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Some Comments on Comments


I wanted to have this post up last week, but a few discussions around the topic with some people made me want to go back and reformulate it a bit.

The idea for this post started because of my last post. I was feeling kind of proud about it. I thought it was one of the more intellectual posts that I've written here. But then, no one really said anything about it. More than that, no one was commenting on it. Not that I want you to think I'm begging for comments, but something about it made me think people would have something to say about it, agreeing or disagreeing.

I mentioned something about it, which sparked a little conversation between me and some people on twitter.

A friend of mine (@joncrowley) says that sometimes when people don't comment it's because you succeeded at getting your point across well. No one has anything to add or disagree with in the post. This could be very true, but even so, perhaps that is something they could have said.

This reminded me of a blog post by another Toronto social media blogger, Dave Fleet, who wrote that Commenting Makes You Sexy. In his post he says that he enjoys getting comments of any sort on his blog because it gives him a chance to interact with and get to know his readers. He gets to know if they like what he writes, if they have something to add or if they disagree with what he has to say.

This is what every blogger should want. Feedback from your audience. That way you get to know what your audience likes that you write about and what they don't. With this information you can then write better for your audience. Seeing your posts get so many clicks is one way bloggers can know if their material is being well received, but it's not the the feed back of the actual words.

On the topic of click numbers, a former teacher and current friend of mine, Karen Snider, said that comments aren't the only measurement for blogs, and she's absolutely right. There all sorts of different types of measurement.

This topic also came up in Danny Brown's blog last week, The Metrics of Social Media. In the post he listed some ways in which companies can start measuring the success of their social media campaigns. Some examples I first picked out were things like "likes on facebook" or "views on youtube", and how these numbers also related to sales. Down in the comments though, began a great discussion of what ROI in social media means and how different measurements mean different things for different campaigns. I brought up the topic of public sentiment and we discussed how both a mix of sentiment and other numbers can be put together to find success (or to find out what doesn't work).

Again this is true. Especially when we're dealing with companies who are ultimately trying to turn their social media efforts into actual sales. The more numbers they have to look at, the more they can find out what their public really responds to and constantly improve to reach them better. These are the number they can gather both through analyzing sentiment and other web analytics.

In the end I came to the conclusion that comments can mean different things to different people. But they seem to come around to the same thing; gathering sentiment. Both companies and bloggers like to know what their publics think of what they are doing. This way they can both better get to know and improve for their audiences.

While comments are not everything, they are helpful and always good to see.

Any comments?


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Some Comments on Comments

Posted by 40deuce on 4:50 PM in ,
I wanted to have this post up last week, but a few discussions around the topic with some people made me want to go back and reformulate it a bit.

The idea for this post started because of my last post. I was feeling kind of proud about. I thought it was one of the more intellectual posts I've written here. But then, no one really said anything about it. More than that, no one was commenting on it. Not that I want you to think I'm begging for comments, but something about it made me think people would have something to say about it, agreeing or disagreeing.

I mentioned something about it, which sparked a little conversation between me and some people on twitter.

A friend of mine (@joncrowley) says that sometimes when people don't comment it's because you succeeded at getting your point across well. No one has anything to add or disagree with. This could be very true, but even so, perhaps that is something they could have said.

This reminded me of a blog post by another Toronto social media blogger, Dave Fleet, who wrote that Commenting Makes You Sexy. In his post he says that he enjoys getting comments of any sort on his blog because it gives him a chance to interact with and get to know his readers. He gets to know if they like what he writes, if they have something to add or if they disagree with what he has to say.

This is what every blogger should want. Feedback from your audience. That way you get to know what your audience likes that you write about and what they don't. With this information you can then write better for your audience. Seeing your posts get so many clicks is one way bloggers can know if their material is being well received, but it's not the the feed back of the actual words.

On the topic of click numbers, a former teacher and current friend of mine, Karen Snider, said that comments are the only measurement for blogs, and she's absolutely right. There all sorts of different types of measurement.

This topic also came up in Danny Brown's blog last week, The Metrics of Social Media. In the post he listed some ways in which companies can start measuring the success of their social media campaigns. Some examples I first picked out were things like "likes on facebook" or "views on youtube", and how these numbers also related to sales. Down in the comments though began a great discussion of what ROI in social media means and how different measurements mean different things for different campaigns. I brought up the topic of public sentiment and we discussed how both a mix of sentiment and other numbers can be mixed to find success (or to find out what doesn't work).

Again this is true. Especially when we're dealing with companies who are ultimately trying to turn their social media efforts into actual sales. The more numbers they have to look at, the more they can find out what their public really responds to and constantly improve to reach the better. These are the number they can gather both through analyzing sentiment and other web analytics.

In the end I came to the conclusion that comments can mean different things to different people. But they still same to come around to the same thing; gathering sentiment. Both companies and bloggers like to know what their publics think of what they are doing. This way they can both better get to know and improve for their audiences.

While comments are not everything, they are helpful and always good to see.

Any comments?



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My 3 I's for a Social Media Campaign


While I was in my Masters program down in Australia one of my big semester-long projects was to come up with a full communications plan for a fictitious company. Of course, I decided to make my plan focus around the use of social media.

