Don’t let social media ruin your brand – or your web performance


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CONTRIBUTED BY

  • Knud Kegel Senior Vice President, Business Development
  • Feb 11, 2013

Social Media is now an expected feature of any web property. Most corporate web sites today incorporate some kind of social media – ranging from just a link to a corporate Facebook page to incorporating social tools like commenting, rating, polls and forums.

By tapping into the phenomenal growth in social interaction, companies can turn their websites into vibrant engagement platforms for community and conversation about their content. Transforming a one-way website into a dynamic forum for discussion and dialogue can help achieve deeper customer engagement, develop new content or products, increase revenues and enhance customer loyalty. 

But incorporating social media into your Web properties is not without risk.

We all know that social communication isn’t always civil. A toxic social atmosphere can drive away visitors and interfere with the usability of your Web properties. You must engage in a genuine conversation with your visitors but you can’t afford to lose control of your brand.

As the amount of user activity grows, performance can become an issue as well.High levels of user “write” activity put a tremendous strain on a company’s social content infrastructure. Companies that wish to collect and publish dynamic social content in real-time are finding that the technologies they have historically relied on to manage large numbers of social content contributors, including web caching and content delivery networks (CDNs), are incapable of handling the increased volume of social activity.

So, how do you engage with your customers without compromising your brand? The answer is three-fold: 1) smart, collaborative moderation, 2) social media curation, and 3) elastic scalability.

  • Moderation
    Smart moderation means providing tools that allow visitors to moderate each other’s behaviors – as well as collaborative solutions that let your support team identify problems before that get out of control. These tools include pre- and post- moderation of contributed content and advanced social user management capabilities including ignoring or banning repeat offenders.  It also includes the ability to flag topics for immediate review and communicate with fellow moderators.

  • Curation
    And once you have created an active, engaging social community, you are well positioning to take the next step – transforming your brand advocates into active content contributors. In the age of smart phones and citizen journalism, smart companies are building Web applications that allow social community members to contribute editorial content and business suggestions. To capitalize on this level of interactivity, you need a WCM solution that lets you review and transfer contributed content directly to your editorial Web repository.

  • Scalability
    Site performance in social environments is traditionally dependent on high-end relational database management system (RDBMS) technology to store, locate, calculate and deliver the appropriate social content and results in real-time. But RDBMS’s aren’t optimized to handle a constantly expanding dataset that is being updated (writing to storage) by large numbers of online users simultaneously. Scalable social solutions require a combination of traditional data management systems with new elastic storage architectures based on NoSQL technology – the same tools used by social powerhouses such as Twitter and Facebook.

So, there you have. Social media can transform your business, but only if you do it right. Follow these three steps and make sure that you stay on top of the conversation.




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