Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

Hey all,

So by now we’re all familiar with the concept of social media in general such as Facebook, LinkedIn etc, as well as Blogging both internal to the organisation and external, such as this WordPress blog.

Micro blogging takes a different approach to the usual format, restricting posts to a bare minimum of characters per post. Twitter for example limits posts to 160 characters, and these micro blog posts are referred to as “Tweets”.

However much like better cars don’t make better drivers, the micro blogging format doesn’t mean junk will never be posted, or a useless Tweet sent every second, it does however help to ensure the content is short, sharp and to the point. People can also ‘follow’ Twitter accounts to ensure that they receive information instantly. To ensure content is targeted, Twitter uses a system called ‘hash-tagging’ which works by placing a hash symbol (#) in front of a word e.g. #micro-blogging.

In an enterprise context this is very useful as it enables content to not only be targeted through the use of hash tags, but the business can also see what topics are ‘trending’ by looking at what hash tags appear the most. These trending topics can be used to gain a business advantage by utilising trending hash tags that are relevant to their business, thus generating more traffic by association. Trendsmap is a great tool that can be used to sort out what is trending geographically speaking, in order to ensure your tweets are hitting the right areas.

Personally, for any blog post I publish I will also send a Tweet sent out to all my followers, along with accompanying hash tag to ensure anyone else either in my class, or interesting in the content I am posting will be able to find my post. This is very useful in a business situation where you can inform people of specials, promotions, initiatives, latest news and events as well as get to interact with your target market and learn what they like, dislike, follow, use, think and pretty much anything else that they are willing to share via social media.

 

Iran and Social Media

I’ve previously focused on government and social media, so I thought I’d explore how a people as a whole, rather than an organisation, can be used to demonstrate the power of micro blogging.

During the 2011-2012 Iranian protests, the government issued a media blackout to ensure no news of the unrest would be seen, or heard of throughout the country. Enter Twitter, Facebook and other social media applications which suddenly turned groups of both organised and disorganised protestors into a single hive mind that shared information instantly enabling quick decisions on what the best course of action was at that immediate moment.

By sharing what the government forces were doing, where other protestors were, what places to march on, what to expect around the corner etc. they were better prepared and embodied they saying ‘knowledge is power’
Recently there were fresh demonstrations around the Iranian election, and in a move to pre-empt any unrest the government blocked what it considered ‘damaging’ western based websites.
This ensured some 30 million Iranians were unable to access Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and a host of other sites instrumental to a coordinated protest.

 

So what’s it got to do with business?

If a business is able to build an online presence through micro blogging, it will enable them to engage with people on a very personal, very rapid level which will ensure targeted marketing and successful business engagement.

Internally, micro blogging could be used to ensure any issues, ideas, projects or current topics are available to the entire organisation instantly.
I will leave you all with a snippet of Fox11 news about Twitter and Iran:

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Hello all,

I’ve been sick the last week so please accept my apologies that this post will be somewhat shorter and less meaty than usual.

I work in the IT Security field and because of this, anything related to risk peaks my interest for a number of reasons, however the main one we will be focusing on today is the benefits that accompany them!

Usually the first things managers in a traditional “1.0” organisation think of when Social Media is mentioned goes along the lines of “What?! We’re going to let them sit on the BookFace all day, and what’s it called, chirpy bird thing? Yeah right!”.

Time (you might have picked this up as a recurring theme) is usually the first thing on their minds, the risk of losing vast amounts of company paid time to employees frittering the hours away on social media. The flipside or benefit to this is of course the new pathways create interaction between employees, allows them to express themselves at work thus elevating their mood which is a good thing, as you can make more money by making your employees happy (Forbes, 2012).

External Social Media

On the “Interwebz”, areas of particular interest to me are security, loss of control, reputation and reliability. How can you control something that is out in the ether for everyone to access? Do you want to be the heavy handed “Post Patrol” that blocks all access full stop, or the fun light hearted manager who lets everyone play Farmville all day?

The answer in my opinion is neither, as both extremes are not going to get your organisation anywhere near a mature Enterprise 2.0 standard. To minimise Risk and maximise Benefit you need Compromise. You also need another layer, Physical and Logical security controls in order to provide some meat in your sandwich. Furthermore, you need to foster a Social Media Culture within your organisation where everyone knows and agrees what fly’s and what doesn’t.

Physical controls help mitigate the risks such as loss of control as well as ensuring reputation is upheld by allowing only certain users to post on the corporate page, and granting read only access to the rest of the site. The benefit here is that users are still able to access the social media platform and knowledge contained within.

Logical controls revolve around policy and procedure which many consider to be, quite frankly, a drag. To all those who are in this school of thinking, let me assure you that policy doesn’t suck! Policies and procedures are out there to educate, guide and assist people who wish to use social media tools in the approved manner set out by the company or enterprise. A good policy will ensure users are aware of their roles and responsibilities, and the consequences breaking the agreed upon rules.

Culture is the fabric that binds it all together, a socially accepted take on what’s ok to post and what’s not, how long you should spend on a certain page or site or what to do if something doesn’t look quite right. It is this culture that will ensure policy is adhered to, physical controls are respected and respect for both the enterprise 2.0 platform and the company / enterprise is observed (or not as the case may be!).

Internal Social Media

I recently read a case study revolving around one Al Essa, CIO at MIT’s Sloan School of Management who used blogs and wiki’s to not only manage a multitude of projects across multiple teams, but also leveraged the platforms to create a collaborative Business Plan, sourcing input from his entire staff faculty.

Read more @ http://www.fastforwardblog.com/2007/01/16/an-enterprise-20-poster-child-in-the-it-department/

Well that’s all for now, I hope you all have a great week and a riotous weekend!

All the best,

Dan