My name is Max Macias. I have been using Social Media professionally for about
Time and again I hear people say they don’t think SM is the answer. Of course it isn’t the answer—social media are a set of tools that are fluid and ever changing. It would be unwise to ignore useful inexpensive tools that can address issues from PR to user feedback. SM should be on your list of advocacy tools that include newsletters, video and audio podcasts, blogs, etc... REFORMA currently uses all of these except Podcasting—I would like to see us have a library of podcasts available for use by our members and the public.
We have all transitioned from one platform to the next and will continue to do so. However, we can learn some principles that are pretty constant and apply them when analyzing and planning our strategies for advocacy. REFORMA has moved from a single static site to a more interactive site with a presence on various social media platforms. There is a partnership with the user—is personal, and powerful for the reasons above.
Learning styles and format preference. SM allows for this kind of customization and distribution to users in various places on the Web. Youtube can address the visual learners, podcasts and textural formats can reach others—we have a wiki, a Youtube channel, twitter accounts, several facebook pages and are currently in the process of establishing a AMS system to help us better communicate. We are hoping it will have social media aspects to increase participation, communication and collaboration. Use your media to be personal, tell your story, listen and share stories from other users. Share and get to know what your audience values—then fill their need whenever you can. We have been able to form strong relationships with other users on twitter and are heavily recommended on Fridays. What I mean by branding your organization is making your organization a preferred place for information and become a trusted resource for others.
Make a real investment in trying out new things and allowing people to fail and learn. We can learn much from what did not work, as well as learning what did work. Assessment should be included in any plan from the beginning. Allow people to play with new tools and to have fun with them. Almost everything I have learned about social media was learned while having fun. I think people learn better when relaxed and are having a good time. We pump out fun news as well as serious mission-driven news and announcements--this is a good strategy, as well as having more than one person “doing” your social media. More than one person will add to the diversity of announcements, links and news. Have a social media policy but do NOT be dogmatic about it. Personality has much to do with social media and you do not want stiff people, nor boring usage otherwise people will ignore you.
Learn from your experience and let your statistics combined with other user feedback to determine how and when you will meet their needs. As stated, let people know your success stories as well as failures Keep an open mind. Remember SM did not come from large university research departments. That is not to say they do not have valuable things to say, just do not let closed thinking limit what you think you can accomplish.
SM can be used to increase your organization’s efficiency and abilities to communicate (Look to IBM’s Center for Social Software) and collaborate by providing an infrastructure in which this can happen. Your org does not necessarily need a full blown private social network, but imagine how you can apply internal networking ideas in your organization using SM. I am currently conducting a survey of our NW REFORMA members via the web and it seems to be working nicely. We tweet news and announcements for increased communication within the organization and without.
Yes, there are “best practices”, but we should not listen to “experts” so much that it inhibits our innovation and creativity. I often witness this in presentations: “The XYZ rule of Social Media says…Blah, blah, blah.” Use what works from this and other presentations, but always keep an open mind toward innovation in what you are trying to accomplish.
5 Tips To Avoid Being Filtered From Twitter Search (don’t get filtered out of search!)
As the book changes form, the library must champion its own power base—readers [Advocates must know who they are serving] by Tom Peters -- Library Journal, 11/1/2009
How Advocates Can Utilize Social Media by the American Heart Association
IBM Center for Business of Government “ Leveraging Web 2.0 in Government ”
Libraries, Advocacy and Social Media by ALA
The 'M' Word - Marketing Libraries A blog designed to bring the wonderful world of marketing to librarians.
Mobile Libraries Devoted To documenting any and all topics relating to services provided by libraries to patrons within mobile environments. Library mobile services are defined as any and all library services that are provided via mobile technologies.
Public Media 2.0: Dynamic, Engaged Publics from the Center for Social Media
Skaters for Public Skateparks A grassroots organization that utilizes a variety of SM for advocacy
Social Media for Advocacy Presentation by Dr. Curtis Rogers