Blog 6: Expanding, Engaging and PersonalizingPosted: October 17, 2013
In Kanter and Fine’s chapters on creating a social culture and using it to engage with others, they emphasize that companies shouldn’t be afraid of letting individuals’ personalities show through tweets, posts and comments. Instead of only trying to gain participation and money through their posts, companies should try to connect with people and build personal relationships with their followers online.
This idea of a “personal” side to a business really intrigued me. In my own professional social media work, I often find myself centering posts and tweets around a final goal of getting people to sign up for the programs the company I work for offers. Instead, according to Kanter and Fine, I should be using Facebook and Twitter to show the beliefs of the company and form connections with people who will then want to sign up for the programs willingly.
I think these ideas are also very applicable to Savor South Madison’s goal, especially when it comes to engaging with the student body. In order to get participation in the Taste Race, we will have to connect with people in an area in which we are comfortable communicating with them. Because our target audience is college students, I think there are a couple of unique social media platforms besides Twitter and Facebook where we could both show our personality and encourage people to participate in the Taste Race.
The first is Pinterest. While we have had a Pinterest for a couple of semesters now, it goes mostly unused. The links and pictures we have pinned are completely of food, separated onto different boards based on what kind of food it is. While food is always a good thing to gain repins on Pinterest, I think we are limiting ourselves by stopping there. In order to really use the medium, we should create boards that explain a little bit more about what Savor South Madison is and who the people running it are. We could make boards that show the events we are holding, experiences we’re having together and parts of the learning process. Taking advice from Kanter and Fine, I think one of these should be a “meet the students” or “Savor South Madison today” board that shows specifically what we as students are doing, both in South Madison and in the classroom.
To create synergy between our platforms, I think we should also be utilizing Pinterest to show off our website. We can pin items from the website to drive traffic there. All of these ventures will help our followers discover more about South Madison and more about us, creating bonds between all parties and encouraging them to participate in activities such as the Taste Race, or maybe just head down to South Madison to see what all these college kids are posting about.
Another social media technology that I think businesses often overlook is FourSquare. Although people are a little checked out of checking in, I think it would specifically be a great way for us to show where we are going and expand our brand. During the Culinary Crawl, we could check in on Four Square and all other social media platforms. If a restaurant doesn’t have a spot, we could make one for them so people can check in there in the future. This would help people know where we are and have a quick link to find out the exact location. I also this this would have been a really cool way to track where we went on the bus tour.
There are a lot of ways Savor South Madison could improve on social media. Form the Kanter and Fine reading, I specifically took away the idea that we need to make our posts more personal and engaging by expanding our current social media use and which platforms we use.