Chad Chalifoux is a software engineer that has been working on providing better means of enterprise social networks for various companies over the years. When he isn’t surfing through social media coding or the web, he’s usually catching a few real waves.
We’ve all heard the words social network before, explaining what Facebook, Google+ and other social media platforms were. But the introduction of enterprise social networks is a completely different area, focused around the simple concept of collaboration and communication through a specific business circle. Sure, businesses have been doing this for a while with email or even chatting in a break room, but the type of powerful communication offered through various collaboration applications can change the way a company can function and grow.
But first, when it comes down to it, what is an enterprise social network?
Although there can be a single definition to what an enterprise social network is, many of them function in different ways or with different components, which means while they all fall under the same umbrella term, they actually are varied in quite major degrees. One enterprise social network is LinkedIn, which focuses on providing communication to various companies within the same professional category and is particularly useful for hiring. But then you have another network like Yammer, which is more of a private network directed around a specific company, and then there is even the in between with Google+ providing circles and registration with domain addresses so that you can have a private communication application for just your business while still outreaching to areas outside of the business.
Regardless of the application though, all enterprise social networks work at one simple component and that is to spread communication within and without any company, to a degree this also means things like twitter and Facebook can be used as a business social network, but more often as a means of marketing which is not the true purpose of Enterprise social networks. It is all about proper communication to help grow and develop the company though collaboration of employees.
In Actual Practice
Most people don’t quite recognize the concept of what this kind of communication actually means for a business. In fact many people just think of it as more ways for employees to just do things they weren’t supposed to. But when you have so many employees working around forty hours of their week do you know what they have a tendency of talking about? Work; it is a considerable amount of their life and so it is bound to be something talked about, especially when you promote that work should be discussed. This allows ideas to crop up regularly and be improved upon which provides a company with a means of actual adaptation. Staying stagnant with everything can lead to a poor means of business practice.
The Technology behind Social Networking
We always see regular updates an improvements to sites like Facebook (often met with dread but then forgotten in time), so it shouldn’t be surprising that social intranet software is constantly being improved upon with the main focuses being a means of instant and direct communication to many people or only one person at once and a means of sharing documentation across the web or on a server that is not location specific. Everything else after that tends to come as extra additional things that are worked on to improve those two mentalities.
The original designs for these enterprise social networks simply just took key components that social media sites used like following and walls, but before long components from other programs were adapted like the file sharing, so that these enterprise social networks could become the only required software for employee collaboration.
You’ll have heard by now that the Facebook threaded comments feature recently started rolling out, allowing users to reply to specific comments in a thread. However, we would advise caution before deciding to opt in.
How does ‘Facebook threaded comments’ work?
Each comment on an original story or post will contain a “reply” button beneath it, beside the usual “like” button. If a user replies to a comment, their reply will appear beneath the comment, indented slightly. Or, if someone has already replied to the comment, beneath the previous reply. Comments will also be ranked, based on the amount of interaction they receive.
When will it be available?
Although threaded and ranked comments are not yet available on mobile, on 25 March the option to adopt this system rolled out to page owners with over 10,000 followers. Facebook plans to turn it on for all pages and 10,000+ follower Profiles by default by 10 July 2013
What’s the problem?
We blogged on this when it was in test back in November last year, and (while lauding the beneficial effect this will have on engagement, quality and intelligent conversation) even at that point we were wondering what impact this may have on those who use third party tools to manage their pages. The majority of larger Facebook pages will be using third party tools to monitor and manage their pages, and this change will have a significant impact.
If you use a tool, don’t start threaded comments yet.
It has now been confirmed that Facebook has not yet released the API to its trusted third party tool developers, and the advice from the company is that you should NOT take up the offer until Facebook has had a chance to integrate it into its systems.
While some tool providers are concerned about the changes rendering their services inoperable, others are more relaxed and say that the biggest issue would be that any replies by the page made via third party tools would potentially result in comments not being threaded – which may be perceived negatively by fans who won’t appreciate why you can’t/aren’t responding in-line.
