

This short video describes the everyday threats to operational security and some security measures taken by military organisations to ensure the security of information and personnel. Its a good watch and opens your eyes to the everyday threat of unauthorised disclosure of information for government organisations via social media.

 

A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps both. -James Madison, 1832

Web 2.0/Web 3.0 Technologies and Information Architecture

Many of us did not know, myself included there was a “Web 1.0” until we heard about “Web 2.0” being used. Awesome we are already 2 steps behind the playing field. Before an accepted and standard use of “Web 2.0” was achieved for many, “Web 3.0” was being referenced and rolled out into the market. So what is this all about, let’s make this as easy and basic as possible to understand. For starters, each of these terms represent use of the internet. Each number represents more complicated functions the internet can provide as technology advances and more features become available.

“In other words, the more frequently you repeat a given word, the LESS likely you’re going to rank well for that word.”
― Michalis Kotzakolios

Web 2.0: Web 2.0 sites allow for user interaction and participation by having a user-friendly interface where one can edit and publish the existing information.  The term “architecture of participation” or “Web-oriented architecture” is often used because the viewer has some power and control over the data.  Web 2.0 also utilizes social networking tools to further increase the level of viewer participation.  Examples include podcasting, blogging, tagging, and social bookmarking

Ok, so we understand the concepts of Web 2.0 now…but what’s Web 3.0? 

 

Web 3.0: As generally predicted, web 3.0 introduces, in some respects, the “persona” of the web browser. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome etc. will be capable of tracking and synthesising information about a user’s history, and from this provide suggestions for future browsing. Web 3.o has been described as having a digital personal assistant that knows practically everything about you and can access all the information on the Internet to answer any questions you may pose. What does this leave for us to think about? I don’t know about you but I personally like to read and discover new things on the internet rather than have it arrive on a plate, it will definitely be interesting to see how we use the internet in 10 – 20 years.