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The explosion of social has been tremendous. Facebook is closing in on one billion active users, while Twitter approaches 200m, not to mention fast-emerging platforms like Google+, Instagram and Pinterest.
Social networking is the most popular online activity making up 19% of all online time, or nearly one of every five minutes, up from only 6% in 2007.
Community management and whether or not it should be outsourced to agencies has been a point of discussion ever since brands started dipping their toes in the social media pool.
We expect this debate to continue as the social channels mature, but here are three reasons why this role in the marketing mix sits better outside of the organisation.
When you read that just 11% of retailers respond to negative comments on Facebook, while 81% of businesses use social media for marketing, it’s clear that something has gone drastically wrong in the world of social customer services.
But what, exactly?
After reading the shocking statistics in Vikki Chowney's social customer service post on Econsultancy a few weeks ago, I asked several of Our Social Times' largest clients why their customer services teams hadn’t fully adopted social media yet.
Here’s what they said, with added notes and suggestions.
This week, Lady Gaga became the first person to exceed 20m followers on Twitter.
These are huge numbers, but volume rarely means anything on its own. The interesting point here is that this community really are her 'followers' - in namesake and in the way they respond to her.
They are more loyal than a brand could ever dream of, but there are some lessons that we can all take on board and implement when trying to build a community either online or off.
Is it ever OK to close comments on a blog, Facebook page or online news article?
It’s a question we often hear, particularly from companies who’ve found, for a variety of reasons, that their online communities have been flooded with posts that they simply weren’t prepared for.
2011 saw some high-profile examples of Facebook page owners taking the decision to block comments.
Twitterchats are organised, non-linear, fast-paced conversations using Twitter where participants discuss themes and questions about a given topic.
With its speed, ease of use, accessibility and limited character format, Twitter provides an effective tool for individuals to discuss or unite around a theme or topic and Twitterchats have evolved from webchats and forum discussions.
So, how do you plan and run a Twitterchat?
'Content is King' is an old phrase but still a true one when it comes to building a brand presence on social media.
As Facebook implements more and more ways for users to control exactly what appears in their News Feeds, brands need to be ready to meet the challenges that brings.
Community Management is the art and science of engaging your fans and it’s important to view it as a data-driven, long-term, iterative process. Here are a few of my top tips...
Sarah Drinkwater is UK Community Manager at local listings and review site Qype.
I've been talking to Sarah about the challenges of the role, how businesses should respond to negative reviews online, and how local businesses can use Qype effectively.
Something interesting has started happening when we go and talk to prospective clients about online community management services.
There are various companies which specialise in community management and moderation, and have done for a number of years, but agencies (mostly PR and communications agencies, rather than digital ad agencies) are starting to claim expertise in community management, and to be honest, I don’t think they’re talking about the same thing as we are.
It’s causing real confusion client-side. While we both work with online communities, I think we need to be clear about the definitions of what we each do, so we can work together more effectively.
It's a subject that turns the stomachs of most journalists. After all in journalism, "marketing" and "branding" are dirty words. But given the media fall out as a backdrop for the global recession, it's time that newspapers, and the journalists who write for them, realise that the masthead of their paper is a brand.
Knowing what people think and feel when they see your newspaper's brand is more important than ever.