Inside Sina Weibo: The Most Influential Social Platform in China

Posted by: in Insights, Social Media Insights & Trends on September 29, 2014

What do tech influencer Bill Gates and multinational company Coca-Cola have in common? They are among a clutch of US giants to join Sina Weibo, the most popular micro-blogging platform in China. Launched in August 2009, today Sina Weibo is not only the leading player in China’s micro-blogging space, but also the most influential platform in the overall social media landscape.

The most influential social platform

Sina Weibo was launched by Sina Corporation, the largest web portal in China. “Weibo” in Chinese means micro-blog. But because of the success of Sina’s Weibo, the term is now used primarily to identify with Sina Weibo. There are several reasons why Sina Weibo has grown to be so influential in China:

Reach
According to Sina, Weibo reached 500 million registered users and 61 million active daily users by the end of 2013. The global social summery report released by GWI in January 2014 also shows that Sina Weibo achieved highest penetration of local population (measured by account ownership and active usage) among top social platforms in China.

Giving users a voice
As a public platform, Sina Weibo enables users to discuss personal and social topics with a level of freedom not available elsewhere in the country.  It attracts the largest number of companies, public figures, celebrities and government organizations who want to have a voice directly with the public.

Target Audience
Sina Weibo’s primary user demographic is young and highly educated. To them, Weibo is both a place to network with friends and colleagues, and a platform to share information and participate in public conversations.With voices from diverse walks of life, Sina Weibo is playing a vital role of not only portraying, but also impacting “what’s happening in China”.

Demographics for Sina Weibo Users 

 demographics
Click to enlarge. Data source: Sina Weibo User Development Report, Sina Weibo Data Center, 2013.

More than a Twitter Clone

When first launched as a microblogging site, Sina Weibo modeled many key features from Twitter, including the 140-character limit, using “#” to tag topics, and “@” to refer to specific accounts. Because of that, it is often viewed as a Twitter clone. However, over the years, Sina Weibo has evolved far beyond the general concept laid down by Twitter. It has been integrating diverse functions and services inspired by multiple social platforms such as Facebook, Foursquare and Instagram, and more importantly, adding native functions that cater to Chinese netizen’s unique preferences and habits. Today, it is no longer simply a microblogging platform, but more a full-featured SNS platform, offering a wide range of services with streamlined functionality and well-designed interfaces.

In the following section, I will walk you through key features and functions of Sina Weibo – using Twitter and Facebook as a comparative lens. First, let’s take a look at what can be posted (and shared) on Sina Weibo.

Post box on Sina Weibo

post box

  • Sina Weibo offers various choices of content to post. In addition to text, pictures and links, users can add emoticons, directly upload videos, write long-weibos (which is essentially a blog in picture format without character limit), share music and files, create questions and polls, and even launch charity events.
  • Users can schedule the time to post a weibo; they also have the freedom to decide who can see their posts: to the public, to selected groups, or keep it to themselves.
  • Uses can add up to 9 pictures (including gif format) in a single post, and pictures can be posted together with a video.
  • 140 Chinese characters translate to more words than 140 English characters, which means a lot more can be expressed under 140 character limit on Sina Weibo than Twitter.

Next, what do the engagement metrics on Sina Weibo look like? There are four major metrics when one is responding to another’s post: Like, Forward, Save and Comment.

  • The Like function works similarly to its Facebook archetype, except that liked content on Weibo can’t be seen by followers in their news feed, but can only be seen when visiting that user’s profile page.
  • Forwarding is the equivalent of Twitter’s Retweet and Facebook’s Share. Unlike Twitter, Sina Weibo allows users to add a comment when forwarding a post. What’s more, if there are more than two people forwarding a post, the last user can choose to keep the threaded comments from all previous users (which will display in a hierarchical format). This allows users to easily follow and participate in conversations.
  • Save is close to Twitter’s Favorite function: saving a post for repeated reviews. While the favorite list is open to the public on Twitter, it can only be seen by the user on Sina Weibo.
  • Like Facebook and Twitter, all likes, forwards, and comments are attributed to the original post.
  • On users’ personal profile page, they can also view how many times each of their posts has been read by others.

