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Category: Jayne Hoogenberk

Putting the Social Back in Social Media

My Mum isn’t on Myspace or Facebook. She’s never heard of Twitter. She thinks YouTube is a deodorant stick and suspects that Widgets are things that “certain” people keep in their bedside tables.

With all the proliferation of apps and platforms in the social media space these days, it’s easy to get caught up in the slipstream of progress and forget the mainstream.  The odd Joe the Plumber may have an iPhone and highspeed access, but the majority of North America is still having trouble remembering their ATM PIN numbers let alone their online passwords.

Which is why I have to remind myself on the days when I’m carried away with the possibilities of some new, cool functionality that the majority of the guests and authors who frequent the Community don’t really care so much about the technology — it’s the social aspect of the community that the technology enables that they care about. They’re coming to us to make friends and meet fellow readers and share information on their favorite books and authors.

Community Managers and Authors from Harlequin

Now, this emphasis on the social doesn’t mean that they’ll accept clunky interfaces and awkward, non-intuitive site architecture. But, for my mind, my core tasks as Community Manager are:

  • develop content to meet and exceed their expectations;
  • distribute it using the technology and tools that won’t overwhelm them;
  • and help them form relationships. 

We facilitate conversation in an easy to use, safe and entertaining environment.  And although I’m an early technology adopter and have beta-tested more platforms and services than I care to admit, I need to be mindful that my key audience is much further behind me on the learning curve and remember what all this technology is supposed to be enabling in the first place.