Social Media Teams in Different Types of Organizations

In order for any organization to have a successful social media team, it must possess the certain skill sets of analyzing, designing, managing, engaging, listening, and responding. In terms of positions and not considering the company’s wage budget, I believe a social media team should consist of:

• a Website Manager (designer as well)
• a Campaign Manager
• a Social Media / Community Manager
• a Content Strategist
• a Social Analyst

In a perfect world, this would be my choice for the make-up of any social media team. However, due to the fact 82% of organizations only use one to three people for social media is where it becomes challenging.

The following venn diagram explains the positions each type of organization requires specified to their needs:

venn diagram social team makeup

In explanation, companies must choose the make-up of their social media team relevant to what will be of value to help achieve their business objectives. Due to most companies small sized social teams, the employees will be responsible for the tasks and duties of more than one position.

Here is a brief description of each position just to clarify:

Social Strategist: The program leader for social, responsible for helping achieve the overall business objectives for the company.

Community Manager: The main form of communication and customer service between the brand and its consumers. Should also be seen as a trusted member of the community.

Education Manager: The social media teacher of the team who continuously advises about the best practices, policies and resources used.

Social Media Manager: Responsible for managing the ongoing social media campaigns of the company.

Social Analyst: Uses social and web analytics to measure and report how social media is affecting the business and its customer satisfaction level.

Web Developer: Helps integrate the company’s social media platforms into its existing technologies such as the company website.

Content Strategist: Coordinates the content which should be shared whether it be advertising, corporate content or social media content.

Digital Strategist: Helps social team integrate social media into all of its already existing digital channels including online and on TV.





Developing a Suitable Content Strategy

Your organization’s content strategy is an integral factor to consider when implementing a social media strategy for your organization. Although many would like to believe that content strategy is similar across the three organizational sectors, this is not necessarily true. In my opinion, the three most significant factors which would influence the design of an organization’s content strategy are its purpose for existence, target audience and diction.




Purpose for Existence

The first question you should be asking yourselves is: why does my organization exist? Are you a brand selling a product? Are you a government agency running a campaign? Are you a non-profit organization supporting a specific causes or illness? All of these questions are very important for the blatant reason that your content strategy will depend on the sector of your organization. As an example, a brand selling a specific product would be trying to entertain their audience and engage with them in order to directly convert online visitors into actual consumers. On the other hand, a government agency running a campaign has the objective to inform their citizens and ensure their comfort. Finally, a non-profit organization supporting a specific cause would be trying to increase awareness and implement fundraising efforts.

Target Audience

Another factor which could influence the design of an organization’s content strategy is the audience the company is trying to reach out to. A brand would be interested in developing and sharing content which relates to their products in order to convert potential consumers into actual buyers. However, a government agency which is targeting citizens who are of age to vote or older will need to develop content relating to the issues of the city and how the campaign of a certain representative may be of help. In relation to a non-profit organization, the content developed should be of interest to the people who are also interested in supporting the cause of the company. Thus, the content your organization delivers must relate to the interests of your target audience.


The way you relay your message to your audience also depends on the organizational sector you fall into. The style which your content articulates itself must be appropriate and respective to the organizational sector. For a brand selling a product, the tone of communication used isn’t as limited because it isn’t a personal or delicate topic which will offend anyone. Due to this, a typical brand will be able to get away with certain jokes and humourous posts that a non-profit organization or government agency wouldn’t be able to mimic. As an example, a non-profit organization dedicated to a serious cause such as breast cancer must be aware and conscious of anything their content includes which could be seen as offensive to someone who has recently lost a loved one to the disease. In addition, a government agency must also monitor their content in order to selectively and carefully share content. In order to maintain the respect your citizens have for you as a government agency, you must have an overall concerned and serious tone. However, a non-profit organization or a government agency may be able to intertwine some humour into their content once in a while, just make sure to be careful in order to prevent any backlash from occurring.




Organizations in the private, non-profit and government sector must consider all of the aforementioned factors in order to develop a successful content strategy. The purpose of the organization, its respective target audience and the diction used in their content are all significant factors which will influence the type of content which should be shared for each sector. Although the content strategies of each of these three types of organizations will differ, there is one piece of advice that should always be followed. Never post just to post. Post the right content at the right moment and don’t always post things merely relating to your product or main purpose because it will simply drive visitors away from your social media platforms.





Does Privacy Still Exist in the Social Digital World?

