This is the third post in our January tech series, “Things to ask your…” . Catch up on the previous two: Three things to ask… Your software developer and Four things to ask… Your website developer!

This week, we’ve turned our attention to social media. After all, it’s where you grow a community around your service or product, engage with your customers and potential customers, and build brand loyalty. I sat down with Shonay Shaw, who works as a social media manager, to find out the four key questions you should be asking a potential social media manager.

What are the key audiences of different social media sites?

Not all social media sites are created equal. Different sites serve different purposes and attract different audiences. It is important that the person looking after your social media strategy has a good understanding of how social media sites vary, and also a thorough understanding of your organisation’s needs and target market. This way, they can assess which sites will be worth investing in and focusing on.

How do you plan on using social media to engage with customers or clients long-term?

Using social media successfully for a business is very different to using social media for personal fun. A good social manager should be able to understand how social media fits into your business. They will also have a long-term strategy around keeping existing customers or clients engaged while drawing in new ones from areas you haven’t tapped into yet.

In addition, how does the social media manager see the platform as a tool for communicating with your clients? Is it the main point of entry to your site or initial source of updates? Does it serve a help desk function? Ensuring you’re aligned on all these points will make for a good relationship.

What are the latest features of [Social Media Platform]?

Social media is constantly changing and evolving all the time. Features change. Search and display algorithms change. It’s important that your social media manager is up-to-date with the latest trends, features, updates and new sites so that your social media presence continues to work for you. Do some research beforehand, find out about the newest features that have been released on your original platform(s) of choice, and check if the candidate knows of them.

Chances are if they don’t have a clue about most of the major platforms, they won’t be able to make full use of all the platforms can offer. It may even harm your online presence if they’re not aware when big changes come in, especially the ones made behind the scenes.

Do you create content?

The creation and distribution of valuable content is one of the most powerful social media strategies an organisation can use. Quotes and images with your company’s logo that can be easily shared, tweeted or pinned can be a big boost in getting your brand recognised. Leading images, thought-provoking posts, infographics and even well-designed guides within your company’s area of expertise are also a big plus.

A social media manager who is able to manage a content strategy, as well as author or source original content, is invaluable.

 

Featured image: thewooj [50mm]

Do you have any other questions we should be asking potential social media managers? Let us know in the comments!


In the pop culture classic film “Mean Girls”, the Plastics have their Burn Book – a book where they record mean observations about their school community. It’s the revelations of the Burn Book that leads to chaos in the film.

Think of social media as the Burn Book on steroids.

This is the first of a two part series on defamation and social media. Social media and particularly Twitter present challenges as it allows instantaneous communication by anyone with a social media account. I will not be discussing here the possibility of Twitter being culpable as a publisher in Australia.

In 2011, the Supreme Court of Western Australia has commented on the distinction between traditional and electronic media in the decision of Prefumo v Bradley, noting users post online without proper consideration of their actions:

Twitter, blogs and other forms of social media such as Facebook impact on the way people communicate and the language they use. Communications through those media often lack…formality and careful consideration…that will effect both what is regarded as defamatory and the potential for harm.

What is Defamation?

Defamation law protects individuals’ reputations and assumes that all people are of good character unless the opposite is proved. A negative statement concerning someone’s character may not necessarily be defamatory – it depends on factors such as to whom it was sad and the context in which it was said.

Twitter

Twitter currently has 645,750,000 active registered users worldwide, who tweet a daily average of 58 million messages,¹ leaving users potentially exposed to defamation proceedings because the 140 character limit leaves little space for context. Social media is mistakenly perceived as an authority for information by some, and a user of some celebrity is definitely influential.

Legal Action

There have been a number of recent defamation matters in Australia and the United Kingdom which have arisen from Twitter.

Cairns v Modi [2012] EWHC 756 (QB) was the United Kingdom’s first Twitter defamation litigation. The parties were a former international cricket player and a commissioner of the Indian Premier League cricket. The decision examined the publication of the defamatory tweet (which for obvious reasons, will not be re-published here). For the purposes of the trial, it was agreed that 65 of Mr Modi’s followers would have read it, and it was accepted there would have been substantial publication beyond that through re-tweeting.

The trial judge, Mr Justice Bean observed that “the poison tends to spread far more rapidly” when comments are published by anyone with a significant profile and following on Twitter, and is therefore able to go viral almost instantly to a global audience. Once publication was established, the trial judge applied the usual principles of defamation and found Mr Modi’s tweet defamatory of Mr Cairns. Mr Cairns was awarded £90,000 for damage to his reputation.