 A “Retweet” with threaded comments from multiples users

Post forward

Finally, let’s look at the user interface on Sina Weibo. The interface generally looks like a hybrid of Facebook and Twitter. But just like what we have seen above, Sina Weibo has added more details, and new features and functions have been integrated based on Chinese users’ habits and preferences.

  • My home page

home page

  • My profile page

profile page

 

In addition to a normal version for regular individual users, Sina Weibo offers an advanced version for enterprises, public figures, media outlets, and other organizations. These accounts can customize their top and side bar (modules) based on their audience engagement needs. For example, media outlets can add an Article section on the top bar, which auto-formats and displays news articles imported from an RSS feed; enterprises can add social plug-ins in the side area, which allows users to access their social properties, special events, customer services and so on.

  • Media outlet – People’s Daily

media outlet

  • Enterprise – The Ritz-Carlton Hotel

enterprise

 

Sina Weibo’s integrated nature is more than what we’ve detailed above. Its comprehensive product roadmap, including Gaming, E-commerce and LBS service, is leading it toward a robust SNS. Unlike Facebook, however, Sina Weibo’s reign in China is nearly absolute. With Twitter and Facebook both banned in China, it has become the single must-have social platform for local and international companies and organizations to connect with Chinese consumers, and gather insights for this increasingly important market. The upside is that Sina Weibo offers the simplicity of a single platform in comparison to the fragmented social media landscape seen in Western markets.

What’s next

I hope this blog can shed some light on the most influential social media platform in China. There is great potential for brands to use Sina Weibo from both a content engagement and social media analytics perspective. In my next blog, I will write about Sina Weibo for social media analytics – what’s the current landscape, and what are the associated resources and challenges.

Xin & Brandon

By: Xin Hu

Xin is an analytics intern at WCG Austin office. You can reach her at xhu@wcgworld.com

Pre-Commerce Check out W2O Group President Bob Pearson's new book, Pre-Commerce, in which he shares ideas for leaders to engage directly with customers to shape their brand and marketplace success. Now available for order on Amazon.com! http://amzn.to/bAmvFN. Join the conversation #precommerce.

W2O Group & The Arthur W. Page Society: A look into this year’s conference

Posted by: in Communication, Public Relations Practice, Social Media Insights & Trends, Thought Leadership, twist, W2O Group on September 26, 2014

photoThe Arthur W. Page Society is a professional association for senior public relations and corporate communications executives. Each year, they have an annual conference in which the members, sponsors and new members get together to network with one another, share case studies and present learnings to help strengthen the management policy role of chief public relations officers in the industry. This year’s meeting took place at the Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia from September 21 through September 23. We (Anke & Lauren) were selected to be volunteers at the conference this year and help orchestrate the meeting. We are excited to share with you some of the key insights and learnings from our extraordinary experience in Philly.

Infusing a taste of W2O into the mix: LiveCubeCapture

As all communications experts know, interaction, integration and engagement are key for success in anything one pursues. That’s why this year, the Page Society Annual Conference adopted LiveCube as an interactive social platform to help increase audience participation and attendee interaction. Housing all vital conference information on the app and enabling attendees to ask questions, comment on sessions and post pictures of the event on the LiveCube dashboard gave this year’s conference a much needed digital footprint that was smart, cutting edge and a major success. We were not surprised to hear that this new addition to the conference was suggested by non-other than W2O Group. Page members enjoyed the app and all its capabilities, and it was fascinating for us to be able to see the interaction between CCOs on various sessions.

