Mark Clayson

Entering Social Media Part 2 – Listen to What is Said About You

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Are you a company that is considering entering into the social media marketing arena? Of course, it goes without saying, I think you are probably making a good move. But you may have a number of questions, the answers to which will dictate whether or not you wish to embark further along these lines.

One of the true values of using social media for a business or company is that of trying to gauge what other people are saying about you, your brand or what your competitors. There are many ways to do this and each of them have a valuable contribution to play. But there are a number of ways in which a company can monitor for their own brand or product mentions and therefore respond to them in a timely and appropriate way. In a similar fashion, you can monitor what is being said about your competitors, their brand and their products. This is powerful stuff if used correctly.

It is necessary to make the actual step. Social media is, by its nature, an interactive process and you have to actively seek out the information you require. This can be delegated to specific team members whose sole purpose is to determine the number of times your company is mentioned and the types of interactions it is mentioned in.

It goes further than just looking for mentions of your company name. This is your opportunity to seek out what is being said about you and to either underpin positive comments or to respond to negative ones. You can use this in a positive fashion and procure a mini public relations coup at certain times and where appropriate.

Your customers and clients will be talking about you whether you are there or not. If they are talking about you, you need to be part of this conversation if you are going to be able to respond in an appropriate way. You customer service team can use this monitoring as a way to step in when there are problems, concerns or issues regarding your services or products. The savvy companies using social media will also use the comments made by others in order to inform their choice of future marketing programs in the future.

Entering Social Media Part 1 – Determine Your Specifics

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Are you a company that is considering entering into the social media marketing arena? Of course, it goes without saying, I think you are probably making a good move. But you may have a number of questions, the answers to which will dictate whether or not you wish to embark further along these lines.

One of these questions might very well be exactly how much time it is going to take in order to implement, develop, update and review these specialized interactions and platforms. The answer to this will depend on a number of factors not least of which are the type of business you are running, exactly how many and what type of interactions you’ll be performing and what your objectives are.

Despite this there are some overall specifics which we can look at in order to give you a feeling for whether or not this type of media is something you may wish to grasp a hold of.

Consider the following: What will you be using your social media interactions for? You might, for example, wish to use it to look out for mentions of your name or brand and that of your competitors. You may wish to use it to help your customer service program or for improving your marketing and branding. It is possible you might use it to help client interactions and even and business to business discussions. Some people use social media as a way of determining what market is available for your particular product or service or in order to gain further sales and leads. Yet others will use it for distributing specific social media such as images, audio or video or perhaps using it as a simple blogging platform.

Whatever your specifics relevant to your own company, it is necessary for you to determine them first before embarking on a social media program. Your success in this arena depends upon it.

Social Media – Underage Children at Risk

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As many as 25 percent of under 13 year olds are members of social networking sites. This is in direct contravention of the legislation that recommends that children should be 13 or over to use these sites. The rules were initially devised to prevent abuse of youngsters or to prevent them logging on but these barriers are easily overcome with little, if any, checks and balances.

Over two thirds of 5 to 7 year olds have visited Facebook and, what is more worrying, a significant number of parents are unaware of the social media activities of their children. the monitoring that is there to protect children is not only being flouted by children but the authorities are missing the dangers. what is more, it could be that parents are relying on presumed safety issues of a third party rather than being aware and alert themselves for the activity of their own progeny.

There is no room for complacency. There are numerous instances of young people being targeted by sexual predators within minutes of them being online. This has been proven not only by undercover officers posing as young people but by actual court convictions. Many of these instances relate to the over 13 age group – what hope is there for those that are younger and who are even less streetwise and aware of the potential or actual dangers posed?

If the issue needs to be compounded then let us do that immediately. Statistics have shown that children in the UK spend over 2 hours,on average, per day online and that 30% of them admit to doing things that their parents would be disapproving of.

It is an unhealthy and worrying combination.

Social Media and Industrial Disputes 1

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Many companies have had problems with their staff. An industrial dispute can led to a strike call or other forms of industrial action whereby staff refuse to work or work “to rule.” in order to draw attention to their pay and other conditions. Companies and employers have to cope as best they can with all this. How can social media help situations like these?

Keep In Touch

Social media, for all its faults, is, after all, an interactive and immediate media. The benefits of this to a business is that they can keep pace with what is being said in the social space and can react accordingly. In fact, better than reacting, is to be proactive.

Therefore, a company or business could write things like:

– we apologise for any inconvenience

– all orders will be processed as soon as possible

– for more information, call the hotline on xxx-xxxx-xxxx

The underlying principle here is to stay in touch with your customers. If a company can be seen to be caring for the plight of, in this case passengers, then they will be forgiven, at least in part, for the predicament that each individual customer finds themselves in.

Furthermore, buy being in the social space and tracking the various conversations, Employers and businesses will be able to track comments and messages and be in a better position to anticipate problems and issues and better placed to respond to the media and angry customers.

This can be quite a revelation for customers who are used to reactive responses from businesses. Social media allows this to happen effortlessly.

Social Networks Can Get You Convicted

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It is not only individuals, groups and businesses that are using social media. The law enforcement agencies are too.  And it may not be overt as there is evidence that they are going undercover with false profiles.

This is all very well if it is to catch the scum sex pests and major criminals. But it seems that they are out to catch us too Рor at least to use us to be able to complete their investigations. Information obtained under The Freedom of Information Act has shown without doubt that officers are gathering private data, images, videos and other information from anybody that may be of help. How about checking where you were at any particular time by looking at your postings and timelines? Images can reveal what possessions we have and where we might be at any given time.

Gone are the days that we communicated with text alone. Whilst text is still used extensively there is a growing demand for images, videos and audio which proves to be a valuable asset if you are looking for clues and evidence.

But there is an argument for saying that being undercover in social media is not different (and therefore should be allowed) to the offline world. It helps to make a better place.

I am all in favor to be honest. The more criminals that are outed the better. What I am not so comfortable with, however, is the fact that false profiles and accounts are made by these law enforcement bodies which may try and gather information or even ensnare upright social media users. That feels wrong although I understand the value of it in catching those committing crime.

The problem is that sooner or later (or even now?) our most private details may be shared with others that we don’t know. Where will it end. We already know that each and every one of us has huge amounts of data already available to the public eye.

Many social media platforms store data in perpetuity – meaning that even deleted accounts are recoverable although the degree to which the networks allow this data to be accessed varies.

I will be a little more careful what I share in the future (but only a little).

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