Today in our world, many believe when we are sitting at home on our computers surfing through Facebook that we are not alone. You’re right, we’re not – or that’s what we think because we’re always connected to all of our friends and acquaintances through social media outlets. However, never being alone in a situation where you would like to be may lead to loneliness. This means that the only way to be alone is to be lonely because you are never truly alone on social media unless you are not on social media at all. A share, like or comment is always shown to all of your friends and sometimes even to people you don’t know. Although the default privacy settings on platforms like Facebook can be changed, the typical person doesn’t bother looking into it and is fine keeping the default settings. In addition, the documentary ‘Terms of Service May Apply’ explains that over the past years Facebook has changed their privacy policies without letting any of their users know.

It is evident that the answer is no, privacy does not exist in our current digital and social world. Privacy does not exist without transparency. Facebook needs to be transparent about the changes they make to their privacy policies. Facebook sells our preferences – our likes and our shares to companies which is very useful market research that can be utilized to their advantage. It’s simple, nothing is free in this world so if using a social platform like Facebook is free and we’re not the buyers that means we’re the product. Whoever wants the information becomes the buyer, while Facebook remains an over-sized marketing research firm that does nothing other than let you use their platform at ‘no cost.’ If we’re never alone on social media then how can we have our privacy? The whole point of social media is that you want others to hear you so there’s no point to sign up for any type of social media account if you want your information to be private.



A Foucaultian (i.e. Michel Foucault – a French psychologist) perspective consists of the theory that social media is not just a medium for the exchange of information but it is a way of creating a personal brand. It involves ‘subjectification’ meaning that you are what you share or what you like. You are what you show others that you are by your social activity. The brands, musicians and articles you like and share are a few examples of the many possible types of media which will describe you as an individual. We execute all of these actions pertaining to our interests through social media knowing they are visible to the many people on our friend lists. It is a process of selective sharing in which we are trying to impress a certain group of people who have the same interests as us.

There are not many ways to deal with the digital social world and its lack of privacy. The advice I have for you is simple: be careful what you post because it will be viewed by many. Refrain from posting things you wouldn’t want anyone to see, because it’s simply unrealistic. Only post pieces that you would be okay with anyone seeing because it has the potential to affect your life, specifically career opportunities. In simple terms, be yourself but censor certain things you post because those posts are what identify you in the way that you want to be seen by others. Other than that, I guess you can sign up for a social website like which claims to be advertiser free (for now). Although the website guarantees your so-called privacy, you’ll never know until it’s too late. If both of those pieces of advice don’t please you, I have a simple message for you: don’t use social media.



Panopticon Prison Model


Mark Zuckerberg believes that social media is all about ‘conscious and permanent visibility.’ Although he thinks it is conscious, it is not to many and this statement basically confirms the fact that privacy doesn’t exist in our social digital world. Tim Rayner describes Mark’s belief in his article ‘Foucault and Social Media: Life in a Virtual Panopticon.’ His position states that everyone on social media is consciously aware that they are being watched causing them to always act on their best behaviour. He compares this to the example of a Panopticon. A Panopticon is Jeremy Bentham’s model of an ideal prison. It is made up of a circular ring of cells surrounding a guard tower in the middle. The prisoners are not able to see the guards, but the guards can see the prisoners. Thus, it is unknown to the prisoners if they are being watched or not. Assuming the prisoners care about the consequences of acting inappropriately causes them to act on their best behaviour in case they are being watched at an exact moment in time. The prisoners always act as if they are being watched. I agree with Tim. We regulate our behaviour and what we post on social media in case someone actually looks at what we post. In turn, social media can be compared to a virtual Panopticon because since we know we can be seen we always act on our best behaviour regarding what we post to our accounts. Censoring a status which you might’ve said differently in person or only posting your best selfies are perfect examples of this metaphor.



Foucault and Social Media: Life in a Virtual Panopticon

Terms and Conditions May Apply Documentary

The Innovation of Loneliness


3 Variables to Consider When Identifying Your Target Audience

When identifying a company’s target audience within social media, many factors must be considered. The social platforms that will be used to communicate with your target audience is one thing to consider. However, it is almost important to consider factors such as who are you trying to influence? What behaviour is suitable for your consumers? What do you expect to achieve from your consumers? The following explains three significant factors you should consider when identifying your target audience.





