Important Social Media Questions

Social Media is a very large topic.  People who are new to the idea have a lot of questions about the functions and the importance of social media.  Joel Postman is the writer of Socialized.  In a recent blog post he raised some interesting questions about social media.  A few questions sparked my interest.

1. The “conversation” is not taking place on corporate websites.  Where is it happening?

This question has a simple answer to me.  Personal blogs.  This is why it is so important for corporate websites to monitor blogs and other types of social media.  Many people are starting conversations on their personal blogs that are relevant to large corporations. Corporations are having to join conversations rather than start them.

There are corporations making this transition and are developing their own blogs in order to start the conversation.

Whole Story: Whole Foods blog combines business news with the whole foods philosophy.

The Chatter: The official Ebay blog.  It covers Ebay as both a company and a community.

Check Out Blog: The official Wal-Mart blog.  This blog discussed latest trends and keeps consumers up to date on Wal-Mart.

The Fast Lane: GM’s blog.  This blog discusses the company and what is going on with the economy.

These are just a few of the corporate blogs out there.  But Joel is right.  These blogs are not directly on the corporate website.  These conversations are not being started on their website, they are being started on their blog.

I was also very interested in the 10th question he asked.

10. Do consumers trust social media? With the frequent social media hoaxes, like the case of the fake ExxonMobil account on Twitter, do we need better ways to authenticate corporate social media?

This question relates to his first question.  I think corporate blogs are helping consumers trust social media.  They start conversations, rather than just the corporation telling the consumers information, the blogs listed above create conversations with the readers.  I am not sure if we need better ways to authenticate corporate social media.  I think this questions relates to ethics, and shows the importance of ethics in corporate communication.  Blogging can be very powerful either for or against a company.  If the conversation is not being started with the specific corporation, then someone else will be sure to start it themselves.

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