In the article “Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media” by Andreas M. Kaplan and Michael Haelin, they respectively talk about the concept of social media and how it is an ongoing trend in the workforce (2010). One of the key points made by these authors that I would like to elaborate on would be: the five key points on being social when using social media. I have come across multiple sites that aren’t user friendly or inviting. To me an important factor in generating a functional social media platform revolves around having an engaging site that allows users to interact with one another. Without having an engaging or user friendly site, it limits the sites capabilities and can take away from whatever type of products, services, or ideas you would like to share with others. The Five key points of being social suggested by Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haelin are: Be active, Be interesting, Be humble, Be unprofessional, Be honest. In this blog I would like to address a few of these key points and give my ideas and experiences while using social media.
Be active: “Social Media are all about sharing and interaction, so ensure that your content is always fresh and that you engage in discussions with your customers (Haelin, Kaplan, 2010)”. This point cannot be stressed enough. From my personal experience I follow companies and individuals who are always updating what they are doing and what’s new. A great example of a company that I follow on Twitter that is active and keeps me updated with their products, company news, and relevant topics is Under Armour. I can visually see what new products they have when they release images via Twitter. Also it gave me an opportunity to see what promotions they are having through the year. I have capitalized on their activeness by buying products I most likely would not have found or realized had they not been using social media as a tool to generate business.
Be Interesting: “Let’s face it: nobody is interested in speaking to a boring person (Haelin, Kaplan, 2010)”. This might be the most straight forward way of putting it. Regardless if you share the same hobbies and interests, if you can’t find a way to captivate your target audience, you are just wasting your time. What’s the incentive in following an individual that you don`t find to be interesting. There are so many people and companies who use social media in a refreshing way that if want people to see what you are doing or your business is doing, you must be a bit more creative or unique than a basic platform. One company who I oddly found to be pull me into their site was McDonald’s via their YouTube Videos. McDonald’s isn’t my favorite type of fast food for many reasons, however it`s the only one I found interesting enough to follow. McDonald’s ran an add campaign that focused on addressing concerns in a public forum which allowed them to address frequently asked questions about their food and business practices. Doing so granted users an inside look on how their food is created and debunk some of the myths going on about their food. If you have some time you might want to look and this video: What Are McDonalds Chicken McNuggets Made Of?
Be Unprofessional: “Social Media users are people like you, who understand that things do not always go smoothly (Haelin, Kaplan, 2010)”. When you are marketing yourself or your company you don`t need to spend a lot of money of having the best presentation of yourself. You also don’t need to have someone else monitor your tweets. Although there has been cases where individuals do say some inappropriate comments on social media, for the most part everyone knows what is and isn’t acceptable. Also you are portraying you own identity so by having someone else manage your personal account takes away some of the authenticity and your own personality. One individual who has done an exceptional job of marketing themselves is a 4th line hockey player in the NHL named Paul Bisonnette. He has managed to attract 625 thousand followers on twitter by being very active and interesting. He posts funny pictures, interesting videos on Twitter, and has some pretty funny tweets relevant to his personal life on and off the ice. In comparison Taylor Hall, former NHL first round pick and first line player has only 343 thousand followers. That’s half the amount of Paul Bisonnette. Although Taylor Hall is a better player on the ice, Paul Bisonette social media presence far exceeds Taylor halls. Why? Well here is one video made by Paul Bisonnette that allowed him to gain a viral exposure while promoting a great cause. ALS Ice bucket challenge. This video has over 9 million views!
In summary these few key points are what I believe can really essence you or your companies social media platforms by: being active, interesting and oddly a bit unprofessional. Be active to keep your target audience update and drive you or your company’s presence. Be Interesting to engage your audience and create customer value. No one will follow someone who doesn’t create value to themselves. Be unprofessional in the sense that you can create a real authentic relationship. Having someone else portray who you are on your social media platform loses authenticity and people would rather hear what you have to say, not your assistant.