I came up with a plan I called "The Three I's". I liked it, and I did fairly well on the project. I added the comm. plan to my portfolio to show perspective employers, and those who saw it seemed to like the idea. One even asked if I had come up with it "all by myself"? Although, it didn't get me that job.

Anyways, that got me thinking. My Three I's plan worked for that specific project, but in reality I now believe that it can, and should, be applied to all social media campaigns. Let me explain...

The three I's of my plan stand for: Inform, Interact and Integrate.

These three simple things should be the goal of every social media campaign. Here's why:

First, social media is a way to stay in constant contact with your publics. The first thing you'll want to do through your points of contact is to Inform your public. You want to inform them of your company/product, things you're doing, things you're working on, etc. Pretty much anything that you feel your publics should know you can pass along through social media. Always be informing your public. The more info they have, the more they get to know you/your company/your product.

The second "I" stands for Interact. Any half-decent so-called social media expert (myself included) should tell you that social media is not a soap box to yell from, but rather a place to converse and interact with your publics. Once you've disseminated some information you've (usually) created something where a conversation can start. People can talk about liking or not liking your information, or it could go deeper into conversations about how the info came to be, or suggestions on how to improve on said information. The key is to have this conversation go on between your public and your own brand.

Interact doesn't only have to be about the information from the first "I" either. Conversations about any and all facets of companies/products are taking place across social media all the time whether you're involved or not. It would be much better if you were involved. This could be from jumping in on others' conversations, to responding to blog posts written about your company/product, or simply just answering messages sent to you by your public.

The key here is to make sure you're interacting with your public, not just (figuratively) shouting things at them.

The last "I" is the most important one. It also incorporates the first two I's. This one is Integrate, and refers to bringing all parties together into one single community. It's not just enough to try and get stick your head in when people are talking about your company/product. People not only want to know that you are listening, but they want to know that you care and respect them. They want to feel like a part of your community. They want to feel welcomed by you. The more welcome they feel the more they will interact with you and the more they will like/respect you.

In my project I referred to creating this warm and welcoming enviroment by creating what is known as a "virtual third space". There are three key factors to creating this virtual third space, and here is how I laid them out in my project (the italics are what I'm adding in to generalize for every social media campaign, since my original project only focused on one specific campaign):

1) “Virtual third places should situate the interaction in clearly defined locations and/or cultural contexts.” (Soukup, 433)

  • This will be where you will interact with your community. This could be one specific location, such as your website, or across multiple social platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Deli.cio.us, etc), or any combination of online spaces.

2) “A virtual third place must create an environment that attracts diverse community members to join in and participate with the discourse.” (Soukup, 434)

  • This refers to both where you are putting yourself as well as what information you are putting in those places. You may have different segments of the population you want to bring into your community and they probably interact in different locations and in different ways. For instance, your younger targets may be on Facebook and interact there through quick messages and the "like" button, while your older target publics may prefer Twitter and they like to have full conversations with you through it. The point is to know the diversity of your public and know how to make them feel warm and welcome as part of your community.
3) “Presence, the third condition, is the means of constructing this warm and welcoming home away from home for the participating members.” (Soukup, 435)
  • This third points touches on the first two along with my first two I's. If you're putting out the proper information to the proper people in the proper places, and then trying to create that interaction with those same people in those same places, your community should be feeling like part of a real community. And that's the whole point of actually being on social media. Creating this warm and welcoming community.

My actual school project went into a bit more detail, but I think (and hope) you get the point of what I was trying to say.

In my personal opinion, if you can accomplish these three I's in your social media campaign then you have a great success on your hands. Of course there are other factors to look at like hard numbers for your ROI purposes and what not, but achieving these three I's should be a goal for all social media campaigns as well.

So next time you're putting together a social media campaign try to remember to Inform, Interact and Integrate.

I'd love to know what you think of my "Three I's" idea, so please leave some comments and let me know.

Reference:
Soukup, Charles. (2006). Computer-Mediated Communication as a Virtual Third Place: Building Oldenburg’s Great Good Places on the World Wide Web. New Media and Society. Vol8(3):421–440


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#HAPPO #FAIL

Posted by 40deuce on 5:40 PM in , , ,

The last post I wrote here I spoke about the second #HAPPO day that was happening on April 30th (last Friday).

My big plan was to write up a new #HAPPO post on Thursday to have ready to go fresh for Friday.

Unfortunately, I'm sometimes a forgetful idiot and I forgot about something major happening on Thursday. I was having eye surgery!!! (Click that link if you want to know about my eye surgery)

Anyways, long story short, I was blind for all of Thursday and even most of Friday. I never got to write my #HAPPO post and I never got to take advantage of the new contacts I could have made.

I wasn't planning on that day turning right into a job, but I was hoping to make some good connections for a possible upcoming jobs just as I had during the first #HAPPO day.

So, for all of those that read my blog and were looking for that post on Friday, that's why it wasn't there, because I'm stupid sometimes.

I do plan on making it up though with a fantastic post this week (not this one, I promise).

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