The evolving role of the CCO

Although the role of the CCO has seen a substantial increase in responsibility over the last few decades, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to move communications into an even more mission-critical role. Communications has to focus on (re-)building itself from the core to enhance existing roles, such as building corporate reputation and employee engagement, and move into new areas, such as customer service and product development. Leveraging data-driven insights and taking risk with new ideas, needs to ring in a new era where marketing and communications work hand in hand and complement each other.

The Arthur W. Page Society serves as an example of how the role of (Chief)  Communication Officer has evolved over the last few decades and it brings together the best and brightest of the communications profession. The society started with Arthur W. Page, who was the first public relations executive to hold the position of officer and member of the Board of Directors of a major public corporation, and has grown to over 500 members, most of whom have a seat at the executive table. At the conference, there were many case studies presented. We chose two that resonated with us to exemplify the great work being done by other communications professionals.

ALAThe American Lung Association: What’s in a color?

If you ask Alana Burns, Vice President, Signature Cause Campaign at the American Lung Association (ALA), a color can say more than a thousand words. These days just about every color in the rainbow is claimed by one advocacy group or another, exemplified by the ribbons worn by its supporters, so choosing a color to promote a cause as important as lung cancer can be a daunting task. Working with some of the best creative minds on the planet, the ALA, wanted to identify a color that represented both the cause and the target audience, women. Turquoise has traditionally been hailed as a bringer of good fortune or a talisman. According to Alana, the color turquoise is the perfect depiction of the “breath of fresh air” that the ALA is hoping to promote by raising awareness about lung cancer and it appeals to females, who are generally the chief medical officers of their families.

In a day and age where “just PR” isn’t enough to reach, and more importantly engage, consumers, the idea of authentic advocacy holds more relevance than ever before. An organic partnership with CVS (that just happened to announce their “tobacco-free” policy and rebranding as CVS Health at the same time the ALA “Lung Force” campaign launched) helped give this cause a voice.

JNJJohnson & Johnson: Care, courage, connection + creativity = impact

Maggie FitzPatrick, Chief Communications Officer at Johnson & Johnson, knows about corporate compassion. As one of the major leaders in cutting edge medical products, her company knows corporate character matters. Maggie shared examples of how Johnson & Johnson is leveraging partnerships and a heritage of transparency to drive trust, engagement and advocacy. Johnson & Johnson uses the idea of “care” to create impact for those that value the brand. She delved into Johnson & Johnson’s belief in doing well by doing good with examples like Operation Smile and their 12-year commitment to its nursing campaign. It was a powerful session that demonstrated the importance and the impact caring, courage, connection and creativity can have on society.

The ‘So What’

You may say, “All of this sounds great, but so what?” Here are our key takeaways from a long weekend in Philadelphia at the Arthur W. Page Society Annual Conference:

  • We need to feel uncomfortable: Asking the hard questions and constantly challenging what has been known and tried, will make us invaluable to the CEOs whom we so often struggle to convince of the need for strategic communications.

  • Employees are the key to long term, sustainable advocacy: Building advocacy from the core by first engaging employees and then encouraging organic growth stemming from passions and commitment to the cause or company is the key to long term success.

  • With more power comes more responsibility: Over the past few decades, the role of the CCO has expanded immensely. With that comes a responsibility to solve today’s complex problems, inspired by a communications-focused approach.

  • The era of communications AND marketing is over: The solution to every problem is not a new advertising campaign. Communications needs to lead the charge in solving today’s large scale problems and work hand in hand with marketing to move from image-driven campaigns to a more holistic approach of building and stewarding relationships.

Overall, we had such an amazing experience at this year’s Page Society Annual Conference. The lessons we learned and insights we gained are invaluable and we are excited to see how communications will evolve in the future. Thinking ahead, we hope to one day be able to contribute our learnings and ideas to the dialog and help continue to grow the role of the CCO.

