Blogs – the basics A blog is a special kind of website that organizes articles or “posts” by date or subject, and allows readers to comment Blogs are usually less formal and more dynamic that a normal website Good blogs invite comments and discussion and repeat visits Search engines like blogs!
What is Twitter www.twitter.com “Twitter is a service for friends, family and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?” Yeah – I didn’t get it either – at first
The web has changed how we communicate It’s gone from this To this
What’s so different about web 2.0? It is fundamentally different from previous forms of media Social media platforms provide a framework for people to connect directly to each other – the architecture has permanently changed, though technologies will continue to evolve People are using social media to glean information from each other without relying on organisations This shift is permanent! Get involved or lose out!
This doesn’t mean we replace offline activity!
The best users of social media blend online and offline activity in marketing Example: If you’re running an awareness or fundraising event for your organisation Create a network or start a group around the event Write blog posts in the run up to the event Invite people to post their own photos onto your site, ask them to post their feedback etc Those who took part will feel like part of a team Those who couldn’t be there will feel like they haven’t missed out
Social Networking Nothing replaces face-to-face contact
But... Social Networking can facilitate conversations between much larger groups of people
What is Facebook? Facebook is a “social networking platform” People “live” online there It’s not just for kids (half of you are there!) The average Facebook user views 45 pages during a session There are different kinds of FB pages: personal, groups, companies or organisations like yours
Starting with Facebook Sign up for a personal account Find your friends, look at what they are doing Join some groups Search with keywords relating to your organisation’s mission Start contributing and creating
To really make social networking WORK, organisations MUST: Let go Facilitate conversations, don’t control them Involve people, don’t ‘own’ your cause Allow people to get involved: Volunteer or employee on social network does not equal messer! Try things and be patient Aggregate content for your audience
Be realistic Social networking isn’t a miracle cure It may take a while for your social networking investment to pay off It might even never pay off in the way you originally intended
Social Networking is just one communication tool Don’t over-invest in social networks Who are your audiences(current and future)? Court them appropriately If you turn your back on conventional media (notice boards, newsletters, local press etc.), you might leave out your core audience / supporters But don’t under-invest in social networks either
Learn to relax a little Of course not all information on social networks is exactly right but the bulk of it is generally right (see wikipedia) SO... Or at least be a little ‘zen’ about it
“But what if we’re attacked?!?” People are (hopefully!) talking about you whether you like it or not Better they have these discussions where you can see them and respond Not all comments will be favourable How you react to the negative ones says a lot about you Pick your battles and don’t be afraid to say sorry or admit when you’re wrong
Power and Control You won’t always be able to control things or place yourself at the centre of discussions. You will have to give up some control to gain more friends, followers and influence. This is a good thing.
Savvy Chavvy & the power of bespoke social networks
Savvy Chavvy A social network for young Gypsies and Travellers in the UK 4000 members Won the first Catalyst Communities award in July 2008 ‘Chavvy’ is a Romany word for ‘child’
Savvy Chavvy Young Travellers use the network as a safe place to learn, have discussions, find family members, make friends and arrange events
Rosina Hughes is 17 from Wareham, Dorset. She says: "It's great to have a site where you feel comfortable and safe discussing these things” "They have Gypsy hate groups, so it's important that we have our own space." “You're all dirty” and “you're all scum”, are some of the racist responses she says she has received on other social networking sites.
You can set up your own network for your community or organisation by using free networks like: www.ning.com www.socialgo.com www.grou.ps www.webjam.com We set Savvy Chavvy up using Ning
Some examples of other bespoke social networks http://heartsounds.ning.com Hundreds of people in the UK with mental health problems use the network to share information with professionals and other service users in Uganda www.harringayonline.com 2500 residents of this town in London use it to share information, launch campaigns and build community spirit www.tudiabetes.com Over 6000 people with diabetes use the network to support each other and share information
TOP TEN TIPSto start your own social network Firstly, you need to consider the purpose of your network – who will be your members and why will they use this website above others? What need does your network address?
Set Up Go to a platform like Ning, SocialGo or Grou.ps and set up your network, choosing a catchy name and web address. It’s very simple; all you need is an email address and it takes a couple of minutes
Privacy Choose how public or private it is going to be – can everyone on the web see and contribute to your network or will it be closed and private for your members only?
Tagline Give your network a tagline and short description - what’s it all about? The tagline should consist of one pithy sentence, E.g. www.savvychavvy.com: ‘A social network for young Gypsies and Travellers in the UK’
Features Next, add features to your network. You can drag and drop functions like ‘forum’, ‘chat’, ‘blog’, ‘video’ & ‘photos’ into the front page. You might, for example, place the ‘forum’ function prominently in the middle of the page if having discussions is the main purpose of your network
Design Choose a design – Bespoke social networking platforms will give you lots of templates to choose from and you can customize one with your own choice of images, logos, fonts and colours
Content Your network is now ready for content – help to define the network’s identity by starting discussions, posting photos, adding videos etc that are relevant to the purpose of the website Behaviour – YOU set the tone of your network. You set the house rules define how you want people to behave in your space
People Invite people to the network – start by inviting relevant people and welcoming them by writing a note on their pages. If you’re trying to attract a certain community don’t send out blanket invites to attract a volume of members – the quality and relevance of your members is what will help it grow and develop into a sustainable space. You can support this by writing your own relevant joining up questions
Engage Keep the community active and interested – once you have a working network, keep your members engaged by making small changes to the site, adding new content and sending them relevant information (without spamming them with constant messages!) MODERATION: Make sure your network is looked after, little and often works best.
Extras A lot of services are free but platforms like Ning are now starting to charge a compulsory monthly fee. You can also pay extra for optional services like the removal of ads, the ability to use your own domain name and extra storage