trinetizen

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Name: Julian Matthews
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Hi. I'm a former journalist and Malaysian correspondent to CNet, ZDnet, Newsbytes (Washington Post-Newsweek Interactive wire agency), Nikkei Electronics Asia and AsiaBizTech.com. I also previously contributed to The Star, The Edge, The New Straits Times, The New Zealand Herald and various magazines. Currently, I train and advise managers and executives on strategies to optimize their use of social media and online channels to reach customers. My company, Trinetizen Media, runs media training workshops on social media, media relations, investor relations, corporate blogging, podcasting, multimedia marketing, online advertising, multimedia journalism and crisis communications. You can connect with me on Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter.

Monday, July 13, 2009

10 step guide to social networks

This is an oldie but goodie from Cynthia Medina at Amadeus University:

The top 10 things we recommend to do before implementing a social network.

1. MANAGEMENT TRAINING: Have your management staff attend a Web 2.0 awareness training that describes social networks, blog, wikis, discussion boards, and social bookmarking. If management understands the differences between these technologies, it will be easier to determine whether you really need a social network.

2. STAFF TRAINING: After you determine you want to implement a social network, have the entire staff attend the same training your management staff attended. It’s only fair they understand this as well since they will be the ones using it, right?

3.SPOT CHAMPIONS: Observe which of your staff members really get excited about these changes. You will need some ambassadors to drive the change in your organization, and these are usually the ones that like change or technology.

4. FORMULATE POLICY: Come up with a Social Network policy. Everyone should know exactly what can and cannot be posted. Also, include employee contributions in their annual objectives to help ensure they’ll contribute content.

5. START WITH FACEBOOK: Before investing in software, start with one of the top social networks. The best one to start with is Facebook, which allows businesses to create a business page that is available to all Facebook users as well as non-users.

6. START POSTING: After you create the business page, have your ambassadors post notes (”blog post” in Facebook terms), discussions, videos, pictures, etc., that are related to your business. They can also create groups of special interest that promote certain travel destinations or types of travelers. Get some more tips on what to post from our article “What’s all that Web 2.0 stuff?“

7. GROW THE TEAM: Allow your staff to also create their own personal Facebook page. This way they can network with your existing customers and get new ones. They can also become fans of your business page and help you promote your business.

8. APPOINT MODERATORS: Assign some of the staff to moderate your business page. You need to make sure that everything that gets posted on your page is in good taste and doesn’t harm your business. Having someone moderate the page and delete distasteful comments will keep your page clean.

9. SPREAD THE WORD: Include your Facebook business page URL in all communications sent to customers. The more people see it, the more they will remember it. Tell everyone you are on Facebook...this is seen as a positive thing.

10. QUALITY MATTERS: Use your business page to communicate your business news and promote your specials. The quantity and the quality of the content posted on your business page is very important. The more you post, the more people will come back. Again, quality is very important.

Do this for a year while using and analyzing the "Insight" reports that Facebook offers. You can track stats on page views, discussions, video plays and more, plus you can export the data. Use it to assess changes or enhancements you need to make on your business page or to help you in your decision making later on.

When the year is up, you’ll be a social network expert and will be able to make a better decision on whether to buy software or develop your own social network. You might even decide to continue with Facebook. There is nothing wrong with using a free service.

MORE.

So, don’t jump on the band wagon just because others are. You need to know if it’s going to work for your business. To help you in your research, check out this list of Business & Travel Social Networks. Download it, sign up and test them. It’s what I do (well, as long as they’re free). This is the only way you will know what others are really doing and what you can do for your business.

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