10 pieces of advice for companies which decide to utilize Social Media

Social Media is a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content.

Classification of Social Media by social presence/media richness and self-presentation/self-disclosure

Ten pieces of advice for companies deciding to use Social Media

Five points about using media

1. Choose carefully: If you still need time to run your core business, you simply cannot participate in them all, especially since ‘‘being active’’ is one key requirement of success. When the U.S. Army undertook an initiative
in 2007 to reach the Hispanic community, it decided to utilize the social networking site Univision rather than the more popular Facebook. This choice was driven in part by the fact that Univision–—a Spanish-language television network in the U.S. and Puerto Rico–—is the social networking application with the largest Latin American audience,
due to an extensive range of telenovelas and Mexican programs produced by Grupo Televisa. However, another reason Univision was chosen is because it offers a moderating service which checks comments from users for appropriateness before posting them on the site. In contrast, other applications, including Facebook, allow users to post messages without supervision.

2. Pick the application, or make your own: Japan’s Fujifilm, for example, recently launched its own social network to build a community of photo enthusiasts. U.S.-based department store firm Sears collaborated with MTV music television to create a social network around back-to-school shopping

3. Ensure activity alignment: Dell uses a combination of social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn), blogs, and content communities (YouTube videos) to show how its range of laptop computers enable individuals to become a
nomadic mobile workforce. In a similar spirit, Chrysler’s Jeep brand connects with its customers by combining photos shared on the content community Flickr, with groups on social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook.

4. Media plan integration: Coca-Cola. In June 2006, a pair of performance artists shot a video featuring a series of geysers they created by dropping Mentos brand mints into 2-liter bottles of Coke; the clip became a major hit on YouTube. Realizing customers’ enthusiasm for this performance, Coca-Cola fostered the sensation by airing the video on late-night television and ensuring broad digital distribution across different content communities.

5. Access for all: It will be necessary to develop certain guidelines for Social Media usage; as done, for instance, by ‘‘Big Blue’’ IBM, which has a corporate charta for appropriate behavior within Second Life.

Five points about being social: active, interesting, humble, unprofessional, honest

From Andreas M. Kaplan, Michael Haenlein, Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media, Business Horizons (2010) 53, 59—68. http://openmediart.com/log/pics/sdarticle.pdf

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About Kyoung Jun Lee
Professor of Kyung Hee Univ.

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