Event 002: Social Media Forum 2011
I must first apologise for the slow review, but I suppose life never always goes as you plan. Anyway, this is the review of the social media forum held at Deakin University (City Campus) at the 23rd of November, 2011.
I must admit, I did go to the forum, half excepting that it would be a painful two hours discussion about how Facebook and Twitter works; I confess that there was a little bit of me inside refusing to go.
However, I am glad that I insist going on myself; the forum was out of my, or more correctly, exceeded my expectation.
It started off discussing the importance of internet monitoring, explaining the significance of social media and how it could create an impact to the reputation (or more) of an organisation. As discussed, Social media is no longer optional for organisation of any size because people very much tend to seek information up online, and if an organisation failed to offer that information first, an alternative source will, and the accuracy of the content will be lost. Therefore, the monitoring of the internet, or more, the monitoring of the social media forum is vital to ensure that false and untruthful information will not be the only information that stakeholders can browse (and ultimately, maximise the exposure of “our materials” on the net and minimising the exposure of information posted by an alternative source using varies types of technique from the IT discipline).
Later on the forum, we discussed about the overestimated power of Facebook and the underestimated power of Google Search Engine.
Surely, Facebook is undoubtedly one of the most popular website in the dimension of social media; but it is utterly ineffective when it is used in a business context… and here are the reasons;
- Only useful for high-profile and viral brands
- Unless for boring or minority brand or industry
- The openness of the site allows virtual attacks and critiques.
- Vulnerable to Activists
- No/ little restriction
Facebook is only useful in business if the product/ brand advertised already have a certain profile or fan group. For instance, Apple Inc or Lady Gaga would be successful when launching a facebook page… but when a coal industry or a shampoo company launching a facebook page, successfulness is not guaranteed.
Furthermore, Facebook is designed to encourage uncontrolled integration (for instance, leaving a “comment”), and this gives vulnerability to the company’s reputation. By allowing unmonitored communication, the website (essentially the company) is defenceless against open critiques, attacks and negative comments.
More horrifyingly, the power of the Google Search Engine is dangerously underestimated. Imagine when you were given a topic to research on, per say nuclear energy and its renewability, would you go to the state library and read up Issac’s Newtons Theory first, or would you go home and browse Google?
These days Google Search Engine is seen as one (if not, the) primary source of information by its easy accessibility, yet meanwhile it is being recognised as a source of information, many people failed to recognise that Google Search Engine is a form of Social Media, and even consider it as a form of academic media!
These are some of the beneficences of Google Search Engine;
- Close tide with Android System
- SEO Friendly, Mobi- Formate friendly
- Offer search result based on relevance
- More control over content
First of all, unlike yahoo or Facebook, in which the website is based on a system unwell-known, Google is closely tied with the globally used Android System. Most phones these days are operating Android systems, and with the rapid development of cell phone technologies people are using their phone for information browsing more and more these days. Therefore, without trying, your information is already available to all stakeholders using an Android phone through the Goggle Search Engine (which is the majority of the cell phone market). This is a huge advantage when comparing to the other two main phone system, Blackberry and Iphone because their search engine is relatively small when comparing to the Google Search Engine, and people (even those who use Blackberry or Iphone) tend to also use Google Search Engine as their primary source of information when browsing.
Secondary, unlike Iphone (in which only Mac System is compatible) or BlackBerry, the Google Search Engine runs in Android system, but yet it is still operatable in other system such as the Microsoft system or most smart phone system. The system itself is not exclusive to only one operating system but many, allowing maximisation of the exposure of your content.
Thirdly, you are in control of your only website, and therefore you have a great deal more control over the content, making it more defensive again unfavourable comments and attacks. For instance, in your own website, you can prevent attacks by controlling which comments to surface and which to not, or even disallowing commenting function once it for all to eliminate any negative information. Hence the surfacing of information is controlled by you and the reputation is protected from attacks and unfavourable critiques.
Lastly, since the Google Search Engine is operated by keywords and tags solely, it gives the website creator a more solid power when ensuring the surfacing of its information (usually good surfacing means that when someone search a certain topic relevant to your company, your company’s site is listed within the first page of search). It literally means that rather than basing on the already existing popularity of the product/ brand, the chance of surfacing based on the skills of the communication professional and how he/she uses or selects keywords. Therefore, not only fun, popular content will be listed within the first page of search, boring or minority content can also surface if the right keywords are placed.
Last but not the least, during the forum, a list of social media has also been discussed. The following is the list of social media being mentioned;
- Flickr: Image & Video Hosting Website
- Google+: Social, Profile Website
- Youtube: Video Sharing Website
- Twitter: Social Networking, Microblogging Website
- Linkedln: Business/ Professional Networking Website
- Blogspot/ WordPress: Blogging Website
- Pinterest: Themed based Image Hosting Website
- Stumbleupon: A From of Discovery Engine
- Spotmixer : Video Creating Website, but Also An Ad Distributing Engine
- Addict-o-matic / Social Mention: A form of Monitoring Tool
- Yammer: Enterprise Social Networking Engine (Like twitter, but only to private groups)