Today I’m going to be talking about foundations of social media and rather than having a how to session on Facebook or twitter or blogging, we’re going to take a look at what has fundamentally changed given the rise of social media. The rules of the game, of marketing, communications, of community building, even fundraising, are changing significantly because we are in the midst of a communications revolution.
This photo was taken in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican just after the death of Pope John Paul. This is 2005, nearly two years before the iPhone debuted. Last week large crowds again filled St. Peter’s Square...
Even as ancient traditions stay the same, these photos, viewed together, reflect a changing world.
Here’s an example of a previous communications revolution – the printing press. Beforehand every book was painstakingly created by a scribe. We witnessed that process last year – one scribe, one book, one year. Only a few could get their thoughts committed to paper and distributed. Only the wealthy and elite had books.When the masses became literate, they became educated and became more engaged in civil society. The printing press catalyzed social, religious, economic and political change. As we’re trying to engage people in our Jewish community in their own Jewish journeys and in Jewish education, the printing press, a symbol of a communications revolution, can serve as a good model. What are the implications of the current communications revolution for our community? We will want to understand the culture changes that are occurring and learn the skills and strategies needed to effectively use new communication tools and navigate new ways of creating community.
Here’s another communications revolution – an individual’s Facebook network. The small boxes are individuals; the blue lines are connections.The owner of this network is at the center. Imagine this is our network.Note the mass of crisscrossing lines near the center. This represents the fabric of our community.When we’re trying to strengthen community It isn't just a hub and spokes model. It’s about increasing the number of connections and the strength of each individual connection between and among the individuals within our community as well as to us.Note the connected individuals on the outer edges with large networks of individuals who may be potential members. We can’t reach these individuals through direct mail or email because we don’t have their addresses. But if these connectors are posting positive messages/photos/links about and from us, we are speaking to them and inviting them into our community. So one of our goals in social media is to connect people to one another more often, with more depth and strength.
Participatory: The printing press gave a voice to more individuals. The social media revolution has giving a voice to everyone. Everyone is now a producer as well as a consumer of information.Open and Democratic: We have different ways of assessing what are valuable. relevant, trustworthy and authentic sources of information – Amazon reviews for instance.Conversational: two way street, not a broadcastCommunal: supports communities of all types, sizes, duration. People join communities based on their interests, goals and needs. Connection, social media is a contact sport, not a spectator sport.
Five new rules of the game…
Too many messages coming at us today.How are we going to get people’s attention?When we can help people achieve shared goals, we will have their attention.When individuals perceive that we are adding value to their lives they will pay attention.
Here’s how this works:Example: Interfaith families with young children. A Our Goals: encourage them to make Jewish choices, raise Jewish children, embrace life-long Jewish learning, create social bonds to other Jews, to have them be members of our synagogueB Their goals and needs? They need help and support in parenting and with life’s other challenges, need help in creating a Jewish home life, in building a supportive community of friends both for themselves and for their children. Having a safe place to be Jewish, having a community to celebrate life cycles.In addressing our shared goals, we add value to their lives and they add value to our community. Adding value is social capital.
These examples illustrate how we can provide information and resources that are of immediate value.
Individuals are inherently more authentic and trustworthy than institutions. Use our real names, personalities, be candid and casual
Example of being “real” and weaving connections between individuals.
Listen to what people are saying and respond. Provide assistance, connections, or other value. People feel connected when they know you are paying attention to them and to their needs.
Communicating using social media can and should be done with purpose once we understand how it reaches and impacts individuals. Note the connected individuals on the outer edges with large networks of individuals who may be potential members. We can’t reach these individuals through direct mail or email because we don’t have their addresses. But if these connectors are posting positive messages/photos/links about and from us, we are speaking to them and inviting them into our community.
Ask questions and tag photos to extend our reach.
Revolutions bring shifts in power and we’re seeing that today.
Institutions have less power now. Individuals have more power. Our members are creating content. We can comment on their blogs to engage with them. We don’t have to wait for them to comment on our posts.
This is an example of how major corporations are doing customer service today.
This is a classic, as well as creative and funny example of the power of individuals today and how organizations must respect and respond to this power. Background: In 2008 a band traveling on United Airlines observed the baggage handlers throwing their guitars. Upon arrival they found their $3,500 guitar had been broken. After arguing unsuccessfully with United for nine months with no satisfactory resolution, they decided to take a different approach. They posted this video on You Tube. United stock went down 10 percent a week after this video went viral. It has been viewed 12 million times. United replaced the guitar and uses this video in employee training. Could this happen to us? On a smaller scale, it already has!
United stock went down 10 percent a week after this video went viral. It has been viewed 12 million times. United replaced the guitar and uses this video in employee training. Could this happen to us? On a smaller scale, it already has!
This was the ONLY review of us on Yelp for five years. Note the choices for Useful, Funny and Cool. How to respond? If this wasn’t so old, a good response would be to acknowledge and comment on their opinions, and Invite them to join us for our very haimish Soul Food Shabbat, or Minyan service, or our High Holy Days services on our own campus this year. Our response was to ask several members to write good Yelp reviews for us. Did it have an effect?...
Yes! If we pay attention and respond we can navigate through negative conversation constructively and successfully.
Don’t be afraid to be more open, controversial and conversational.
It’s new – it can be overwhelming to all of us – and we’ll make mistakes, but we need to be a part of the conversation, so dive in and give it a go!
We all have a new role to play.
It’s about connecting people.
It’s an extension of our Mission, Vision and Values statements where we are committed to …In the past the doorways were more literal.It’s not necessary to come to our building to feel connected to us. Some can’t make it in person - single moms, college students, homebound ill and disabled, those who have moved away, those not living close to our campus.
It’s not necessary to come to our building to feel connected to us. Some can’t make it in person - single moms, college students, homebound ill and disabled, those who have moved away, those not living close to our campus. There are now many more doorways to Beth Israel!
Social media revolution
New rulesof the game.
Value is Social CapitalValuable connectionsincrease productivity,spread information,locate desired resources.Content should be:newsworthy, unique, controversial, timely, immediately usefuland/or funny.Experts recommend 1:12ratio of value content toself-promotion.
DevelopYour VoiceIndividuals are inherentlymore authentic andtrustworthy than institutions.Use real names and faces.Weave connections betweenand among people.
Unofficial Outposts Go to them, instead of making them come to us.
Half a millionviews in the firstfew days.United takes aweek to respondUnited stockdrops 10 percent.
…My mom and I went downtown for the services at the CivicCenter and let me tell you, it was the most impersonal feelingI have felt in a long time. Not only was the rabbi an end zoneaway from me but there were 3000 people there who careless about Judaism than a Woody Allen fan (me)…The Organwas the worst part…after awhile I could not tell if I was at achurch or a baseball game. Da da da da da da….Charge!Instead of thinking about my previous year’s faults I foundmyself debating whether or not Khalil Green would ever getback to his old self. Can’t really review the normal services butthe high holidays were sub par.
We don’t control the conversationbut: we can participate in it; we can frame it.
From our Vision Statement:Connection: To build a strong sense of Jewishcommunity and to open doorways to a deeperunderstanding of Judaism through our observances,programs, services, and relationships.