In The Lord McAlpine of West Green v Sally Bercow [2013] EWHC 1342 (QB), Mr Justice Tugendhat found the tweet sent by the Ms Bercow bore a “natural and ordinary defamatory meaning” and in the alternative, an “innuendo meaning” of the same effect . The tweet emanated from a television program which made serious allegations of child abuse against an unnamed politician from the Thatcher years. Other defandants had apologised and settled before trial. Ms Bercow argued that the phrase “ * innocent face * “ was to be understood in a neutral rather literal manner, maintaining that she had noticed Lord McAlpine’s name was trending on Twitter and was simply asking why. Her defence was rejected.

In 2011, Australian media personality Marieke Hardy settled out of court with the individual whom she incorrectly named as the author of a hate blog against her by paying him undisclosed damages and issuing a public apology.

How can you protect yourself?

1. Think before you tweet!
2. Disclaimers on your profile offer no legal protection.
3. Think before you tweet!
4. Ordinary people can be sued for defamation.
5. Think before you tweet!

Sally Bercow said it best in her statement after the ruling which cost her undisclosed damages and legal costs of more than £100,000:

Today’s ruling should be seen as a warning to all social media users. Things can be held to be seriously defamatory even when you do not intend them to be defamatory and do not make any express accusation. I have learned my lesson the hard way².

Yolanda Floro
Yolanda is Leaders in Heels’ Social Media Editor. This is an edited and modified extract from a recent paper she wrote on Defamation and Social Media as part of her Masters in Law, Media and Journalism studies.

¹http://www.statisticbrain.com/twitterstatistics/
²http://www.leeandthopson.com/2013/06/17/mcalpine-v-bercow-a-hard-lesson-for-social-media-users/


I have recently asked four experts in social media what their top favourite tools and apps were to manage social media communities in the most time-effective manner. There are lots of apps to manage social networks so it is easy to get lost. Here are their top recommendations:

4 Apps to manage social networks

Sprout Social

“Sprout Social centralizes multiple social media accounts into a single application which provides you the ability to grow your network, share updates and get full stats reporting across all social platforms. The Sprout Social dashboard allows you to see all key statistics and the increase or decrease they’ve achieved over the last few months.

Further to that you can add secondary members to help you manage your social networks as well. “

Devices it is applicable to: Web Based, iPhone, Android
Cost: 30 Day Free Trial Then Payment Based On Size (from $39/user/month)
More info at: www.sproutsocial.com

Recommended by: Samuel Junghenn, Managing Director of Think Big Online. Samuel manages communities of multiple clients including their own with 100,000+ Facebook  fans and twitter followers (across all clients).

Hootsuite

“Hootsuite is a complete social media dashboard. I can import all of my own social media profiles and those of my clients into one place where I can then update, track and monitor more efficiently. Because it is available as an app on your smartphone, you can quickly check on what’s going on and respond where necessary. Hootsuite also allows you to schedule status updates in advance across all platforms and include web links and multimedia. You also receive regular emails which give you basic statistics on how your profiles are performing and more details statistics can be viewed through Hootsuite.”

Devices it is applicable to: Web Based, Android, iPhone

Cost: there are 2 packages (1) Free for up to 5 social media profiles (2) Professional package for around $6 per month for unlimited packages

More info at: www.hootsuite.com

Recommended by: Paula O’Sullivan, Business Owner and Licensee / Social Media Consultant at Social Media Business Boosters. Paula manages a number of social media profiles for her clients.

Argyle Social

“It’s a web based app, that can schedule posts, monitor customer engagement, and measure all of the specific social media metrics. You can manage all content from one dashboard across various social media platforms. Very helpful when dealing with time zones, and measuring successful posts. Argyle Social gives me the most accurate idea as to our campaign performances, with simple graphs ways to actually work with all of the social media platforms in one spot. “

Devices it is applicable to: Web Based only (as of  now)
Cost: $300/mo

More info at: http://argylesocial.com/what-is-argyle/features/social-media-publishing-tools

Recommended by: Sara Wiedenhaefer, Marketing Manager of Shoeboxed Australia. Sara manages communities of  5500+ Facebook fans and 8500+ Twitter followers of American and Australian ShoeBoxed

Buffer

Buffer has revolutionised the way I tweet! Once registered, add the Buffer button to your browser then when you find something you want to share, simply click the button to add it to your schedule. You can set a different schedule for each day of the week – ideal if you cover multiple time zones – and, best of all, the analytics feature allows you to easily see how many clicks your content received as well as who retweeted or replied to your tweet – and you can thank people from within Buffer itself. It can also be used with Facebook and LinkedIn.”

