New sophistication adds new layers to the social media onion

posted by Brendan Hodgson

If judged only by my travel and speaking schedule for the fall, I would suggest that the desire to learn more about the social web – the opportunities and the risks – is gathering speed across corporate Canada. Equally interesting, however, is the various contexts within which I will be speaking, and which highlights the increasing sophistication of how social media is (and should) be used, and the emerging niche applications and impacts of social media (and therefore communications) across different industries and organizational functions. Examples of the topics I’ll be speaking to over the next few months include:

  • On crisis and social media as it relates to disaster preparedness and recovery
  • On social media and corporate reputation management (specific to issues management and community relations)
  • On the risks and opportunities of social media on a key manufacturing sector
  • On strategies corporations can use to help employees navigate the good and bad of social media
  • On citizen engagement and social media
  • On labour relations / employee communications and social media

And while telling people what not to do is generally easy, the challenge is always coming up with “best practices” within these niche areas, particularly given that broadbased corporate adoption has yet to truly catch on (despite the efforts of a select few) and that this space is constantly in a state of flux. While some are obvious, others are less so. Luckily, the blogging community has been generous in sharing its own insights and case studies (e.g. Southwest Airlines, Vancity, Scotiabank, etc.). In addition, we’ve got a few programs now under our own belt that provide useful first-person insights into such areas as Facebook applications, blogger relations, and niche applications (such as our election predictors and other consumer-driven programs). 

And yet, much of what we base our assumptions upon is the shared wisdom of myriad social media experts who, smart as they are, are for the most part in the same boat as the rest of us – simply trying to keep up. And that’s what makes this area so exciting: the constant evolution that is taking place, what with new applications emerging almost daily, new models that are challenging the mainstream (Google’s latest deal with the wire services being yet the latest), and the changing perceptions and expectations of the general public as they become more comfortable with, and more reliant upon, these technologies. We can only hope to keep pace with it all. 

Add a comment