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Social Media: Approach with Caution June 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — gillespieka @ 3:37 am

Social media is a booming industry for organizations to get involved with. It is essential for an organization to have some sort of social media incorporated with it because it seems to be changing the way of communication in the business world. Social media is being used for purposes including promotion, customer service and crisis communication. Some organizations seem to be headed in the right direction with the management of its social media pages while others have failed.

One organization that does an excellent job with managing its social media sites is NBC’s Today Show with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. The group of people who run the Twitter and Facebook groups for the organization keeps both sites up to date by the minute. The sites are used for interaction between the viewers and the topics talked about on the show. The timing the organization has with the updates are perfectly timed with the airing of the show. This results in great audience participation and feedback.

An organization that hasn’t quite gotten the hang of social media is AMP Energy Drink. Its Facebook page purpose is to update the “fans” in order to get people to come to planned events to receive free energy drinks. The only problem is that the page is updated shortly before the event is occurring. This gives the consumers no time to plan to come to the event and results in no one showing up to AMP sponsored events.

The organizations doing things right have taken 5 things into consideration before launching and choosing the social media sites it is apart of.

What’s the Purpose?

The first thing an organization should be thinking about is what the purpose and specific uses of its social media will be. What exactly will the organization be using this channel for? It could range from communication with its different publics to promotional efforts for events and products. By answering this question it can help narrow down which site will be the best fit for an organization.

Leading edge

Social media is relatively new to the business world. No one really knows where it will be going in the next five to ten years. This is where research must be done. Look up the sites history and possible future plans it has. A smart organization wants to be a part of a social media outlet that is going to be doing big things and has a large amount of followers for years to come.

Wait, Who is going to do all of this?

Incorporating social media into an organization means someone’s got to manage it. Time, resources and cost play a role into this category. Since it’s a communication tool the PR department should probably manage the account(s). Whoever is in charge of it needs to stay on top of the updates to the page. All of this is crucial to the organizations credibility.

Push v. Pull

The push and pull tactics of social media will determine exactly how and who the organization wants to reach out to. By having more than one site the organization can manage to have the best of both worlds. One site with push technologies and the other with pull. This gives the audience a choice, which makes the company look flexible.


The organization should be cautious of social media because there are certain risks associated with having an account. Most sites allow the followers of the organization to leave comments about it on the web page. This could potentially ruin its reputation.

What’s your take on all of this?


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