The initial factor you should consider for your company when identifying your target audience is who your company is aimed towards in accordance to age, gender, ethnicity, etc. This factor is the most straight forward due to certain constraints your company will have when deciding who to target. As an example, a classy high-end Italian restaurant will most likely want to target professional individuals with a higher than average disposable income. However, a non-profit organization wouldn’t have as many constraints when targeting their audience because their business objective is to raise awareness. Unless the organization supports a cause specifically towards a certain gender or ethnicity, the main target should be people genuinely interested in the campaign. On the other hand, if a non-profit organization is looking for a sizable donation, the target audience should be people who are genuinely interested in the cause who also have an above average disposable income. Finally, a government agency such as a political party in Toronto should only target Canadian citizens who are 18 years of age. In addition, one could argue further that the target market could be further segmented to target the middle aged as studies show they are more interested and engaged in political affairs.





In order to identify your target audience within social media, you must know who you want to influence. As a reminder, influence is what drives action towards your company whether it is a business, a non-profit organization or a government agency. If you know your influencers, you will know your target market. This is due to the fact that your influencers will help you achieve your business objectives. For example, a sports drink company would want to influence athletes in order for them to promote their product and increase sales. A non-for profit organization supporting a certain medical condition would want to influence those who would help raise awareness for the condition. Finally, a government agency would want to influence citizens with authority and respected opinions in order to persuade people to vote for their party.




Consumer Behaviour

A company must know what type of behaviour is suitable for its goals before being able to identify a target audience. If a businesses’ goal is to increase sales or promote a newly released product, then people who would never buy the product or share it on their social media feeds shouldn’t be targeted. As a more specific example, Holt Renfrew should never target an audience who does not value brand names because only people who care about brands will buy from them due to the fact that their inventory consists of mainly high-end brands. In addition, a non-profit organization supporting cancer should target genuinely altruistic people or people who have a reason to care about the specific cause such as people with the actual disease or people who know or lost someone who had the disease. On the other hand, government agencies would want to target citizens who are able and willing to vote. This type of agency can also target citizens who are genuinely more interested in politics and have something to gain according to what the current campaign entails.






Authorship and its Relation to SEO

Google Authorship is a feature that showed the author’s name and profile picture in the rich snippet of a Google search result. In simple terms, it was a way of identifying authors and managing identities. Google Authorship was launched in 2011 and gave authors the ability to connect their content to the web, which established author verification and rewarded content for having authority. Although this program had good intentions, many authors did not adopt and establish themselves with this feature. Since the end of August 2014, Google Authorship came to an end. Studies show there was no significant value from having this feature and that 70% of authors didn’t claim ownership of their content through Google Authorship. In addition, some data showed that click through rates were not significantly affected in the trial of Google Authorship.

Why does authorship affect SEO and what is their common intersection? The answer is Author Rank. Author Rank is a significant set of factors search engines use to consider in order to ensure their users find the most credible and knowledgeable content on the web. Thus, Google used Authorship – or wanted to use Authorship as one of the factors that would help your Author Rank by including it in their ranking algorithm.


Example of Authorship


Although Google Authorship is gone, Author Rank is here to stay. The concept needs to be tweaked, but it is a great concept in order to send search engine users to their designated destinations. In simple terms, Author Rank is achieving better site ranking due to the authority of the author. Although Author Rank is not a Google term, it is a term the SEO community has given to the concept. Author Rank is only confirmed for a very small part of Google search. It is one of the many factors that contribute to the ranks of Google’s listings. Now that Google has abandoned its official Authorship system, authors should consider bylines (i.e. By: Marie Coustere). What this means is that Google has other ways to determine who the author is of a given article. This specific factor which is considered to be used by Author Rank existed before Authorship and is here to stay.



Eminem on Conquering Your Passion



Although freedom of speech is accepted in North America, Eminem was someone who abused it to his advantage. Eminem was born in 1972 in Missouri, and was raised by his mother. Never able to keep a job, the two constantly moved between Missouri and Detroit, spending a lot of time living in the projects. He had no close friends and was always treated as the black sheep – or white sheep in his situation, at every school he attended. After failing the ninth grade three times, Eminem eventually dropped out of high school at the age of 17. He always had an interest in literature and studied the dictionary in his free time.

“I found that no matter how bad I was at school, like, and no matter how low my grades might have been at some times, I always was good at English … I just felt like I wanna be able to have all of these words at my disposal, in my vocabulary at all times whenever I need to pull ’em out. You know, somewhere, they’ll be stored, like, locked away.” -Eminem

Eminem started seriously rapping at the age of 14. By the age of 17 he had created a name for himself – M&M which were the initials of his name, Marshall Mathers. By 1999, his album ‘The Slim Shady LP’ went multi-platinum, winning two grammy awards and four MTV Video Music Awards. A year later, the release of ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’ was deemed as the fastest selling album in rap history. Although he was often made fun of because he was a white rapper, he wanted to be the best in what he loved.