From Conversocial: “We’re keen to implement this feature as soon as we can, but currently Facebook has not given any developer access to this feature through the API and as such we are unable to implement this feature right now. Facebook is however working to release this to developers ASAP and we are keen to build in this feature very quickly. In the meantime, we recommend you do not enable this feature on your page as replies will not be threaded just yet!”
In an email from Saleforce Marketing Cloud to its clients: “Facebook developers have not yet released the API for this feature, which is necessary for ConversationBuddy™ to interoperate with this new feature. For this reason, Facebook Account Representatives are recommending that customers of third party partners (such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud) do not enable this feature at this time because it may render ConversationBuddy inoperable or may have other adverse impacts on such services. As a strategic Facebook partner, we at Salesforce Marketing Cloud echo this recommendation, and advise that you delay enabling this feature until we have completed and deployed the Replies integration into ConversationBuddy.”
Facebook is due to release the API to third party tool developers within the next six weeks, so we would recommend that you don’t take up the offer until you have had confirmation from your tool provider that it has integrated the changes.
What if my page is managed directly, without a tool?
If you have a large enough fanbase to receive the offer from Facebook, using threaded comments should help to improve the conversation quality and relationship you have with users on your page (see our previous post for more details, and this good analysis by Lauren Friedman from Adobe Social).
However, we’re beginning to receive reports that the experience of trying to manage threaded comments using only Facebook’s native tools is proving frustrating as new content (good, bad or spam) is very hard to find. No longer do posts appear in the order they were posted. As the comments are now sorted by popularity, moderators have to review every single comments on every post every time they look at the page. This is obviously not workable. Additionally – as we predicted in November – some community managers are already seeing evidence of on-page bullying as users are able to respond directly to each other and pile into a popular discussion: the Facebook equivalent of a rugby scrum.
Are you using threaded comments? How are you finding it? We’re looking forward to finding out more about the nitty-gritty of moderating threaded comments – what happens when you delete a comment at the top of a thread, for example? Let us know what you think of the new system in comments below (threaded, of course!).
Our Monday contributor, @AdoptATweep is set to host “an innovative event aimed at empowering people to create brands that will attract attention on Twitter.” If you stay in Abuja, Nigeria or will be in the city on Saturday, 15th of December, 2012, this is an event you don’t want to miss.
See below for details:
The #AdoptATweep event has just one curriculum tagged “10 simple ways to explode on Twitter”
Date: 15th December, 2012.
Time: 2pm to 6pm.
Venue: Sofa Leather Lounge, #81 Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja
Send an e/mail with the subject #AdoptATweep to firstname.lastname@example.org
Indicate your name, Twitter handle, Mobile Number, Date of birth and form of identification. #AdoptATweep
E.G: Opara Emmanuel, @NewMediaNaija, 2348093413213, 26th December and Driver’s License. #AdoptATweep
If you are unable to attend, you can always nominate a maximum of 10 persons to attend the event.
The venue remains Sofa Leather Lounge, #81 Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja.
It is located on the same street as Amigos Supermarket, Celebration Stores (White House) and Ascon Filling Station.
You may kindly tweet at them via @SofaLounge81 to show appreciation to them. They offered us the venue and facilities at absolutely no cost.
If you desire any further detail, feel free to tweet at me via @AdoptATweep and ensure to use the hashtag #AdoptATweep or just call 08093413213 for immediate response.
In the past 3 months, I have had numerous conversations with a couple of social media managers and just ‘normal’ folks trying to achieve one or two results with social media. It’s been funny, really. First, these calls often reveal to me that many people still haven’t gotten a hang of this social media wave and that there are too many myths and misconceptions about the social web.
First and most frequent subject of discussion is the link between result and the means to the end. It usually starts with “…we need to get xyz through Twitter, where do we start from”, or “we just want to increase talkability on social media”. Some even say “we have an event next month, and we want to create awareness about it, so people can register”, some others then say, “we just launched our blog and want to get 70,000 views per day…”. Several others.