Best,

Anke Knospe & Lauren Barbiero

By: Lauren Barbiero

Lauren is a media associate on the earned media team at W2O Group. You can reach her at lbarbiero@w2ogroup.com

Find me on: Twitter
Pre-Commerce Check out W2O Group President Bob Pearson's new book, Pre-Commerce, in which he shares ideas for leaders to engage directly with customers to shape their brand and marketplace success. Now available for order on Amazon.com! http://amzn.to/bAmvFN. Join the conversation #precommerce.

Time for a New Culture

Posted by: in Communication Strategy, Corporate and Strategy, Culture, gary grates, Organizational Communications, Thought Leadership, twist, W2O Group on September 25, 2014

“Our number one priority is company culture and our whole belief is that, if we get the culture right, then most of the other stuff like delivering great service or building a long term endearing brand will just happen naturally on its own.”

– Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos

If there is truly a siren song among CEOs today it surely must revolve around one theme:  organizational culture.

The lyrics go something like this:  Fix it. Change it. Improve it. Strengthen it. Just don’t lament it.

Why is culture so important to CEOs and more importantly the entire business?  Because Culture is everything.  Culture dictates behavior.  Culture encourages collaboration and sharing. Culture is community.  Culture identifies one with the purpose and belief of the entity. Culture is a frame of reference, a center of gravity for people to make sense out of everything the organization says and does.

Beyond norms, values and principles, Culture either breeds innovation or stagnation.  Openness and candor or myopia. Success or sabotage. Confidence or cynicism.

Most importantly, Culture outlives people including CEOs and Boards.

No business strategy – no matter how well planned and designed – will be effective if it’s not compatible with Culture.

“Let’s take what we are good at and rethink it. That’s not a side project. That is the very company itself…Until we really change culturally, no renewal happens.”

– Satya Nadella, CEO of MICROSOFT

So how does one go about transforming culture if it’s so ingrained?

It starts with one critical question -  Is the planned strategy (and CEO priorities) compatible with the current Culture?

If yes, then no real change is needed.  If no, then a series of actions need to be enacted in order to ensure success.

So, how can a CEO change or shift the Culture to gain the future?  Try the following…

  1. Discern the operative Culture type for the organzation (i.e., accountability) – What does the organization’s culture need to be in order successfully carry out strategic imperatives?  If it needs to be more accountable, then a new set of modifications need to be introduced addressing structure, training, reward, hiring, etc.
  2. Revise or reiterate the Values – Are they reflective of what is needed?  Do they command attention and respect? If not, introduce values that do.
  3. Rethink the Consequence – What do organizations lack the most in changing culture? Consequence.  What happens when somebody doesn’t act or behave according to norms?   Rethink the consequence and regain the leverage.
  4. Infuse new thinking, behaviors (new people) into the system – Change people, change culture is how the saying goes.  The CEO is the best example of this as every new CEO has the ability and attention of the enterprise to change course. To hold new thinking and perspectives valuable and to place a different scorecard on achievement.
  5. Change the conversation and be provocative – The most powerful tool a CEO has at his/her disposal is communication. Communication is crucial to effectively changing culture.  Communication is defined as “everything a company says and does” including the CEO and leadership team. To move people to another reality internally, the CEO must translate strategy into story and open up new chapters of interaction and converation among the workforce.  Doing so, encourages dialogue, discussion and debate reflecting the new cultural norm.   To be heard, though, means a CEO needs to be provocative. Our research indicates that employees want more “real” exchange from leadership instead of cheerleading.  As such, to get and keep people’s attention, CEO’s should focus on industry intelligence, issues, vulnerabilities, societal impact, competitive differentiation, etc.
  6. Flank the Detractors – In any culture shift, there will be pockets of resistance.  Smart CEOs employ a flanking maneuver where they work the edges and periphery of the culture engaging new perspectives and voices that over time diminish the denigrators.
  7. Ride the Social Wave (increase employee advocacy) – Today, 69% of US employees are actively disengaged (Gallup, 2012) and only 37% of employees understand their company’s vision (Stephen Covey, The 8th Habit). Given these sobering statistics, improving collaboration & communication while connecting real-world employee networks online via social communities is essential in building advocacy & word of mouth – empowering employees to amplify company messages and highlight team wins across their personal social media networks.  Doing so, drives credibility & influencer relations by establishing internal experts externally as active thought leaders around key company topics.
  8. Make it Important – The one requirement for CEOs in driving culture change is to make the entire undertaking Important! This begins as GM CEO Mary Barra states below, by recalibrating one’s own style and behavior model to reflect the type of culture necessary to effectively succeed in the marketplace.

