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Tech Talk Radio Show 32 of 2010
Transmission date: August 9, 2010
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Ep 32 of 2010
August 9, 2010

Everybody knows about social networking. The young, the old, the luddites, and the boffins, even businesses large and small have found their way to social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. But in these days of the technological revolution, where each day brings new and exciting things to our desktop, laptop, Netbook and iGadgets, it's clear that some businesses are embracing social networking for the wrong reasons.

Twitter

In a survey by US PR and marketing agency Wildfire, which analysed the social media activity of the 2009 Deloitte Fast Tech 50, found that 90% of the UK tech companies featured had a presence on two or more social networks but the majority fail to actually use social media in a social way. Instead, far too many brands are treating the likes of Twitter and Facebook as a traditional marketing channel.

While many companies in Australia now have Twitter and Facebook accounts such as Telcos, Media Agencies, Government Departments, and even religious groups, the question needs to be asked, what are they actually doing with their accounts? Social networking by definition, requires users to be sociable, that is, interacting with other network users, where some organizations do and don't.

In the UK, 74% of companies operated an official Twitter account, 43% of brands had never replied to a single tweet. Overall, the study found that 57% used Twitter solely for one-way marketing activity and the use of Facebook didn't fair any better either. The survey found that 20% of those on the Deloitte Fast Tech 50 list had a presence on the social networking site, a paltry 25% of brands reply to followers' comments on their Facebook accounts, while 60% of companies with a Facebook page used it purely as a distribution channel.

For some, the experience of poor social media execution by companies on Twitter goes along the lines of something like this: A tweet is sent to a company or organization requesting help or maybe a complaint. If you're lucky you may get a reply offering help but most likely encouraging you to contact the company concerned via traditional methods. Further tweets tend to fall on deaf ears. On exception to this in recent times has been Telstra of all companies, but their foray into the twittervers was less than credible, as those who chose to communicate with the telco via twitter had bot like responses within a short moment. Tech Talk Radio's Lidija Davis was quick to point this out to the telco which in turn made the Telco more sociable.

As some social network critics have said: "The bottom line is that for all of the social media marketing hype, the reality is a little skewed. Music no doubt to the ears of opportunistic social media marketers everywhere who would be keen to help." Companies, tech or otherwise, would do well to remember that in the age of social media, customer service IS PR.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • The Federal Election inches closer and closer, we take a look at how the major parties view Conroy's internet filter.
  • Adam takes a look at the demise of Google's Wave which has become a dumper,
  • Melbourne gets a WIFI Tram
  • Android's growth is beyond expectations, and
  • Victoria to trial electric car