After giving several suggestion and alternative routes to the means, I then move to the part that scare most away – money. So, let’s talk about it here.
While creating social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook etc.) may be free, generating big kick-ass results is not necessarily free. Delete necessary. It’s actually not free. So, the first myth you need to get off your head is that social media is actually free in its entirety. Next is to get the bug on your boss or client.
While managers are beginning to realize the importance of social media to their business, many are still not making enough provisions for it in their budget. Typically, they just ask a random staff who’s fairly good with internet stuffs to create their profile and start posting stuffs. Then, they follow that up by setting an unrealistic goal and baseless KPIs to measure performance. This is where I get phone calls. After two months of ‘posting everything’, target is not achieved. The accidental social media manager then becomes discouraged, overwhelmed and frustrated – “but I am doing everything”.
His boss wants to be on every blog, every Google search page, everyone’s Facebook timelines like Jumia, Konga and several other examples of ‘successful’ ad campaigns. They want to generate buzz on Twitter like Osun State did for Opon Imo (the tablet recently launched) and the likes. As great as this intentions are, bosses and clients often forget one thing. Money.
My response is simple. Get your boss to support you with a decent budget to drive the results he desires. For every ad you see on a blog, someone is paying the bill. Google is not a charity organization. Facebook is a public company with shareholders waiting for dividends and bonuses; then institutional investors expecting a heavy ROI at the end of the year. The only way they can achieve that is by charging you a premium (ad revenue) for the wider reach you desire.
In some cases, you need to pay local influencers and opinion leaders to help drive your agenda on social media. These guys have put in huge efforts (perhaps, when you were busy arguing whether Facebook and Twitter are here to stay or not) to build their following. So, you expect them to talk about your business (that earns you profit. Not them) all day without receiving something in exchange? You’ve got to be kidding. Maybe if it’s a social initiative.
I’ve not even talked about the advanced tools you may need to pay for at some point. All these and many more all prove that social media is not free.
Here’s the bottom-line, when next your boss or client (for agencies) gives you that ‘big target’, ask him to put his money where his “heart” is. Simple. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of things that can be done without money, but for those who desire to generate the impact the big brands are generating, you’ve got to be good at spending. Period!
Twitter is a social site used today by tens of thousands of businesses for micro-blogging. It is the preferred place on the web where big enterprise organizations as well as smaller brands post short updates, to be precise, an update less than 140 character long. For many businesses, Twitter is a hybrid from the cross of an instant messaging service and a chat room. It is in principle an open forum but as a Twitter user, you can restrict the people with whom you connect. For any business, Twitter is an incredible marketing and PR tool.
With that said, if you’ve decided to finally join the Twitter bandwagon to increase the reach and impact of your business, you are going to need some guidance. Out there, on a social site like Twitter with a current estimate of over 500 million registered users, it is easy for businesses to get lost never to be found by potential customers. So what should you do? What should your Twitter marketing strategy look like?
To help you get started with marketing on Twitter, below is an 8-step approach to successful micro-blogging.
So here we go! Buckle up and let’s get started!
1. Choose carefully who to follow on Twitter
On Twitter, what you will come across in terms of updates and knowledge is going to directly depend on the people you follow. Your learning curve will therefore depend on those initial choices you’ll make picking out the Twitter accounts worth following. In the beginning, the temptation to follow just about anyone is going to be strong and you will have to resist it. Always remember that your incoming stream should stay relevant.
2. Organize the Twitter accounts you follow
So you are on Twitter and you’ve managed to find some influential Twitter accounts worth following. It might be a good idea to actually organize your incoming stream into lists using Twitter tools including Tweetdeck and Hootsuite . This helps you keep tract of those topics that you particularly care about.
3. Don’t think twice about blocking irrelevant accounts
Like on the social media giant Facebook, Twitter offers its registered users the possibility to block other Twitter accounts. One of the mistakes that many businesses make is that they opt for ignoring the spammy accounts that follow them but on Twitter, you are judged based on your followers. So if you have spammy accounts following you, don’t think twice. Block them.
