Matthew Gould


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  • G’day everyone my name is Matt Gould. I’m an Online systems officer with the NSW Rural Fire Service where I am responsible for social media and our volunteer extranet or as it is more commonly known MyRFS. I also have the distinct privilege of being a volunteer and deputy captain with Silverdale Brigade in the Wollondilly District. I’m hear today to talk about social media and how we in the emergency sector can utilise it to improve our messaging and service delivery across a wide range of areas. But before we start …. <next slide> did you know that…
  • Point 2: Australia are per capita the biggest users of social media IN THE WORLD. On average each and every one of us spend 6 hours and 52 minutes a month on social media sites. What even more impressive is that that figure is up 83% percent on this time last year. End of slide: Now all these figures are quite impressive and social media is becoming more and integrated into our culture but it realyl does beg the question what exactly is social media?
  • Now a technical definition is that….
  • However if we put it more simply <slide contents>. Now on the surface that isn’t that much different to how we have been communicating since we were cavemen, its simply word of mouth. The key difference is that the technologies of today have greatly increased the reach of these messages so instead of conversing with a handful of friends and neighbours you can reach hundreds or thousands of people spread over a massive geographical area.
  • Now with social media these conversations a powered by a range of technologies such as….
  • And here are a few example of some commonly used social media sites
  • Now the strength of micro blogging lies in the fact that it allows Live event reporting: Finding out what people are experiencing in real time. Viral Dissemination: Sending messages out quickly through social networks this means the messages get out FAST, which makes it particularly well suited for use in emergency warning scenarios or when we wish to get information out to the media.
  • Point 1: Engaging with a community of people who share a common interest. Point 1: Viral Dissemination: Sending messages out quickly through social networks Facebook is a social networking site where users can add friends, send them messages and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves and their activities. Additionally, users can create and join groups of people with common interests. Facebook is the most widely used social media in Australia, with over 6 million users. Worldwide it is the 2nd most popular website on the entire internet. There are in excess of 200 RFS related groups on Facebook
  • Linking up with a community of people who share your interests. Engaging niche markets. Building brand/personal recognition.
  • As a collaborative information source Engaging users. Interacting with a community. Gauging community opinion/concerns
  • Engaging with users - audio visual content appeals to visual thinkers. Building brand/personal recognition. Viral Dissemination: Sending messages out quickly through social networks. Lets take a quick poll of the room. I want you to stick your hand up if you have ever watched a video on youtube or if you’ve ever received a link to a youtube video in your email. Well there you go just look at the power and reach of this medium.
  • Is the 7 th most accessed website in the world. As a well organised collaborative information source To allow physically distant people to collaborate on projects.
  • There are of course a number of other social media technologies and channels out there and briefly a few of the other big ones are… So now that weve spent a little bit of time looking at the technologies that power social media your quite possibly asking yourself <next slide> why as an emergency sector worker do I care about social media? And the answer is quite simple.
  • And here’s why
  • Wel older styles of media , and by that I mean things such as newspaprers radio and tv are a monologue. Its basically content producers creating one way communication that is then jammed down a consumers throat.
  • Social media is a bit different. It uses a communication model that is all about creating a dialogue between the content producer and the consumer.
  • And then a funny thing happens. When you start listening you find yourself wanting to talk
  • And then… And as educators and facilitators that’s exactly what we want, particularly in those highly time sensitive environments we often find ourselves in.
  • Now this applies whether we are looking at organisations as a whole or we are drilling down to the district or brigade level.
