Sunday, December 19

Counting Numbers: Best Fresh Content

Fresh Content ProjectThe five fresh content picks highlighted this week not only reminded me of colonization as an analogy for social media programs, but they also inspired me to expand upon the concept. After all, once colonies grow up, they often become countries.

So what would happen if we measured countries like social media programs? Well, China and India lead the world in terms of population (followers); Russia and Canada lead the world based on land mass (size and scope); Switzerland and Iceland lead in total employment (engagement); and Korea and Finland beat everyone in education (savviness). And which is the best?

I am sure most people might say their own country, but Newsweek picked Finland and Switzerland based on other criteria. Of course, if those countries were social media programs, some people might frown given those two clearly don't have enough followers, scope, engagement, or renown theorists. But the real lesson here is that people with social media programs, like Finland and Switzerland, probably don't concern themselves with Newsweek.

Best Fresh Content In Review, Week of November 29

Opt-In At The Source,
Adam Singer tries to balance public relations' new found love affair with social networks — and how they are investing more and more time on platforms they do not own or have any control over. As they do, many of them are experiencing diminishing returns on people who actually visit the customer's site or blog and opt in. The consequence? While it hadn't happened when Singer wrote his post, Yahoo recently listed several networks it has slated for a sunset. While some might be sold off, offsite platforms are fragile.

Overcoming Three Crucial Challenges With Content Strategy,
Valeria Maltoni offers up another way to think strategically when it comes to content creation. Specifically, she suggests determining how you are going to keep your company engaged in the conversation over the long haul. It requires resource allocation, workflow planning, and governance. Her three tips actually work as these are often the areas we're asked to help structure most often when we are not personally managing a social media program.

Commonsense Social Media Measurement.
Kami Watson Huyse, APR, sums up one simplified way to measure social media: attention (reach), attitude (sentiment), and action (outcomes). One of the best reminders she offers up is that business measures do not always have to include sales. They can include any number of measures associated with the company's objectives: registrations for conferences, sales leads, hiring, store traffic, and reduction in customer service costs. Nonprofits, she says, can consider donations, votes (for politicians), new volunteers, return volunteers, volume of donations, and the median amount of money per donation. Outcomes are the most significant measure in any social media plan. The other two — attention and attitude — just help you achieve the third one.

Online Videos 101: Keep It Simple, Stupid.
As a guest writer, Erin Greenfield shares an amazing first person account of how she was reminded that simple is sometimes better. For a class assignment, students were asked to create a video about the JHU M.A. in communication program (they called it viral, but we'll forgive that). After working with a $50 camcorder, the class learned that the footage was largely unusable despite about seven hours in production. When the class reproduced it, they used a Flip HD camera, which required about half the time and half the price. It's a good reminder that a bigger budget does not always produce the best results.

How To Spot A Great Social Media Marketing Program.
Although Klout scores continue to gain popularity, add Adam Singer to the growing list of communication pros who are quick to point out that the number of fans and followers (or click throughs) don't really add up to all that much. It's much more effective to create a program that clearly communicates your message, easily integrates with other communication channels, adapts well to including other partners, and creates a passionate team or community around its center. Not only does it make sense, it ties right back into this post's opener.
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