Prof. Jerry Kane said he believes technology is best understood from a running start, and that’s exactly how he began his presentation at this week’s Social Media Council. Leading off, Kane answered the two questions SM admins (and many of our bosses) grapple with when justifying spending resources on social: “Is social media a fad? Yes. Is it here to stay? Yes.”
BC’s own in-house social media expert explained that SM is experiencing the trajectory of most new technologies (see the Gartner Hype Cycle graph.) This path, Kane says, mirrors the evolution of the Internet itself, which dates back to the 1970s. What can we learn from the dot-com boom of the 1990s or the rise of social in the late 2000s? According to Kane, social needs to be understood in its context as the next step in a “relentless move to a computerized, interconnected world.”
For organizations and institutions, that means changing the way business is done, and in many ways, re-examining the hierarchy of who controls the message, Kane said. In an age of inter-connectivity – working with the segment of the population that we do at BC (young, educated, technologically savvy students) – social media needs to be a choice. “A viable social media presence is a strategic decision,” Kane said.
Answering our questions about how to make the most of social, Kane said there is little substitute for experience in developing a strong social media presence. “We’ve only just begun in social media,” said Kane. “Unlike the previous generation of marketing where you could apply a set of tricky rules, experience is the only thing that will get you through to competency.”
And what to do about trolls? Kane directed us to this interesting chart designed by the US Air Force – a “Rules of Engagement” for dealing with commenters. (Maybe we don’t need to be this draconian, but it sure does speak to how seriously organizations are taking social.)
In addition to Prof. Kane, several of our social media members spoke about where they find inspiration for posts. Many members talked about utilizing student interns or graduate assistants in monitoring or informing social postings.
Several members asked for contact information of other members. On the blog header above you will find a new tab – “Resources” – that provides our BC Social Media Guidelines, the BC FB Community Standards and the *very* rough first draft of the SMC Directory. (If your channels are not included, email us at email@example.com and we’ll update it right away.) So like or follow one another and share or RT posts that you enjoy. Bolstering the best content is a great way to help define BC’s virtual identity in the social realm.
As we put together next month’s agenda, what topic(s) would you like to see covered?