  • Firstly you need to understand and accept that we are living in an age where a persons attention is a VERY valuable commodity. That on average 1 message every 20 seconds your awake. Fortuantlly there are a few hot tips we can use to help get our message heard. I call them the
  • Now firstly The Internet never forgets: what you put on a social media site can be reproduced and spread to thousands of viewers in literally minutes. Once its out there it is just about impossible to remove. Responsibility : What you write on social media channels is ultimately your responsibility, as are any possible repercussions. If there is anything in your posts that makes you een slightly uncomfortable you should not post it. Take the time to review the post to try and work out what is bothering you, then fix it. If you are still unsure you may wish to discuss it with you manager, captain or a more senior officer. Transparency : Ensure that you clearly identify which emergency service you belong to as well as well as your role in that service and your real name. Disclose any vested interest that you have in topics that are being discussed. Such honesty will be quickly noticed within social media circles and will enhance your online reputation. Talk about what you know : You should only post about your areas of expertise. If you are not an expert in the topic don’t lead people to believe that you are. The best thing to do is to seek input from a relevant subject matter expert but always remember that When quoting information given by another individual ensure that you make it clear this is the case. Sources : Whenever possible cite the source of your information by including hyperlinks, videos, images or other online references. If citing another subject matter expert be clear this is the case and advise who the subject matter expert is. Make sure that the individual is aware of that the information is being posted to a social media channel. Care should be taken to make sure all sources cited are current and in context. Expectation : In the online world the lines between personal and professional are easily blurred. By identifying yourself as a member of the your respective agencies there may be certain expectations from the public and other members of your service about your knowledge and online behaviour. As a result you need to ensure that any content you post is consistent with the agency service standards, and other guiding documents. In the RFS this would include our code of conduct and values. Tone : Your content should reflect positively on the professionalism of your agency. Ensure you write in a calm and positive manner that is respectful of other people and their views, even if you do not agree with them. Your posts should sound conversational and not overly scripted. Feel free to bring in your own personality and write content that invites responses. Value : One of the best ways to build your reputation within an online environment is to write content that adds value. Wherever possible your content should be well cited, detailed and thought provoking. It should encourage a sense of community within that particular online channel. Content that increases others knowledge and skills, encourages people to become involved, helps them solve problems or enhances their understanding of an issue will all add value. Mistakes : Now we are all human and at some point will make a mistake. If you inadvertently make a mistake or post inaccurate or misleading information admit it. Where possible you should edit your posts to correct the error, although make it clear that you have done so. Trust me when I say this is one of the big ways to get respect in the social media world. Timeliness : Where possible you should respond in a timely manner to relevant posts. However this should not be at the expense of ensuring that you post good responses. It is better to take the time to craft a well structured and detailed response then to rush and inadvertently offend someone or have to correct mistakes later.
  • Now that we’ve looked at some general principles to follow when interacting in a social world we need to look how we start to build our online credibility. And to do that I’d like to look at something that’s a little bit more in the real world. Does anyone here know how people make friends? …… well you build friendships with people through a combination of the following three factors…. its exactly the same when building relationships with people in an online environment. However over time you will see that people, and the posts they make will generally fall into one of several categories
  • Now people will often bounce between several of these categories so its better to apply these categories on a post by post basis. In my view almost all posts can be broken into the following categories.
  • A Trolls Posts are purely intended to provoke others into an emotional response. The best and only way to ward off a troll is to completely ignore it. If you respond or get upset you will only encourage the this behaviour, which in turn attracts more trolls. The situation can quickly get out of hand and many businesses have run into serious trouble when they inadvertently created a troll problem for themselves.
  • Having said that there are a number of significant things that social media can offer us
  • But this comes with its own challenges. Point 1: start small and with some of the major channels like facebook and twitter. As your social media presence grows you can utilise social media aggregators such as ping. Fm to simulatenously send your posts to a much wider range of sites
  • So right now your probablly wondering how exactly am I going to succeed in the world of social media. Fortuantly there is a recipe for success that you can use.
  • Now lets look at each of these in a little more detail
  • Start small and focus your efforts on a small area. In the RFS we started out with emergency messaging. As you get more comfortable using social media gradually spread out to include other areas.
  • Its critically important that you define exactly who your target market is, because in many cases that is going to help you identify which social media channels to utilise. As an example Myspace is used primarily in australia by those under 15 whilst twitter has a significant following from the mainstream media.
  • Your team may and ideally should include a number of subject matter experts, who whilst they may not be involved in the day to day running of your social media campaigns are a point of reference when you need help or there is a question that relates to their area of expertise.
  • Building that community is a massive win on its own because once it reaches a critical mass it will become self sustaining and the community will start to spread your messages expodentially. Strong communities are also an effective way to ward of trolls.
  • So right now your probablly wondering how exactly am I going to succeed in the world of social media. Fortuantly there is a recipe for success that you can use.
  • So right now your probablly wondering how exactly am I going to succeed in the world of social media. Fortuantly there is a recipe for success that you can use.
