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Posting my social media answers to Joel Postman

Joel Postman, of Socialized PR and author of SocialCorp, will be in Singapore at Blogout 09!.

Blogout 09! is organised by The Digital Movement.

Joel has left 10 questions about social media on his blog and has asked readers to respond.

Here are my  thoughts and I hope to do a video interview with Joel at Blogout 09!.

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

    Unfortunately, the conversation is still happening in the traditional space. I feel that there is a social media generation gap in corporations in Asia. The top management is still unwilling to take that first step and those at the bottom 

    In Asia Pacific, its even worst as many here wait for direction from the top before even wanting to suggest taking the first step of the online conversation by listening.
  2. How much more “micro” will content get? Can we get by with fewer than 140 characters? Can you communicate anything of substance in a 12-second video (by using What other examples of the microsizing of content are there?

    The Internet, today, has created an oversupply of information. Thus, micro content helps to keep the attention span. 

    TV is now promoting 10secs ads, so 12 seconds of TV isn’t that bad.

  3. Are large companies learning to master social media to regain control of their brands, or is the time for that long past?

    Every large companies want to regain control of the brand in the social media space, but they are using traditional top-down approach to do so. The more you want to control social media, the more social media will bite you back.

    As the word social implies, it is all about interaction. When you interact with your friend, you listen, you speak your mind, you open up, you take in  what your friend has to say.

    Are businesses ready to really interact with their customers?
  4. Are there too many social sites and services for a user to maintain, or has some consolidation made this easier?

    The consolidation will come from the users. There are many new social sites and services out there and when you get an invite, you are more likely to turn it down.
  5. Are sites like GetSatisfaction offering a genuine alternative to traditional customer support, or are they just a way for companies to release themselves from the responsibility of after-the-sale support?

    It could be more cost effective, but does outsourcing customer support make sense for the customer?
  6. Facebook did it again with its TOS flip-flop (think back to the Beacon debacle), raising concerns among users and advocacy groups that social networks may not be adequately protecting consumers. Do socnet operators have users’ best interests at heart, or are they influenced by the almighty dollar to “do the wrong thing”?

    They should have the users’ best interest at heart as without them, they can’t be that social.
  7. Very few attempts at enacting social media specific legislation have been successful. Why is this? Will we start to see social media laws, requiring more transparency on the part of advertisers for example?

    In Singapore, there has been big debate about whether media audits should a legal requirement by all print publishers. The debate is still going on.

    I doubt we will see any legislation about bloggers required to be more transparent.
  8. Do businesses expect to evaluate social media success with traditional measures like revenue, margins and leads, or are “softer” measures like engagement and brand awareness adequate return on social media investment?

    Businesses here expect to use traditional measures to evaluate their social media success.  This makes reaching out to the social media space even more difficult.

    For example, PR here put a lot of emphasis on Ad Equivalent Value to articles appear in print and many businesses expect a similar count on the social media space. 
  9. Is executive blogging passé? Are corporate communicators writing blogs on behalf of CEOs and other senior executives?

    I usually discourage my-then corporate clients not to blog because it takes time and effort. Besides, the approval process needed to get the post out there makes it stale latter.
  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?

    Whether it is traditional  media or social media, I believe that consumers should take content generated with a pinch of salt. At the end of the day, consumers have to decide for themselves what is right and wrong.

Hope to see you and Joel at Blogout! ‘09.


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