“Nobody likes to fail. I want to succeed in everything I do, which isn’t much. But the things that I’m really passionate about, if I fail at those, if I’m not successful, what do I have?” -Eminem

Eminem succeeded in what he loved the most because he wanted to be the best in it – in the best way he could be at it. He loved to rhyme and his self-expression through his music was a main factor which contributed to his success. Regardless of what your dreams are, you will be able to achieve them if you are truly passionate about them. Keep your head up, never give up. Do the things you love to do in the best ways that you know how to do them and you will thrive.

For further reading on Eminem and his journey to success:






Choose the Right Social Networks for Your Company

Creating a social web strategy is very dependent on the type of company at stake. Although the four concepts of social interaction is the fundamental guideline of how to execute a social web strategy, the social networks an organization decides to use is another factor to be considered. In order to determine which social media platforms will be the most effective for a company, one must also look further into social media demographics. If you know your target audience, you will also know which platforms will suit your company the best.


Week 5 SMD 102 Blog Post Infographic Copy

As stated before on the info graphic, (created with piktochart) a company’s objectives will differ depending on what type of organization it is and what the company is trying to accomplish. A profitable business would want to use social platforms in order to connect with potential consumers, empower employees to further a uniform brand image, showcase new products or services, etc. A business would also want to integrate its social media efforts into every current and future marketing campaign. All of these actions will create brand awareness. Finally, following the four concepts of social interaction will also help develop a brand loyalty amongst potential consumers.

Non-profitable organizations usually support a specific cause such as world hunger. The main objective while using social media for this type of organization is to create and spread awareness. Content related to the cause should be shared regularly in order to engage their audience and ultimately influence them. Strong relationships are able to be built through these types of organizations because the campaigns are aimed at people who are genuinely altruistic. These individuals will help raise awareness for the campaign to a greater extent once they are influenced.

Government agencies use social media platforms in order to connect with the public. Specifically, these agencies are able to inform the public with updates on current crises and political campaigns. This allows the government to connect with voters during elections. In addition, a simple tweet during a crisis can humanize the government’s efforts and will help build trust with its citizens. Government agencies simply want to connect with the people of the country in order to show them they are listening and that they care.

In reference to the info graphic above, a higher percentage of females use social media in comparison to males. In general, this shows that more females are able to be reached through social media efforts. Although businesses and non-profitable organizations can target people at any age depending on the campaign or product, government agencies are usually targeting an older audience. As an example, a toy company selling products to an average age of 18 would most definitely want to use Instagram to showcase its products. On the other hand, a government agency would most likely be interested to use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn because they are better for broadcasting messages. A non-profitable organization would be better off using Facebook and Twitter because they promote sharing (i.e. spreading awareness) of relevant content. Instagram and YouTube are also useful tools for these types of organizations because visuals are more powerful in influencing emotions. Nevertheless, all three types of organizations must always remember to connect and engage with your audience in order to influence them to take action.

In the future, everyone will be accustomed to social media. What does this mean? This means older people (i.e. 65+) will be using social media more than that same age group today. Due to the fact that social media is fairly new means that these demographics will be completely different when a 25 year old today is 65 in 2054. Thus, social media is consistently changing. This means you must pay attention to all the new platforms available for use and determine if they are suitable for your company.



Strategy versus Tactics: A Common Misconception

When you first read the title of this post you probably asked yourself “is he really writing a blog post on this? Everyone knows the difference between strategy and tactics.” I am currently enrolled in the social media program at the Seneca Markham campus and I can tell you – no, most people really can’t distinguish the difference between the two. During one of our first social media strategy classes, I was almost offended by the fact that our professor was asking us this “simple” question. Although most of my colleagues and I already have a degree in marketing, no one answered the question correctly.

Now that you’re curious, let me explain the difference.

What is strategy? Strategy is defined as “a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty.” In comparison, a tactic would be defined as “a plan, procedure, or expedient for promoting a desired end or result.” (source: In simple terms, a strategy is WHAT you want to achieve while a tactic is HOW you are going to achieve the strategy. Ultimately, a strategy is established in order to satisfy one or more common business goals such as increasing a company’s revenue, consumer awareness or market share.

A business goal must be “S.M.A.R.T.”  in order to properly develop a strategy for it to revolve around. The clever acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based (source: wikipedia). As an example, a “S.M.A.R.T.” goal could be to increase customer retention by 35% by Dec 31st, 2014 in comparison to the previous year.