  • Matthew Gould

    1. 1. Web 2.0 Engaging with social media By Matt Gould Online Systems Officer NSW Rural Fire Service
    2. 2. Did You Know… <ul><li>5 of the 10 most popular websites in the entire world are social media sites, the other 5 are search engines. [1] </li></ul><ul><li>3 out of 4 Australians visited a social media site in June 2009 [2] </li></ul><ul><li>If Facebook were a country, it would be the third most populated place in the world. This means it easily beats the likes of Brazil, Russia and Japan in terms of size. </li></ul>
    3. 3. So what is Social Media? <ul><li>Social media is media designed to be disseminated through conversation and social interaction, utilising web based technologies. </li></ul><ul><li>It is created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques designed to foster social dialogue. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Or put more simply… <ul><li>Social Media is people having conversations online. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Types of Social Media <ul><li>These conversations are powered by technologies such as: </li></ul>Forums Audio Sharing Virtual Worlds Livecasting Video Sharing Photo Sharing Social News Social Bookmarking Wikis Social Networking Micro-Blogs Blogs
    6. 6. Some Examples
    7. 7. Micro-blogging <ul><li>Is a form of social media that allows users to publish brief updates (typically about 140 characters). </li></ul><ul><li>Similar to a SMS text message </li></ul><ul><li>Popular platforms include Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>In excess of 20,000 tweets are made every minute </li></ul>
    8. 8. Social Networking <ul><li>A social network service focuses on building online communities of people who share interests and/or activities, or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others </li></ul><ul><li>Is the predominate communication medium for Generation Y and Z. </li></ul><ul><li>In Australia social networking is dominated by Facebook </li></ul>
    9. 9. Blogs <ul><li>A Blog is an online journal where users post commentaries, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. </li></ul><ul><li>Viewers of the blog can interact with the blogger through comments, replies and feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>There are over half a billion blogs worldwide </li></ul><ul><li>70% of frequent internet users read one or more blog </li></ul>
    10. 10. Forums <ul><li>A Forum is an online discussion site. They originated as the modern equivalent of a traditional bulletin board </li></ul><ul><li>Forums usually have a defined theme and focus on discussion and debate around that topic. </li></ul><ul><li>Popular Firefighting Forums include the RFSA Forums and Ozfire. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Video Sharing <ul><li>Video sharing is the publishing or transfer of videos online. </li></ul><ul><li>Has grown increasingly popular over recent years, both in terms of amount uploaded and number of viewers </li></ul><ul><li>Most popular site is Youtube </li></ul><ul><li>Youtube is the third most accessed website in the world </li></ul><ul><li>Over 1.2 billion Youtube videos are viewed every day </li></ul>
    12. 12. Wiki’s <ul><li>A wiki is a website that allows the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser. </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used to create collaborative websites, to power community websites, for personal note taking, in corporate intranets, and in knowledge management systems. </li></ul><ul><li>The most well known Wiki is Wikipedia </li></ul>
    13. 13. Other channels <ul><li>Photo Sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Livecasting </li></ul><ul><li>Social Bookmarking </li></ul><ul><li>Social News </li></ul><ul><li>Opinion sites </li></ul><ul><li>Community Q&A </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Worlds </li></ul><ul><li>MMORGS </li></ul>
    14. 14. <ul><li>Why should I care about social media? </li></ul>
    15. 15. <ul><li>It’s a force to be reckoned with </li></ul>
    16. 16. “Old Media” <ul><li>Older styles of communication are a monologue </li></ul>
    17. 17. “New Media” <ul><li>Social Media uses a communication model that is all about creating dialogue. </li></ul>
    18. 18. The Art of Listening <ul><li>This means when you talk your also expected to LISTEN </li></ul><ul><li>Conversely if you listen you’ll find yourself wanting to talk </li></ul>
    19. 19. <ul><li>Hey presto we have a conversation </li></ul><ul><li>From that conversation we can develop buy in </li></ul><ul><li>and user engagement </li></ul>
    20. 20. <ul><li>So how can we utilise social media in an emergency organisation? </li></ul>
    21. 21. Welcome to the Attention Age <ul><li>Attention is a valuable commodity </li></ul><ul><li>The average person is exposed to 3000 messages a day. </li></ul><ul><li>How can we possibly hope to be heard amongst all that noise? </li></ul>
    22. 22. The 10 Golden Rules <ul><li>The Internet never forgets </li></ul><ul><li>Accept your responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Be Transparent </li></ul><ul><li>Talk about what you know </li></ul><ul><li>Cite your sources </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the expectation </li></ul><ul><li>Watch your tone </li></ul><ul><li>Always add value </li></ul><ul><li>Admit your Mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>Timeliness is key </li></ul>
    23. 23. Build Friendships <ul><li>You Build Friendships through: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared Experiences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared Values </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mutual Respect </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. Types of Postings <ul><li>Questioner </li></ul><ul><li>Opinion </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Bank </li></ul><ul><li>Happy Customer </li></ul><ul><li>Constructive Criticism </li></ul><ul><li>Unhappy Customer </li></ul><ul><li>Misinformed </li></ul><ul><li>Ranter </li></ul><ul><li>Troll </li></ul>