4. Don’t make retweeting people a point of pride
On Twitter, businesses often make it a point not to retweet other people’s updates. This is not the right approach. As a matter of fact, you should be retweeting people you wish to build a rapport with. If you come across something useful or interesting, share the good stuff. What’s the harm in that?
5. Always find new people to follow
Setting up a Twitter account and following a few people in the first couple of weeks followed by the occasional update and retweet is not the right approach to micro-blogging. Always make it a point to find new and relevant Twitter accounts to follow. One of the best ways to do this is to find the time and research the Twitter streams of the people you follow. The site’s Advanced Search function might also be helpful.
6. Streamline the things you share on Twitter
To most businesses, social media marketing is a joke but it’s not. You see, having a Facebook account with hundreds of fans or a Twitter account with hundreds of followers is not really the goal you want to set for your marketing strategy. What you should be doing is engaging your audience and finding the triggers that will convert potential customers into buyers. So don’t share just about anything you find on the web because you can’t be bothered to come up with good stuff. Invest in the content you share. Sure sometimes you can curate content from the web if you are blank on what to share with your followers but stay relevant.
7. Use the weapons in your arsenal, for example ‘Favorite’
Did you know that each time you favorite someone’s content or Twitter update they get notified about it? Use this to your advantage. That right there is an incredible tool you have to dangle your name in front of people you respect and wish to connect with.
8. Learn the semantics of the micro-blogging site
If you’ve been on Facebook or Twitter for long enough, you would know that people on a social site tend to speak a language characteristic to that particular social network. Learn the secret language of Twitter. Of course you can refer to the Twitter Glossary but more importantly you want to pay attention to how other people are using the social site.Source: Social Media Today
Social marketing is a must for all of us – and such has been the case for several years now. That being said, we are all involved in marketing through sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. But successfully gaining conversion can be challenging through social media interactions. Fortunately, the reason for your lack of sales may simply stem from an omission or oversight. You may be missing a simple, but crucial best practice relating to social marketing.
Here’s a look at seven things that you should be doing when reaching out to customers through social media.
Don’t forget to check in
Even if you are spacing your updates over days or weeks as part of your overall strategy, you still need to check in on your social marketing outlets from time to time. Left unattended, social posts can become harbors for bad comments, or worse, ignored. You’ll want to stay up-to-date by logging into all outlets at least once a day. This will help you to gauge the effectives of your content as well as respond to any concerns in near real-time.
Timing is everything
The timing of your social marketing posts is crucial to their effectiveness. The growing consensus is that there is a perfect time to post media relating to every given niche. For those in the automotive arena, for example, it’s a weekend game. Clothing? Thursday is said to be your best bet.
Whatever your niche, getting the timing right, especially when it comes to sending out updates, means not only taking industry stats into consideration, but your own unique business demands as well. The more data you can examine around your topic, the better.
Keep the conversation going
Stimulating and engaging posts will go a long way toward drumming up all-important interest in your business. Sharing blogs post, asking thoughtful questions, as well as outright seeking feedback in a public setting are all good ideas for urging interaction through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Pictures, as they say, are worth thousands in words. Use pictures and they can lead to strings of conversations. Whatever you are doing, adding interactive or conversation-causing content is a must-have for any successful social marketing plan.
Speak to your audience
Going hand-in-hand with the need to start a conversation is the need to address any customer concerns, regardless of scale, through social media. Customers may use your Facebook wall to ask a serious question about a product or service. You’ll want to be genuine, caring, and appreciative to each and every one of them. You definitely want to make sure that all such issues are addressed, after all, your followers are watching.
Search for your brand
Chances are, people are already talking about your brand. Be sure to search for relevant terms and hash tags that might be associated with your company. This will help you understand what is being said – and how your business is being received – through channels that you might not otherwise be aware of. You can learn from the conversation and even join in if you feel it will help you connect with a new faction of potential customers.
