Thank you for the introduction and invitation to speak today on the subject of social media in the disability employment sector.A short backgrounder…My name is Crispin Butteriss.I am a co-founder, and currently CEO, of a small company – Bang the Table - that specialises in creating and supporting web-based community engagement. We have worked with somewhere around 150 organisations to engage close on 1 million people in policy discussions.90% of our work has been for the public sector. And 90% has been been in Australia. But we do work with the private sector. And we do work in NZ, CA, UK and (in the past) the US as well.___________________________I have been asked to talk to you today about how social media can improve your business.Which isn’t necessarily obvious.Particularly if you are not an avid social media user yourself.Perhaps ironically, I wasn’t before I got into this business.For a long time I was a stakeholder relationship, policy and project manager… with little time or respect for online social networks.So, I’m a convert. But a pragmatic one. And hopefully not a social media fascist. For me the value in the tools I’m going to talk about is all about their utility.
Before I go any further…If you have a smart phone are on Twitter you can tweet me @crispin_btt to ask me any questions or to follow up.Please include the #deauhashtag so that anyone else, whether within or beyond these walls, can follow our conversation.As mentioned at the top of this presentation, I encourage you to follow #deau
I’m going to talk to you about five ways that I think the online space can help to improve your business:To help you get your great stories out to a bigger audience – which will help to keep what you do in the forefront of community thought, with the political and funding advantages that brings.To help you to listen harder to your clients – which in a policy space that seems to be moving inevitably towards a more natural market, will be invaluable for market your market research.To help you to learn from each other – which is never easy in a competitive market, but you have the advantage of being in a values based industry where sharing for the benefit of the broader market is a good thing.To help generate new relationships and business leads – this is the pointy end of business development and may be entirely new territory for many of you.To improve your productivity – this is all about the philosophy that drives the day to day work of your teams.
A quick mention for the excellent Web Accessibility team at Vision Australia.As part of the launch process for NDIS site, VA helped us to achieve WCAG 2.0 AA compliance.I am very pleased to recommend their services.
The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network and Media Access Australia have very kindly provided a bundle of social media guides and tips sheets.These can be found at the registration desk.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t give a plus to the excellent work that the team at DEA are already doing in this space…..You will find DEA demonstrating leadership in the social media space on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, Pinterest and Storify!
Okay… at last we come to the argument.Why is this important…The National Disability Agreement provides the basis for a conversation about the use of social media…A key target is “to achieve social inclusion”.
And moreover…That the “internet is a crucial aspect of this inclusion.”
Why?Because the internet is critical to BOTH of your target markets.
Let’s start with the “employee” side of your service….In 2003, 56% of people with a disability aged 15 years or more had access to a computer at home. By 2009, this had risen to 70%.Three years later?80-85-90%?
Most young people (92% or 260,000) with disability aged 15-34 years used the internet during 2009…
A real person…This is Amy Sequenzia’s Facebook page.
This is what Amy has to say about how she is perceived versus how she is.“I am autistic, non-speaking. I am also labelled “low-functioning”.This label is a pre-judgement based on what I cannot do.It makes people look at me with pity instead of trying to get to know me, listen to my ideas.”_________________Amy is a blogger, a poet, a human rights advocate, a board member of a not-for-profit…And clearly, a social media user… she is setting up her own blog and is a regular on Facebook…
This is theYouth Disability Advocacy Service Facebook page.More than 1,100 people “like” this page… and therefore keep up with what the organisation has to say.
Dr Scott Hollier, from Media Access Australia, explored the issue of social media use by people with a disability as part of his PhD research.He found that:“People living with a disability are just, if not more active online that the rest of the community.It is seen as a gateway to independence.”
Onto the employer side of your services…Some 50% of large Australian businesses have social media presence. 25% of medium and 14% of small.
Of those. 80% of those are on Facebook….
A lot of larger business are on Twitter too, and a growing number of Linkedin.
And 70% of those businesses use social media to invite online comments, ratings or reviews.
So, in response to the question “Who’s using social media?”
The answer is “pretty much everyone”.Including your clients – on both the employee and employer side of the equation.
To the strategies…Five ways social media can work for you.
Strategy 1: Sharing information with your key stakeholders.StakeholdersThe broad publicYour employer partnersYour fundersYour clientsTheir family and supportersContentGood news stories.Employment opportunities.Policy changes.New programs etc.Media….TextSlideshowsPicturesWebsitesVideosDistributions channels…Corporate blogsSlideshareFlickrPinterestYouTubeFacebookTwitterLinkedin
A few quick examples….Annecto has done some good work in this space using YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to share good news stories.
The DEA has created a YouTube channel to share your stories.
Break Thru has created an engaging Facebook page and YouTube channel.
NOVA Employment is active on Twitter.
Strategy 2: Gathering feedback 1. …from your key stakeholders….2. … you and your clients providing feedback to your funding bodies….3. …informal and ongoing feedback via Facebook and Twitter.4. And formal feedback via online surveys and forums.
I suspect that the strength of feedback mechanism between you are you paying clients (the potential employees) will inevitably strengthen over time as the forecast policy changes take effect.
