Analysis of Social Media Management Tools

With the number of social media networks available growing, it has become a necessity for businesses and organizations to utilize many social media platforms to reach their customers. In many cases, the person responsible for the management of the social media accounts, has had the task added on in addition to their daily duties. This is very true for small public libraries where in some cases there is only one (or very few) full time staff.

To help ease management of multiple social media networks, it can be helpful to use a social media management tool. These tools not only help to integrate all social media networks into one easy to access platform, but also allow the use of analytics and the ability to schedule posts. There are many different social media management tools available for use. I have written an analysis of three different social media management tools: Hootsuite, Buffer, and SproutSocial. Each offers different capabilities and price points for their users.

Check out my analysis here:  Social Media Management Tools Analysis

Dog N It Social Media Strategy

For the Information Services Prototype assignment completed for MC495/LS590 Social Media and Informatics, we had a great group consisting of Darcy Tatlock, Kate Peck, Meredith Wickham, Julia Brown, and Kristina Samuelson. Each group member was assigned a social media platform to research and provide a recommendation to our client, Dog N It, a positive only dog training business located in Tuscaloosa, AL. The assigned social media platforms and additional tasks completed by each group member included:

  • Meredith – the client contact, helped with editing, and completed the section on Facebook.
  • Darcy – reviewed all of the reference formatting to ensure all sources were in APA format, helped with editing, and completed the section on Twitter.
  • Kate – compiled all the sections, created the executive summary and table of contents, formatted the final product, helped with editing, and completed the section on Instagram.
  • Julia – posted the final product to her blog (here) for others in the group to link to and submitted it for grading, and helped with editing, and completed the section on websites and blogs.
  • Kristina – completed the section on Snapchat.

I feel we came up with an exceptional final product, with very helpful information and final recommendations. Check it out for yourself here:

Information Services Prototype – Dog N It Social Media Strategy

Folksonomies

“A folksonomy is a system in which users apply public tags to online items, typically to aid them in re-finding those items. This can give rise to a classification system based on those tags and their frequencies, in contrast to a taxonomic classification specified by the owners of the content when it is published. This practice is also known as collaborative tagging, social classification, social indexing, and social tagging” Definition from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folksonomy

I have very mixed feelings about folksonomies. As a library professional, I consider controlled vocabularies to be an essential to the organization and retrieval of information. That being said, utilizing a controlled vocabulary suck as the Dublin Core can be very expensive and a challenge to learn. This is how companies and individuals who have created websites can tag them form searchability and help searches locate specific and relevant information in the oversaturated web of information.

Why I have an issue with folsonomies is they lack consistency. Anyone can assign a tag, which opens the door for the misuse of tags or spelling errors. This makes them irrelevant and actually causes them to have a negative impact on the overall intention of adding the tag.

Wikis

When I am searching for information, the first place I always start is Wikipedia. Wikis are great! They allow individuals without knowledge of coding or HTML to actively contribute their knowledge to the internet. Wikis are collaborative, having content created and edited by its users. This is a wonderful concept as it allows a wide range of topics and information to be included. There are downfalls to Wikipedia though. As Wikis are crowd contributed and edited, there are times when people go in and edit entries with false information. Because of this, it is important to remember that Wikipedia and other Wikis should be used as a starting point to research and not used as the be all and end all to your information gathering.

Here is a great site that does a great job of explaining Wikis: http://computers.tutsplus.com/tutorials/what-are-wikis-and-why-should-you-use-them–cms-19540

And here is a link to a Buzzfeed article which highlights funny, incorrect edits made to Wikipedia:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/alanwhite/spectacular-acts-of-wikipedia-vandalism?utm_term=.cja4LDXYV6#.ghQOn3ozxj

Newsvine

I was not familiar with Newsvine before taking Social Media and Informatics. Before I pulled up the site, I thought it was going to be filled with Vines about the news. This is not true. Newsvine was created in 2006 as a way to connect people through the news. While the majority of news sites the news outlet selecting what is worthy of their site, Newsvine puts the news in the hands of its users. What the users find newsworthy is what is published, allowing users to then engage in conversation. After joining the site, I searched the Nations available to join. I found that very few were open, and requested to join a few gated Nations. I still have yet to be accepted into any gated Nation. I was also a little disappointed that there wasn’t many Nations delegated to Librarianship and Technology. Because of this I joined the US News & Views Nation, along with Movies, Etc. I searched through the two Nations I joined and decided to comment on a few stories. I tried logging back in the next day and was greeted by a message that my account had been suspended due to not following the Code of Honor. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but I know others in the course had similar issues. I really like the idea of Newsvine, but I’m not sure how much I will ever use it after this course is over.

Tagging

Tagging has become a widely used element in social media. Tagging is used to identify the subject of the post, to connect an individual, organization, or event to a specific post, and to facilitate conversation. All social media today has some form of tagging, with the widest accepted form known as the #hashtag. Hashtags can be added to social media posts on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google+. Hashtags can be searched and you can see everything on that platform that was posted using a specific hashtag. Now you can even search hashtags in search engines like Google. This can be very helpful for businesses, as they can be used to promote business and events, as well as they can help track what your customers are talking about.

While you can’t control who uses a hashtag, you can register one you created at hashtags.org. This allows you to easily track and follow a hashtag. It also allows you to see who else has used the hashtag, and what it has been associated with.

There are times when the use of hashtags have gone wrong. As they have become more and more widely utilized, some users over tag posts and #getalittlecrazy #hashtageverything #sometimesunrelatedthings. This causes them to be unnecessary and often linked to other posts that are unrelated. There have also been cases where the hashtag when created can be read and interpreted incorrectly. For example there was a hashtag created as #NowThachersDead. When read though people interpreted it as Now Cher is dead, and rumors started circulating that Cher had died.

There are also times when hashtags are “hijacked” with people using them for purposes contrary to what the company promoting them intended. For example, McDonalds created the hashtag #McDStories to create positive PR and encouraged people to tweet positive stories about the company. Instead people went crazy and did quite the opposite sharing negative experiences and opinions of the food chain.

When using tags on social media, it is very important that you do proper research before using them. Look into what the hashtag has been used for in the past. Also, it is very important to remember that tagging is a very organic experience for individuals. You never know what is going to happen after you start tagging.

Some interesting links on hashtags:

https://searchenginewatch.com/sew/how-to/2305444/the-role-of-hashtags-in-social-media-and-search

https://blog.loginradius.com/2015/04/hashtag-fails/

http://mashable.com/2013/10/19/hijacked-hashtags/#NVaweopL.uqc

http://gizmodo.com/5869538/how-the-hashtag-is-ruining-the-english-language

Time to blog again!

I’m back! This time around I will be blogging for my Social Media & Informatics class. While I have many social media accounts, I rarely post or share much on any platform. This is mostly due to the fact that it always takes me way too long to decide what I want to post and the time typically passes without me posting anything. I hope to learn and share more as this semester goes!