Social media is a hot topic among academic publishers this year, and nowhere moreso than at SSP. Many of the sessions covering social media at last month's conference were standing room only, as academics, publishers and technology providers shared their experience and offered colleagues who have yet to take the plunge examples of their good practice.

One session that proved particularly popular at this year's conference was What's The Use Of Social Media...? which is now available to view online along with many other of the presentations from SSP 2012.

To find the What's The Use Of Social Media...? - click through to this library listing this year's SSP presentations.

In her presentation, Springer's Patricia Cleary provided an authoritative overview of how a publisher with a large and diverse portfolio of academic publications can use social media effectively and efficiently. After giving a snaphot of which networks with which Springer is engaging, she goes on to outline how publishers can use social media as a customer service channel. Citing specific examples, the presentation shows how Springer has used social media to listen for customer dissatisfaction, capture it and resolve grievances and technical problems.

Also well worth waiting for are Patricia's takeaways on the challenges of social media management, which are particularly insightful given the range of networks and research areas Springer covers. For instance she argues that there's a fine balance to strike between specialism and generalism when it comes to establishing managing your social media presence. While there are often very good research reasons for setting up social media channels dedicated to serving niche areas, she says, unless there is a steady stream of content to put in them it can be difficult to maintain momentum and you might be better served with a more general approach.

In all, another excellent social media master class, and a great example of how larger academic publishers are addressing this opportunity.