I’ve just spent the last 3 weeks or so learning all about the social media sphere, shortlisting various solutions for an implementation of a social community for the organisation I’m working for.
It’s been quite interesting learning how these communities are started and they are quite similar to real life social situations in many ways. For example you need someone to post things that generate conversation, and it works best if you only introduce a few features and get people talking about those, as they will be overwhelmed by too many features much the same way they would be overwhelmed by too much information in a conference.
And then there’s all the focus on user experience and branding, and getting people to stay on the site. If you build it, they won’t come, but if you build some of it and advertise it like crazy and have a presence on facebook, and post links back to your community, they just might come, and as long as you’re talking about things that interest them, they might stay too!
We narrowed our list down to 3 contenders who all had excellent merits. There was the large corporation with an very good off the shelf product and lots of research behind it, the mid size organisation specialising in our sector, and the small company who offered the best service and an entirely bespoke solution.
Rather sadly, we ended up choosing the massive corporation much the same way you’d go to Tesco to buy your groceries instead of to the high street. It might cost a bit more to get there but once you’re there you know it has everything you need and if you have a problem you can go back next week and complain, and someone will do something about it.
I’ll write something more interesting next time!