Social media dashboards, such as HootSuite, provide an easy way to update statuses across multiple platforms. After using them myself, I can say they are a definite time saver. A guest lecturer for the COM 509 class made me look differently at how dashboards are being used.
Sean Dixon, the Interactive Media Manager for the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, provided many interesting insights on social media during his lecture. He presented ideas for Facebook, Twitter and Blogging from his personal and work experience. I’m disappointed the lecture came after having just finished my social media campaign; I would have loved to incorporate some of his ideas into my own campaign. He presented a convincing argument that social media outlets should be used individually rather than using an application, such as HootSuite, to control them all at once.
I’ve used HootSuite before, but I feel it gives off an impersonal tone when used to update across multiple social media outlets. Because the message is being mass-produced, it doesn’t translate well across the different social media platforms. It does, however, save time in updating different social media outlets and it can be helpful when organizing multiple timed tweets. Dixon recommends though, using the individual networks to disperse information. He said that using HootSuite isn’t necessarily bad, but the presentation of information is clear and well polished if presented over its native network.
Dixon’s discussion of the ROI on social media was informative and the subject is currently a hot topic within the public relations world. Todd Defren, author of PR-Squared, recently posted on his blog how companies are presenting the ROI of social media. I’ve been searching up for an effective way to present the ROI of social media until Dixon’s lecture. The excel sheet Sean provided serves as a good template for how a social media oriented employee should present the information. It lists statistics for the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau Facebook, Twitter and blog account. Under the heading “Social Media Statistics” it displays the amount of new followers and “likes” on their Facebook and Twitter account. As public relations comes to the forefront of companies, it will become more important for practitioners to show how their efforts are contributing to the company.