“I kind of hate when we talk about culture.” What is culture? It’s how people behave. So if we want to change this elusive culture, it’s changing behaviors. And that becomes actionable very quickly. It’s everyone’s behaviors. It’s mine—I have to change my behaviors. It’s every interaction I have with the leadership team. It’s every time I interact with employees, being crystal clear about my expectations. And frankly, you know, that’s somewhat different than maybe General Motors has been in the past.”

– Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors

Corporate Culture.

At its most clinical description – an amalgamation of expectations, values, and truths that guide attitudes and behaviors that are passed from one generation of employees to another and therefore become ingrained in the enterprise – is often viewed as a necessary evil, so to speak, an organizational reality.

In a social and digital environment where everyone has a voice and competition is akin to three dimensional chess, Culture is either a CEO’s asset or enemy.  Undoing cultural norms and supplementing outdated beliefs and habits can arguably be the number one priority of the modern CEO.

If not, then a CEO’s strategy and all of its components – innovation, product supremacy, and customer intensity – will never have the opportunity to flourish.

 

Gary

Pre-Commerce Check out W2O Group President Bob Pearson's new book, Pre-Commerce, in which he shares ideas for leaders to engage directly with customers to shape their brand and marketplace success. Now available for order on Amazon.com! http://amzn.to/bAmvFN. Join the conversation #precommerce.

Taming the Good Idea Fairy

Posted by: in Communication Strategy, Corporate and Strategy, executive insights, Software, Technology on September 25, 2014

“Pragmatic Disruption of the Status Quo”
-The W2O Motto

I love our motto.  It’s eccentric but controlled – tells me that you’re going to get “outside the box” but without risking it all.  Great things are coming.  But it presents a challenge to the mechanics.

Imagine it is 3 ‘o clock on a Friday afternoon and happy hour is creeping closer and closer when all the sudden someone comes into your office with an idea. This isn’t some ordinary idea, it is mind blowing, it makes you re-think everything you ever knew about business, marketing, and probably deserves a minimum of 2 peer reviewed papers in distinguished journals and could even get you on the cover of Wired magazine.

The following Friday, the same thing happens.

And then following, and so on.

Soon a pattern emerges… we have great ideas coming out the wazoo. This phenomenon quickly became known as the “Good Idea Fairy” (G.I.F). She and I are not friends.

1e5d496d-3e2a-4fe7-bcbb-05b8a37b88b9

As the Chief Mechanic at W2O, it is my team’s job to make these ideas come to fruition. We mechanics have taken a solid beating from the G.I.F. – so we came up with a better way of doing things.  We designed a process which enables us to execute pragmatic innovation in software development. We call it The Innovation Pipeline.

Designed around specific and simple goals the Innovation Pipeline means:

  • We never have to say “no” to new ideas
  • We always have a partner outside of our group to share responsibility
  • We keep the business’s risk to a minimum.

This allows us to fire bullets before cannon balls.

The business sponsor plays a very important role in this process.  Our development team is good at a lot of things, but sales and marketing aren’t among our core competencies.  When the G.I.F. drops off an idea the assumption is that it will be built and production ready the next time we talk.  Since we base development on the build, measure, learn loop, we need a partner to define the measurement and get the learnings back to us.

