Using Social Media to Enhance Your Information Service

The Association of Information Managers (AIM) held an excellent seminar on Social Media after their AGM last Friday (12 Feb).  The seminar, entitled “Using Social Media to Enhance Your Information Service”, was delivered by Anne Peoples, tutor in Library and Information Management at the University of Ulster.

The presentation focused on how to strategically engage with Social Media and was followed by a workshop discussion on developing a social media policy for your organisation.  I’ve included Anne’s presentation below:

The presentation is comprehensive and I would encourage anyone interested in exploring Social Media to review it.  Anne also has a number of other presentations that she has kindly shared with everyone on her slideshare channel.

As many readers will know Social Media has been a very popular topic and over the past few years businesses and organisations have been using it to engage with their customers/clients.

Doing so however is sometimes not as straight forward as it may seem.  While there are many benefits, there are also risks due to the transparent nature of the medium i.e. what is said online is there for all to see.  For this reason it is very important to have a strategy and relevant policies in place.

10 Rules for Social Media in Corporate Communication

The Quadriga University of Applied Sciences are organising a conference in Amsterdam on the 22/23 Oct on Web 2.0 and social media.  The conference entitled ‘Online Communication: Decoding the Digital Revolution – Trends and Tools in Corporate Communication’ will showcase the necessary toolkit to deal with online communication methods and social media.

Probably most of us will not be fortunate enough to attend what appears to be a very good conference but we can benefit from the 10 rules for social media they have made available on the conference website along with the agenda etc.

I’ve summarised these below but would encourage you to read them in full on their website.

1-Question
… before you do engage in Social Media, make sure to question every step and tool at least twice and make sure one of those is through the glass of prospective users.

2-Prepare
Deal with your issues before engaging in online conversations, prepare your answers to difficult questions and make sure to train all of your employees who will be entering the Web 2.0 world in your company’s name in these same issues.

3-Plan
… it is important to have a strategy that you can refer to, and pre-defined goals that can help you decide, at any given moment, which action (including non-action) would be most effective.

4-Monitor
The fact that you … have only decided to go for a blog … does not mean that you don’t have to monitor all other Social Media websites.

5-Be authentic
Participation in Social Media requires you to make the best out of your social skills and, even if you are doing for your company, spice it up with a bit of the real you.

6-Dont be all 1.0 about it
If you don’t have the time to read what others are writing, react, reply and link relevant content, then you are not engaging in a conversation, you are just wasting your time.

7-React /Don’t React
… being a part of a conversation does not mean you have to react every single time.

8-Kiss and Tell
Links and recommendations are the currency in social media. But be a wise linker: if you link to everything, your readers will stop following your links, rendering them worthless.

9-Be coherent
The goals of your social media strategy must match the goals of your overall communication strategy, both internally and externally.

10-Evaluate
Finally, keep evaluating how you are doing.

Embracing social media is clearly something many companies recognise as very important and therefore wish to adopt the correct approach before they start conversations with their customers.  It is therefore in everyone’s interest that more people (and potential customers) become media literate.