Social media adaptation lifecyclePosted: February 22, 2009 | |
I have been looking into how companies use social media for about 9 months now and I want to consolidate my thoughts with this article.
Usually the first step in social media adaptation by a company is create a branded site with basic features, such as discussion forums, wiki libraries and blogs. It requires a tremendous amount of content to kick start such a site. The value that users see is the in the content. Over time they will start asking questions in the discussion forum and the practice will grow if they keep getting valuable answers.
Some newer sites are embracing web 2.0 in greater degree and truly enabling the sharing (and in cases creation) of experiences. This opens a whole new area of research into user behavior and how great experiences are formed. Again it requires seeding through competitions and campaigns to get the community going. This is also a soft version of crowdsourcing. A more direct approach would be to ask directly for feedback and allow peers to rank each others ideas.
Companies have also realized that, as the number of branded sites grows, users are able to follow and engage in a lesser degree. Most of our day is spent in Outlook and often social lives are lived through Facebook. Branded communities are expanding to mainstream social media through user group functionality, but the degree of effort that the brand places on these group is a fraction of what the main branded site is getting leaving the groups as not much more than contact lists.
A more effective way would be to create an application that brings the content (twitter) from your main site to the social media sites that people use for recreation. This I have not seen happen.
An example of this whole chain is Dell. The Dell Community site would be an example of the first step and Digital Nomads an example of the second step. Digital Nomads also has Digital Nomad Communities in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Youtube, which is the third step.
My recommendation to Dell would be to create Facebook and LinkedIn applications that would bring Digital Nomads and the Dell Community to the user in their mainstream social media profiles.