This is the space that occupies the time of the Bang the Table team.We use a system called EngagementHQ.
Compass Housing is a community housing provider based out of Newcastle.This is their web portal – set up using EngagementHQ.
They are currently gathering feedback using…Online community forums, An online survey, A story gathering tool, andA live FAQ or Q&A tool.
Strategy 3: Improve industrypractice among the service providers by learning from each other.Share:Case studiesPractice tipsGood news storiesShared concernsResourcesIndustry mentoring etc.Encourage informal and formal social networking via…FacebookTwitterLinkedinDeliciousYou can also create dedicated “community of practice” portals like Ning… but I wouldn’t recommend this. They are simply too hard to maintain.
Linkedin is the probably the best space for professional network development.
It’s how Bevan found me!We have used Linkedin very effectively to establish an “Online Community Engagement” community of practice.There were more than 600 members within a couple of weeks, and yesterday there was just over 900.It is used very effectively to share good practice stories, general advice and events promotion across the profession.I recommend giving the DESLinkedin group a visit if you haven’t already.
Facebook groups can also be a good professional networking space.This group for the US based National Coalition for dialogue and deliberation has more than 2,200 members and is very active.I’m a member as are a bunch of my professional colleagues.The downside of this strategy for me is that I now have a strategy to separate my professional from my personal life.Facebook is for family and friends.Linkedin is for professional contacts.I also have a strong sense that Facebook is very much a social space in the manner of a gathering of friends and family, rather than professional associates.My evidence is the quality of the dialogue I see. It is far less articulate than what I see on Linkedin.So, I don’t necessarily recommend Facebook as a professional community of practice space, but the option is there.
Strategy 4: Create relationships and generate leadsThis is the hard commercial aspect of using social networking.
This is something I was personally very unsure about… but our Local Government BDM has proven its worth to me time and time again.He creates new relationships with Council CEOs and then reels them in time and time again.Connect with the HR managers of organisations you think should be employing your clients.Join HR groups and join the conversation.Start conversations to attract attention.Answer questions… to attract attention.Sign up for a paid account do that you can “in-mail” friends of your friends directly without an introduction.You have the benefit of providing a social service, so no one is going to be cross with you.
Right now I have 761 Linkedin connections…By contrast, I have around 100 Facebook connections.
Can be a great place to connect with a professional network.We have used it successfully to engage with practitioners and partners in New Zealand, Canada and the UK.I use it to search for #gov2, #gov2au and #smgov.
Strategy 5: Improve you productivityThere are lots of ways to use social tools to improve the productivity of your teams.Amongst others we use a product called Yammer.Google DocsJira for its wiki’s and project management.AndSkype for person to person chat and video conferencing.
Yammer is a “enterprise” micro-blogging platform.It is the glue that binds our geographically disparate organisation together.We use it to share good news.To ask each other questions.To share research.As the “water cooler”.I encourage it.
And of course, Skype.Our business simply couldn’t operative without person to person video conferencing and chatter.I encourage you to explore its potential.
Your two “client” groups are both active in the social media space. You need to be too.
If you’re not already there… get on social media yourself.
Trust your staff to use social media at work.
Share great stories using multimedia.
Develop your industry professional practice through networking and story sharing.
Social media is GOOD for business.
Thanks for your time.
Disability employment & social media
Social Media and theDisability Employment SectorDr Crispin ButterissCo-founderBang the Table
Tweet me… @crispin_bttInclude… #deauin the message
I am going to talk about how you canuse social media to:1. Tell your story to a bigger audience2. Listen harder to your clients3. Learn from each other4. Generate new relationships and leads5. Improve your productivity
WCAG 2.0 AA Compliancewww.visionaustralia.org.au
A key target of the NationalDisability Agreement is thatpeople with disability…‘achieve social inclusion’.
…the internet [is] a crucial aspect of this inclusion….
Who’s using social media?Government of WA website
Of people aged over 15 with a disability have access to a computer at home.ABS (2009) Computer and Internet use by People with a Disability
Of young people living with disability used the internet in last 12 months.ABS (2009) Computer and Internet use by People with a Disability
Amy SequenziaI am autistic, non-speaking. I am also labeled “low-functioning”. Thislabel is a pre-judgment based on what I cannot do. It makes people lookat me with pity instead of trying to get to know me, listen to my ideas. Blogger Poet Human Rights Advocate Board Member Living with Non-Speaking Autism Social Media User
I am autistic, non-speaking.I am also labeled “low-functioning”.This label is a pre-judgment based on whatI cannot do.It makes people look at me with pityinstead of trying to get to know me, listento my ideas.
The Lesson….People living with a disability are just, if notmore active online than the rest of thecommunity.It is seen it as a gateway to independence. via Scott Hollier
Of large Australian business have a social media presence.Sensis (2011) Sensis Social Social Media Report
of businesses with an online presence use Facebook.Sensis (2011) Sensis Social Social Media Report
Linkedin TwitterFacebook 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Large Medium Small
use social media to invite online comments, ratings or reviews.Sensis (2011) Sensis Social Social Media Report
Who’s using social media? Pretty much everyone.