There are 4 phases – Alpha, Beta, Scale and Market.  They are designed from Lean Startup methodologies to validate ideas early and often.  Each stage has a metrically defined gate through which the product must pass before it can move to the next stage.  Costs are closely managed and approval from the firm’s leaders has to take place – and it’s the business sponsor’s job to lead that charge.  Click the graphic below for a big, readable version.

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 2.24.31 PM(3)

Rule of Three
Before you can even start the process you have to go through the first gate – the Rule of Three.  This is quite simple and just like pitching an idea at a business or startup competition: can you get 3 of our current clients interested in the idea?  When you, the Good Idea Owner, come to us with your great idea we will listen, counsel, and help you develop it – then send you back into the world to talk to clients.  Once you have 3 interested customers then you’re ready to pitch the idea to the Executive Team and get approval to fund the Alpha development – the information you collect from the client pitches will be vital in gaining this approval.

Alpha
In the Alpha stage the goal is to build a “Pitchable Proof of Concept” – this lines up with Eric Ries’s definition of a Concierge MVP but the difference is in our audience.  This is simply a way to get the idea across to our clients in order to gauge interest – and often proving to ourselves that our theories are correct.  To get past Alpha and into Beta the product must establish its market potential – meaning we have signed up clients for a service and software mixed deliverable.  Now – just because we insist that we’re paid to continue the build don’t think this is a profitable area – we invest in the product throughout the process – but the ultimate validation of a product is payment.  You have to be able to sell it if we’re going to build it.

Beta
In Beta the product goes into an incubation stage – the goal is to get some people using the product in real life. The team working on it will be dedicated to it.  The roadmap is scoped out for the next 4 quarters and costs for long term development are flushed out.  Some parts are still pieced together by hand and uptime is not guaranteed – but now the product can pass through the second gate in which demand is proven.  This can only be done with more sales.  Here we’re looking for 3-10 early stage clients who are willing to pay to be the first to play with the new toy.  We are validating market demand and getting feedback from the early stage users.

Scale 
Once market demand is established then we move to the next stage, Scale (aka Production).  The company believes in the product, we have established the market,  established demand, and the investment is approved.  This is where the mechanics can really geek out.  We strip the prototype down to the studs and rebuild it with better wiring and bullet proof armor.  The infrastructure is automated, documentation created, clouds tapped.  The bullet is now a cannon ball, on target, loaded and ready to fire.  Once we’re ready to scale the product passes through the last gate.

Market Ready
The final stage is when the product is made Market Ready.  This is when it’s given its own identity – a brand for the product.  It’s now officially part of our software offering – it has its own website and marketing materials.  It’s easy to understand what it does and anyone can sell it.  It’s officially graduated.  Mazeltov.

This is an iterative process.  Risks are kept to a minimum by taking measured steps and pivoting along the way, and market validation is a constant and necessary input.  There are of course many more things to think about for a product’s lifecycle – like when do you kill a product, how do you price it, etc.  The point of this exercise is to create a minimal process for product creation, and create co-ownership outside of the development group to manage the product’s creation and growth.

With this process in hand we no longer fear the Good Idea Fairy – instead we welcome her with open arms.  She’s no longer an intruder in the home but a guest with her own apartment over the garage.  Not all good ideas are created equal – this process keep us in the business of awesome.

Pre-Commerce Check out W2O Group President Bob Pearson's new book, Pre-Commerce, in which he shares ideas for leaders to engage directly with customers to shape their brand and marketplace success. Now available for order on Amazon.com! http://amzn.to/bAmvFN. Join the conversation #precommerce.