Follow others to gain customers
One great way to put your business on the peripheral of untapped clients is to follow popular industry figures. This is especially true in the early stages of introducing your brand through social marketing. If you become a follower, or like, a key player in your industry, your interactions with them will be seen by their larger fan base if properly orchestrated. You can imagine the ensuing benefit of this phenomenon. This is the “networking” part of social media and it’s something you don’t want to overlook.
Analyze, analyze, analyze
Simply put, there’s much to be learned from social media analysis. Data gained through social marketing interactions is prized information that can help you adapt your future strategy. From social media interactions you can learn what people respond to, where they drop off, and what their buying patterns are. Armed with information, you can put forth better, more result-oriented content in the future.
Social marketing is where it’s at now, more than ever. You undoubtedly know that you should be doing it, and you probably are. But if you’re missing on any of the above, you’re potentially missing out on sales opportunities as a matter of course. By adhering to the above seven principles, you’ll be covered when it comes to social media. Sales are what you can expect when you have all your social marketing efforts firing on all cylinders all the time, just like we’ve covered.Source: Smedio
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Plugins are simply add-ons that extends the functionality of a blog. As powerful as WordPress, Blogger and other blogging platforms are, they are still limited in terms of certain functions that are crucialto blogging.
Take for instance, WordPress doesn’t have a Twitter Tool by default. This and many more can be achieved by installing a third-party plugin. Hardly can a blog survive without plugins. Newbies are usually confused about the type of plugins to install on their blog. Below is a compilation of the five most important plugins to install on your blog. Check out world-class blogs and you will find all of these plugins playing a crucial role. Let’s go:
- SEO Plugin: I am sure you want your blog to be properly crawled by Search Engines as this will enhance the visibility of our blog during searches. So, in order to make your blog search engine friendly, you will need to install a SEO plugin. This plugin may be overlooked if your theme comes with a SEO function by default. I recommend the popular and functional “SEO All in one Pack” plugin for this function for WordPress blogs.
- Spam Filter: After about two months of installing wordpress for a client, he had gotten over 200 spams in form of comments, contact form submissions and the likes. Sure, you understand how disturbing that can be. So, for every blog you run, ensure you install a spam blocker on it to prevent you from getting those unwanted comments and form submissions. I recommend the nativeAkismet for WordPress.
Social Plugins: In this Social Media driven world, you won’t want to run a blog without installing any social plugin. Social plugins allow your visitors discover you on the Social Media platforms you belong to and also extend the conversation there.
Recently, I attended a program for media entrepreneurs. Expectedly, it was a blast except for the utterances of one social media guy who spoke. He made few statements that almost pushed me to snatch the microphone from him and push him off the stage. Ah! If I had done that, I won’t be writing this post now. The angel in me held me.
First, I want you to get it straight. The fact that someone has “xxxxxx” number of followers on twitter does not make him a social media mogul or whatever title he or she gives himself. It goes way beyond that. If not, all those porn handles will also be social media strategists.
Now, to lies:
- People don’t click links: How big of a lie can this be? I manage several blogs including mine and those of my clients and the highest traffic source on all is Twitter. So, the question is, how did that happen if people don’t click links on Twitter? In a recent survey (can’t remember which exactly), respondents stated that they now use Twitter as a replacement for RSS feeds. So, if you own a blogger or website, you gotta be tweeting those links and turn a deaf ear to statements like this.
- Evening tweets are pure waste of time: Pure lie sir! Wrong! Generally (especially when you already have followers), there is no such thing as the “right time” to tweet. It all depends on your followers. Analyze your followers and target audience. When do they tweet or ReTweet the most? Thankfully, there are now several applications you can use for this. You can use SocialBro. And then, after knowing the time most of your followers tweet, you don’t want to avoid tweeting at other times. Your followers have the right to launch their twitter apps at any time of the day and you want to ensure they don’t miss your tweets. In response to this lie, I’ll say a handful of the twitter accounts I know (or manage) receive tons of tweets in the evening as well.
No matter what anyone tells you about social media, do what gets you the most results per time.