From this let’s develop a strategy:


-To improve customer satisfaction to an extent that it is clearly evident through mediums of feedback

The tactics used for this strategy could be:

-Invest in 24/7 customer service via phone

-Establish online chat assistance

-Ensure all e-mail inquiries are answered within an hour

-Establish a customer reward program

-Develop forms, polls and surveys to receive feedback in order to track positive progress

In the above example, the company is aiming to increase customer retention by 35% by the mentioned date. This strategy of providing better customer service ties into their business goal of improving customer retention. The tactics are the actions revolving around their strategy which will help to increase customer service.

Strategy vs Tactics

In simple terms, refer to the picture above. The goal is to get to the ‘X’ mark. The strategy is what the individual decides to do in order to achieve his goal. The tactics involved are how he’s going to follow his strategy. To get to the ‘X’ mark, I will take the river by using a boat to get there. Simple enough.

photocred: Rich Goidel






Facebook Friends Network Sketch – What is network influence?

emanuels facebook friends

Hey everyone, today I learned how to use Gephi, a free community visualization program. After downloading my personal network data from Facebook (using Netvizz – a Facebook app) and opening the .gdf file with Gephi, the data resulted in the above graph. Considering the fact that my Facebook profile is fairly new explains the outcome of the graph. Currently, my Facebook profile is made up of two main groups. The larger group on the bottom left is made up of people from my high school and extended friends within the area. The smaller group on the top right is made up of my colleagues from the Seneca social media program. The larger dots (aka nodes) represent the people with the most connections. As the nodes get larger they turn green. These people have the most network influence amongst my Facebook friends, particularly being the more popular people from my high school and its surrounding area. On the other hand, there is no significant difference in network influence potential amongst my Seneca colleagues, according to the graph of course. Finally, the nodes separated further from the rest are not influential towards either group because they are not as connected with as many people. However, there are individuals who are connected to both groups of people as well as two individuals who are not connected at all to the rest of my friends.

The theory of network influence basically consists of influencing the most influential person in a group in order to influence the rest of the group. It can be compared to common sense in the way that why would you try to affect the mind of a less influential person if little or nothing will come out of it? The people to influence are the ones who have the connections, trust and loyalty of others. However, a network visualization program will only sketch a graph according to quantitative data. This must be taken into consideration because in the real world it’s not just how many connections you have but the quality of the connections as well. As an example, let us compare an individual with 2000 friends compared to someone with 500. Although, the person with 2000 friends is a party animal and has many acquaintances it does not necessarily mean that person is credible and has loyalty amongst their friends. In comparison, the individual with 500 friends but who is thought of as a knowledgeable, aspiring and respectable individual will be of greater influence towards their specific network. Thus, network influence can be viewed similarly to the acquisition of new customers – quality over quantity.



Social Media Marketing within Nonprofit Organizations, Governments and the Private Sector

After reading several articles online, it fascinates – but does not surprise me that all different types of organizations use social media to market themselves. Due to social media and its growth over the past years, it is not even an option to market your company online – I mean, on social media anymore. The personal factor is the secret weapon behind these platforms because individuals are able to relate to another human. In my opinion, this was always quite obvious. For example, when you’re complaining about a product or service would you like to explain the issues to a representative or do you want to fill out a feedback form on a website? The thing with social media is it’s like a hybrid of both. As an example, if you tweeted to a company about something wrong with their product or service you are giving them instant feedback. Smart companies will answer inquiries and solve issues right before the consumers eyes like a 24/7 customer service rep. Since a human is responding to the original tweeter, the afflicted customer is more likely to feel comfort and be appreciative towards the response. This type of engagement is the new way of showing customer service towards consumers in this generation.

Non-profit organizations also benefit from social media by engaging consumers through altruism. People are hard wired to be altruistic. Although most people would not share their favourite Facebook game or some random app, they would be more than happy to show off that they did something for a good cause. Socially, that person now is recognized as a caring person so why wouldn’t he want to share something like that? Sharing is caring. Or maybe he just cares about what people think. Either way, social media can use the human psyche to encourage people to support causes – just like your friends did!

Governments are organizations too. Although the way social media would be utilized within these organizations would be a little different, its also exactly the same. It’s all about engagement. “It’s an expectation as much as it’s an opportunity. It’s changing the onus from working for people to working with people.” This was said by one of Ignatieff’s social team members during the 2011 federal election in Canada. They key to this statement is that politicians can now work with people and lend an ear rather than pitching a speech and collecting feedback in other forms. Due to social media, citizens have felt a connection with politicians like never before. The instantaneous recognition of their thoughts is really what makes them feel connected. This applies to all three different types of organizations.