Devices it is applicable to: Web Based, iPhone, Android

Cost: Free or upgrade to the paid version to access post scheduling and adding multiple social accounts (US$8.50 per month).

More info at: http://bufferapp.com/

Recommended by: Bridie Jenner, Business owner of Bridie’s Typing Services. Bridie manages community of 1,300 Twitter followers.

What are yours favourite applications to manage social media? If you checked out more than one tell us your rating and why…


Forbes magazine recently rated the top 10 superstars of social media. They looked at the celebrities with the most Twitter followers and Facebook fans and added the numbers together to come up with the ranking of social media superstars. I decided to give them a more detailed look and review the main features of top 3 social media superstars.

Top 10 Social Media Superstars

Let’s look at the celebrities with the most Twitter and Facebook followers.

1) Rihanna – Twitter: 23.8 million; Facebook: 59.6 million
2) Lady Gaga – Twitter: 28 million; Facebook: 53 million
3) Eminem – Twitter: 11.9 million; Facebook: 60.3 million
4) Justin Bieber – Twitter: 26 million; Facebook: 45.8 million
5) Katy Perry – Twitter: 24.5 million; Facebook: 45.7 million
6) Shakira – Twitter: 17.6 million; Facebook 52.5 million
7) Christiano Ronaldo – Twitter: 12 million; Facebook: 47.5 million
8) Taylor Swift – Twitter: 17 million; Facebook: 33.6 million
9) Lil Wayne – Twitter: 7.9 million; Facebook: 40 million
10) Selena Gomez – Twitter: 12.3 million; Facebook: 33 million

Overview

Here are the most general findings discovered when analysing top 10 social media superstars:

  • Only two – Shakira (35) and Eminem (39) – were over thirty.
  • With the exception of Eminem, every social media superstar has a fragrance, cosmetic or fashion contract.
  • Almost all of the stars on the list are young pop singers with the exception of Soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, in seventh place,  and actress Selena Gomez (tenth place) (Wizards of Waverly Place).

Let’s look closer at the Top 3 Facebook Pages!

Rihanna

https://www.facebook.com/rihanna

With 83.4 social media fans on Facebook and Twitter Rihanna has close to 4 times that of Australia’s population.

Rihanna is very generous in posting photos of her friends and family.

Posts like this seems to be the most engaging with over 85k likes, 750 shares and 3.5k comments.

Rihanna actively encourages her fans to vote for her at the  MTV VMA’s.

Rihanna’s FB page has 9 Apps:  Photos, Rihanna exclusives for fans, Newsletter, Videos, Buy latest releases (the app didn’t worked when I clicked BUY), events, photos, likes, Coconut Water promo.

Rihanna posts every day, sometimes more than once a day.

Rihanna doesn’t allow writing on her wall.

Lady Gaga

 https://www.facebook.com/ladygaga

Gaga created a little community calling her followers Little Monsters.

Lady Gaga has 7 apps: photos, events, videos, store, likes, Born This Way Foundation joining form and even Political Voting App!

Personal photos like this are the most engaging with over 164k likes, 9k comments and 2.5k shares:

Gaga got in trouble earlier this year when she tweeted: “Just killed back to back spin classes. Eating a salad dreaming of a cheeseburger #PopStarsDontEat #IWasBornThisWay.” It caused a stir because Gaga has been trying to get young girls to avoid the eating disorders she suffered as a teen.

Gaga posts a lot about upcoming albums, tour dates and what she’s eating. Her Social media channels give an insight into her everyday life.

She posts every day, sometimes more than once a day.

Lady Gaga allows others to post on her wall.

Eminem

https://www.facebook.com/eminem

Eminem is the most reserved.  He doesn’t share much of his life and his posts are dominated by links to his latest video and launches.  His feed tends to be heavily promotional.

I found his wall boring and his posts repetitive. Nearly every recent post is about his new album Slaughterhouse.

This post is one of the latest that attracted the most likes, comments and shares:

Eminem has only 5 apps: Photos, Likes, Store, Music channel and Welcome to Hell (whatever it is).

He posts on average 1-2 times a week .

Eminem doesn’t allow posting on his wall.

 

Verdict:

There are no rules…. You can posts as often as 3 times a day or just once a week. You can have basic Facebook apps on your Facebook page or offer a full range of interactive apps. You can be very personal or just promote your latest work. There are no secrets of social media popularity.

Who was on your ‘following’ list so far?