SOCIAL MEDIA: …and business change V cost cutting

Here is a an extract from a blog (Freshnetworks) that, to me, reiterated how pressing the need is for an entirely new focus upon current business models.

IT, web, Advertising and marketing budgets are under pressure due to the current trading climate. Understandable? Yes. Wise???


Recognising that savings need to be made is correct but, when that impacts stakeholder relationships, at a time when they are CRITICAL, requires very serious consideration. I believe that there is a way to reduce (and re-direct) these costs AND to interact with your stakeholders.

Get smart. Make sure your business has VALUES and VISION at its core. Then, instead of shouting about your business, go, listen, talk, interact with the people who already make your business what it is. They will tell you what they want from you and that can be a massive investment in your business because you can establish the quality of your client relationship.

Stick with QUALITY not QUANTITY. Learn from the information you have gleaned. Apply it. You have a springboard to much more than might have been achieved with an extravagant ANNUAL Sales & Marketing budget.

But we all know it isn’t quite that easy. I would be happy to help, if I can.


A key area is in Community Management. People with the right knowledge and skills will become highly sought after. So it may be a good time to consider if there are any prospective candidates in your organisation who, with suitable training could save you MUCH more than, any amount of redundancies would!

Although I haven’t (yet) got my copy, this book looks to contain very useful lessons for all businesses engaging with – or planning to engage with – their customers and potential customers online.

Angela Connor has boiled down a huge subject into an 18-step strategy. Think of it as an accessible masterclass by a pragmatist rather than a theoretical lecture or high-minded discussion.

Currently Managing Editor of User-Generated Content at, in 2007 Angela launched, the first online community for the top-rated television station in the state which has grown to more than 12,000 members. Angela has a background in journalism that shines through in her written style, making it easy to follow, conversational and crisp.

Essentially, unlike some ‘gurus’ and ‘experts’ who perform a commentary, Angela has done the hard slog, learned the hard lessons and continues to grow her community day-to-day. Her thinking is fresh and grounded in reality. Connor returns again and again to the themes of interaction, engagement, conversation.

Above all, the importance of getting in the mix, not performing a high-handed role from atop, but being a part of your community, regardless of what the community is formed around. From the outset, Connor is clear: "We are now living in the conversation age, where one-way communication is no longer acceptable or desired. People want to engage and discuss, react and interact. "It is no longer effective to have an online presence without interaction."

Key lessons: .    

"It takes a different kind of investment to grow community, and a major portion of that investment is TIME." .    

Community managers need to have "a long-term strategy and a plethora of tools in your toolkit to turn lurkers into contributors and to encourage contributors to ramp it up a bit and move into the zone of those who post ‘very often.’ .    

Engaging, asking questions, chatting to members and offering them something useful and interesting is all vital. .    

Look after your members and appreciate them: "stroke a few egos". .    

Every community has its own culture and set of values. .    

Be open, honest, sharing – and accept and respond to criticism!

With this book, Angela Connor has put together a really handy overview with genuinely useful thinking points to steer community management efforts in the right direction. Above all else, the breadth of activities she covers for community managers keeps us mindful of just how diverse a role it is, and how important it is to do it right.

ISBN: Paperback: 978-1-60005-142-5 (1-60005-142-1)

ISBN: eBook: 978-1-60005-143-2 (1-60005-143-X)

Published by Happy About®.


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