Engaging in the Social Media Conversation

A recent event in Belfast, hosted by Women in Business, addressed the benefits of using social media to promote your business.  Once again the importance of this medium for engaging with customers and clients was clearly highlighted.

The presentation, delivered by Mags Byrne Consulting, focused on the opportunities social media can offer businesses and how it can be used for promotion, advertising and marketing purposes at very little cost.  The attendees certainly seemed to appreciate the benefits of engaging with the technology and were keen to learn more and put some of the suggestions into practice.

One of the key aspects of social media is the conversation; in this case the dialogue between organisations and their customers.  It is therefore important that the language used is clear and easy to understand.  That’s where the principles of plain English come in and where EGSA could possibly help.

EGSA has been running their successful “Keep It Clear” training course for a number of years.  The practical, hands-on training aims to raise awareness of plain English principles and hopefully save you time and money.  If this is something that would be useful to you or your organisation, visit EGSA’s website to learn more and maybe book a place.

Useful resource:

The NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) website is a useful resource for hints and tips on using social media, particularly with regard to marketing.  Claire Rollinson’s (NCVO Enterprise Manager) blog has a series of interesting and relevant posts; her most recent discussed how social networks can enable organisations to create a true dialogue with their customers and supporters.

Engaging with social media

Tuesday’s Belfast Telepgrah Business has an interesting article on engaging with social media.  It has found that social networking has overtaken email in popularity and that two-thirds of those who go online visit a social networking site.

So why is this important?  Well, if that is where your customers/clients/learners are then you may need to be there as well if you wish to engage with them.

People are now using the digital world to connect and to obtain what they need on information, ideas, and products from each other instead of from companies.

Consumer decisions are now being driven by personal recommendations shared through the social networking medium.

Twitter is an example of this new social networking medium.  We have seen how it has been used recently in Iran and how it could even influence movie audiences.

Therefore being media literate provides you with the awareness and knowledge to effect change in your own small way and to benefit from it as well.

The article concludes by stating that businesses or any organisation that wishes to embrace this new medium should have a good strategy in place.

The Groundswell enabled by Social Media and Web 2.0

I stumbled upon a blog post today by Gareth Murran of ThirdForce titled: Groundswell in an e-learning 2.0 world.

In his post Gareth is referring to a book he has just finished reading:

Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (Hardcover) by Charlene Li (Author), Josh Bernoff (Author)

The book focuses on how people are using new technologies to help them get the things they need and how businesses should take note when they operate in these more socially collaborative environments.

Clearly this is the impact and influence of the digitally included; those who are media literate and think nothing of searching Google for reviews on products and services to find the best price and/or quality/specification before they make their purchase.  It is now much easier and quicker for this group to become better informed and discerning consumers than it is for those who are not part of the digital revolution.

Surely this is just another reason to promote digital inclusion and media literacy within our society so all can realise the benefits.

If you have an interest in social media and web 2.0 technologies and wish to dig deeper this book seems to be a promising read.  I for one have placed an order on Amazon so may post a review in the future.