    25. 25. A special note about Trolls <ul><li>Do not Feed the Troll </li></ul>
    26. 26. What can social media offer <ul><li>An opportunity to build strong relationships before the storm hits </li></ul><ul><li>Provides an opportunity to deliver messaging direct to your target markets </li></ul><ul><li>Building the relationship means having a conversation in the good times and the bad </li></ul><ul><li>This investment provides a direct communication channel in times of emergency </li></ul>
    27. 27. The Challenges <ul><li>Huge variety of channels </li></ul><ul><li>Social networking means that people who have an opinion can group together </li></ul><ul><li>How do you influence the influencers? </li></ul><ul><li>The conversation will go on without you. </li></ul>
    28. 28. <ul><li>How can I succeed in the social media space? </li></ul>
    29. 29. Recipe for success <ul><li>Measurable Goals </li></ul><ul><li>Define a plan with contingencies </li></ul><ul><li>Select your team </li></ul><ul><li>Know there will be setbacks </li></ul><ul><li>Build a community </li></ul><ul><li>Plan to continue </li></ul>
    30. 30. Plan = Success <ul><li>Set Measurable and Achievable Goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tangible results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>increase your social media traffic by 20% over the next 6 months </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increase number of followers by 200 over the next month </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Did we reach the goal? </li></ul></ul>
    31. 31. Implementation Success <ul><li>Develop your Plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How are you going to get to your goal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Plan contingencies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How will you respond when things go wrong </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Results or cultural challenges </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revisit and redefine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resilience </li></ul></ul>
    32. 32. Implementation Success <ul><li>Select your team </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The people who can best help achieve the goal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accept your budget, resource and time constraints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Place your trust in the team to </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>execute effectively </li></ul></ul>
    33. 33. Implementation Success <ul><li>Know there will be setbacks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fear comes with the unknown </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember to breathe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not everything is as bad as you think </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Resist knee-jerk reactions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use diagnosis techniques to find the source of the setback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revisit and Refine your plan Stay focused on the plan </li></ul></ul>
    34. 34. Implementation Success <ul><li>Build a community </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s an outcome </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t forget about them </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Plan to continue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What will you do once they’ve done what you wanted them to do? </li></ul></ul>
    35. 35. <ul><li>Developing a Policy Framework </li></ul>
    36. 36. In An Ideal World
    37. 37. What Tends to Happen
    38. 38. The Problems <ul><li>Tendency to randomly select channels, without examining target market or key messaging requirements. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of strategic thinking leads to either having to reposition channels at a latter point, or results in ineffective channels with unengaged communities. </li></ul><ul><li>No clear path or direction forward, resulting in a fragmented social media footprint. </li></ul><ul><li>Leads to a lot of chasing your own tail </li></ul><ul><li>Leads to lack of clarity over who owns what and where accountabilities lie </li></ul>
    39. 39. Vision <ul><li>Should establish a high level framework for where the organisation wants to go with social media </li></ul><ul><li>Should be aspirational </li></ul><ul><li>Get the power players in the room </li></ul><ul><li>Use to drive Executive buy in </li></ul>
    40. 40. Strategy/ Roadmap <ul><li>Should have an organisation wide focus. </li></ul><ul><li>Needs to examine all areas of social media usage within the organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Should remain channel agnostic but may commit to specific types of social media </li></ul><ul><li>Should have a 2 -3 year focus </li></ul><ul><li>Is the foundation document for all engagement plans </li></ul>
    41. 41. Policy <ul><li>There are a few key things you need to be aware of when designing a social media policy: </li></ul><ul><li>The conversation is happening, and will continue whether your involved or not. </li></ul><ul><li>The social media landscape can be monitored and influenced, but not controlled. </li></ul><ul><li>You need to Consult! Consult! Consult! And then consult some more </li></ul><ul><li>A good social media policy should focus on what people can do via social media, not what they can’t. </li></ul><ul><li>To have any chance of success you need to engage all the key players </li></ul><ul><li>Beware the lawyers </li></ul>
    42. 42. Engagement Plan <ul><li>Needs to be a part of a larger organisational strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t need to be War and Peace </li></ul><ul><li>Needs to be reviewed regularly </li></ul><ul><li>Commits to particular channels </li></ul>
    43. 43. <ul><li>Workshop Item: Developing an Engagement Plan </li></ul>
    44. 44. Contact Me <ul><li>Matt Gould – [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>LinkedIn - </li></ul>