Social is now Normal Media

January 21st, 2014 by Heather Maloney

An article written by Brian Solis just over a year ago described social media being the new normal. I’ve been banging on about social media for a few years now, but in the last 6 months or so, I’ve noticed a change in Australia… people (media and the general public, young and old) now include social media in their conversations as a matter of fact, rather than as if it’s the latest cool thing, or as if to say “we’re on it too, but we don’t know how to use it”.

There are definitely areas, and segments, where social media proliferates more than others. We’re seeing it feature heavily in:

commerce – research for products and services, reviews, recommendations, complaints
promoting causes – both in the not for profit sector, and grass roots causes such as in response to tragedies
news – both personal updates about life, as well as discussion about historical events as they happen
events – promotion of events and then during events the audience / attendees engage in deeper involvement in live events, TV and radio programs using social media tools
education and innovation – information sharing and collaboration / discussion around specific topics
leisure / games – my mother who is 30+ years older than me recently relented and signed up for Facebook in order to participate in the online game, Candy Crush, with her sisters and she now shares more on Facebook than I do.

An interesting example has occurred recently in the estate where I live. The estate has a body corporate with a moderated online forum. The moderation takes days sometimes to allow posts on the forum to appear after submission… and if there’s any concern about the content of the posts (i.e. they don’t say the “right” types of things) then the posts may not make it, or be delayed for weeks. So residents have taken matters into their own hands, and setup a group on Facebook where they discuss issues. It’s of course not moderated, and therefore posts are instant and engagement is arguably deeper.

I know some of you are still sceptical about social media. No matter what your business is, you need to be thinking about where and how you can get engaged in the [not so] new place where the relevant conversation is happening. It has the added potential benefit of boosting your search engine optimisation.

We’ve recently added a relatively new Facebook feature to the Note Couture ecommerce website, which allows comments to be added by visitors alongside a product (in this case an illustration which you can add to personalise stationery) within the website. These comments will also simultaneously appear in their Facebook timeline, and are therefore not anonymous, giving them greater credibility. Of course, we’ve configured the Facebook Comments integration to include a thumbnail of the product into the Facebook timeline, which will encourage the commenter’s friends to click through and visit the website. To close the loop, Note Couture can moderate the comments that are added using this mechanism, to deal quickly with inappropriate content. You can see an example here: I love this illustration!

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2 Responses to “Social is now Normal Media”

  1. Julie Forbes Says:

    It’s definitely all about social media these days, and these additions to my website are a fantastic way for customers to share their favourite illustrations with their friends on facebook and Pinterest, plus it provides me with terrific feedback on what’s popular. Thanks for suggesting this Heather – your ongoing contributions to updating the website are always on trend and greatly appreciated.

  2. Beryl Woodhouse Says:

    Yes, as Heather said, it took me a long time to join Facebook but I am really enjoying it and the contact with family and friends in this way. Other than playing Candy Crush with my sisters I also enjoy Scrabble and Words with Friends. I play scrabble with folk I do not know and it keeps my mind busy. Good therapy. Discussion with others and the sharing of things that are important is also good. I am trying to organise a link to my Web Site (Soy Candles) which I have been making now for over 7 years. I am hoping just to specialise in doing special events with candles in the future such as weddings, either as table decorations, or bonbonierres. I have done several over the years and find it really rewarding. And I would emphasise that because candles I make are for weddings they are not priced any differently to what I do for any other reason. The overpricing just because something is for a wedding does not sit well with me. So for many reasons I am enjoying social media. I have also been able to see some of the products in my nieces shop in Wynyard, Tasmania which has been great. Good on you Sheryl.

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