Intent and the Art of Creating Engaging Social Content

Posted by: in Analytics, Insights, Integrated Communications, Integrated Marketing, Marketing Insights, Media & Engagement, Pre-Commerce, Social Commerce, Social Media Insights & Trends, Thinking Creatively, W2O Group on September 24, 2014

Did you ever wonder why some social media posts do well while others fall flat? For anyone that works in the digital space, you understand that creating engaging content and social media posts require a bit of art AND science.

 buy-our-stuff

On the science side, understanding whom your target audience is and what types of content/updates they like is important.  Our agencies at W2O Group (WCG, Twist and BrewLife) have become really good at this by using a combination of algorithms and targeted groups of segmented Twitter users. We are helping clients like HP, BMC Software and LAP-BAND do this on a regular basis.

Good “science” also requires understanding, which channels are most effective for your brand i.e. where do your customers/prospects hang out but also your stakeholders Circadian Rhythms (when your audience has the highest propensity to digest/shares content).

As for the “art” side of the equation, the levers are of course more subjective. Obviously creating cleverly worded posts or including beautiful visuals of people, products and places usually leads to good engagement. But clever and pretty alone aren’t enough. Often, there are subtle nuances that can dramatically increase or dampen the effectiveness of a piece of content or a post.

For folks engaging in social, the intent piece can be particularly important. To that end, I’ve noticed an increasing trend of people I am connected with looking to manufacture engagement by asking questions like “what’s your least favorite movie” or “if you could meet three people from the past, who would they be?” Once in a while, these types of questions can lead to fun interactions and often spur interesting debates. However, for netizens that appear to be engaging in these exercises for the sake of increasing their Klout scores versus genuinely engaging with their community, I’ve noticed not only a dearth of responses (and even begging of people to join in by heavy tagging within these posts) but also a general trend downward of their appearance in my feeds.

When it comes to brands engaging, there is a similar “intent” sniff test that more and more customers are employing before deciding whether to “like, share, comment or in some cases, unfollow.” In fairness, companies – especially those that are publicly traded – have a legal obligation to make money. As such, it is their job to market themselves and sell product/services whenever possible. But as many of us have seen, the social web is often an unwelcome landscape for constant pleas of “please buy our stuff.” Those that employ these tactics tend to see next to no engagement and are forced to pay for any exposure for their updates.

For those brands (and people) thinking about ways to increase their overall engagement, here are a few tips to consider helping on the “art and science” aspects of social behavior:

  1. Be a good citizen. Always consider following real accounts back. You never know who you are going to meet and where it is going to lead, especially on places like Twitter and Google Plus.
  2. Take time to engage with other users, especially when there is no apparent motive. Examples might be:
    • Liking a picture of somebody’s kid
    • Sharing their (or their company’s) recent blog post on Twitter
    • Connecting likeminded individuals, especially as it pertains to good content (Mary Smith, you should read Joe Jones latest article about mobile marketing and include a link).
  3. Consider your motive every time you post. Are you trying to be interesting? Clever? Or are you just trying to increase your Klout score/vanity metrics?
  4. Ask yourself, “Would I like or share this content?”
  5. Look at your overall mix of updates. Are they more about you/your Company? Or are they a combination of useful updates curated from your feed? Even better, are they a mix of funny, interesting, beautiful with an occasional “and don’t forget, I/we sell things so we appreciate your business?”

At the end of the day, for those companies engaging in social or people like ourselves that work in the space, we have a job to do. Being social for social sake isn’t an option. But it doesn’t mean an endless stream of self-promotional updates. And just think, for those times where you really need people to pay attention (filling a job req, promoting an event or a product/service), don’t you think it’s better if everyone is paying attention to you versus working hard to run the other way?

By: Aaron Strout

Aaron leads the technology practice at W2O Group and is a regular contributor to Marketing Land. In his spare time, he podcasts, speaks, Twitters and BBQs. He also loves his Instagram.

Find me on: Twitter Facebook
Pre-Commerce Check out W2O Group President Bob Pearson's new book, Pre-Commerce, in which he shares ideas for leaders to engage directly with customers to shape their brand and marketplace success. Now available for order on Amazon.com! http://amzn.to/bAmvFN. Join the conversation #precommerce.