Social Media 101 - Understanding the potential use in outreach and education


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Slides accompany workshop session. Include resources and historical perspective on how we got here. Things to consider when developing a strategy, and best practices for making your website socially sharable.

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  • This is often how we feel about where we are…
  • This video has some statistics and information that helps tell the story of Social Media
  • One of the best descriptions I’ve seen about how difficult it is to both conceptually keep up AND invent at the same time came from Michael Wesch who explained discovery (or information transfer) in the concept of a clock. While it took a pretty long time in human history to get to writing, and then the printing press, things are happening today in minutes and seconds (years) instead of decades.
  • One, we struggle JUST to keep up. But what we struggle with most if your jobs involve any form of outreach and education is not just keeping up, but keeping up AND doing our regular jobs
  • So even if we NEVER take up social media for outreach and education ourselves (for various reasons). You still have to understand that social media, and really the “Media Scape” has changed how people discover and share information. You have to be part of that discovery and sharing at some level.
  • This is a “Doodle Lecture” – which is an interesting and clever way to share and explain concepts. This doodle lecture describes how good ideas emerge.
  • Most people haven’t had the chance to understand that the web itself is going through changes very rapidly. It’s not just changing on having better graphics, or faster speed. The content itself is changing, and continues to change.
  • If you ever want to get a feel for how the web has changed, visit the WayBack Machine. It archives websites over time, from the early 90’s to today. It’s a very interesting snapshop of just how the web has changed. Look up Pepsi, or Coca-Cola. Look up your own websites.
  • If you doubt that people in the US are online, these numbers should tell the story. This is 2012 data by the way 
  • We often want to know the age groups and uses of social networking sites. This might help you tailor outreach.
  • This is how most of us perhaps have looked at the web, we were there as it was being built, and we haven’t taken time to notice things might have changed. We used to spend A LOT of time making sure that we got a good web address, put out lots and lots of flyers with out web addresses. We figured we would all be known at THE AUTHORITY on a subject so that over time, people would just inherently know to come to our sites.
  • But that’s not the case anymore. People want information to come to them, to be part of their daily experience. How many times have you known which site you want to go to, but STILL go to a Google search and type it out? Or you are doing other work online and a sidebar has information that attracts you? The web is changing so that the WAY you use the web helps information find you. If you click on 20 pages with food recipes, all that information is going to be collective and soon you’ll begin to notice that some websites (i.e. social, search, ect…) might start suggesting information FOR you.
  • Are you getting this many calls in a day yet?
  • So what’s important that you should pay attention to social media EVEN if you haven’t the slightest inclination to use it yourself. That’s okay, because you are not the sole purveyor of your information! Shocking! As a matte of fact, other people are probably sending your information around the web for you. Wow! So why is that a big deal???? In 2011, as far as we can tell (and it’s a big secret), search engines changed how they “rank” a page. Do we care about search engines? Review slide #14….Google 4,717,000,000/day.
  • This great graphic by Third Door Media is “the Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors” that came out in 2011 (you can use Google to search this….hahahaha). We are conditioned by years of memo’s to know that our websites better have all kinds of fancy architecture to help websites be found. But, what search engines are ALSO concentrating on is “off the page seo” and a big part of that is social media.
  • The mindset for educators is that its not about purging yourself of all the data you have meticulously collected over the years. Having stream gauge data is GREAT for a very small (but important set) of people, but there is a really large set of people that need you (the experts) to interpret and currate that into ……INFORMATION.
  • This meeting isn’t about the SPECIFIC tools we use to engage in social networking, or the media-scape. There are many, many great classes on those, and we also teach those throughout the year ( But, even if you never utilize any of those online tools, you’ll benefit from understanding how to make everything you do transferable to social networks. If you don’t think that’s important, please restart this slide show.
  • We know that humans have a pretty short attention span. In fact, on the web the Neilson Norman Groups says you have about 10 seconds to capture interest or communicate the value proposition>Because the web is an active and now becoming more dominated by visual media, and there is a lot of competition, the challenge is to set yourself apart to convey your message to meet the unique needs of your audience. Nielson Norman Group –
  • Surprise????
  • If your website is “shareable” socially, other people who find your information valuable can share it for you. This is called “reach”. You don’t have to be the only one doing the work. If you have information that can be shared, and its good, encourage others to share it.
  • Advances in social tools create a information “pull”. When you are using a social site and you add a hyperlink (url) that tool attempts to draw information from that page. In most cases, that is a photo and text. If social shares are important, are your pages ready for social pulls?
  • Sample of how a pull might look and work. This is a general webpage
  • This is a facebook post that used a link to the original page. Facebook attempted to “pull” information from that link to put into a layout within the Facebook post. The arrows are the default information it pulled.
  • This is a pull from that same page but this time to Pinterest. In this case, the default pull came out quite different. Pinterest was able to grab the picture, but it wasn’t able to grab a default set of text to put in the description. Because Pinterest pins pictures, the default text is coming from the “alt-text” or description text that was added when the picture was put in the original HTML article (web-page). There are ways to work around this, but these slides are demonstrating the default pulls. To change this pull, the original description text needs to be in the HTML code of the image (which it should anyway).
  • Here is an example of a webpage without an image in the content (the image is part of the sidebar)
  • Facebook is able to pull both the image and the text from the first paragraph
  • Pinterest is not able to pull anything but the default image and tagline of the website.
  • Here is an article that has text but now image with the text
  • Facebook is able to pull information, but it’s not very attractive. Pinterest is unable to even Pin this particular article because the site has no image it can find.
  • If you learn how to write web content, the best practices for that type of writing are also the best practices for using that content in social media. No need to work harder, just smarter. Web writing (like all other writing to specific outlets) has practices and procedures that are customized to the medium of communication.
  • People are information scanners by nature. They do a quick scan, and then decide to go into the information. When they look at how people read on the web, they notice they scan in a Z type of formation.
  • Peoples eyes go quickly across the top, then diagonal to the bottom, then across again at the bottom. You need to be able to capture attention at the top, through the meat, and again at the bottom.
  • Images in the top left or right (not too big). Content quick scan shows meat in the middle.
  • Comparison when you imagine the Z-formation reading.
  • When you mention a resource, source ,or partner – don’t just put them in plain text, make that an active link. You gain credibility by recognizing other good sources. If you don’t have a current outward link, think about adding one. Surely somebody other than you has credible resources. You also want people to stay on your site and read more. Do yourself a favor, if you have related information, create a way for your users to get to it.
  • Bolding and titles/emphasis (not too much, and never in a color) help the reader scan. Bold keywords so the user can immediately see that the article is on the topic they thought it was. This reduces user frustration.
  • Give the reader some place to go when they finish with your article. Engage them in an activity.
  • What!!! We barely have a desktop version!
  • Ummmm
  • The reality is that mobile use is overtaking desktop use. Therefore, think about how mobile users are going to be using your pages. They will use them on phones and tablets and readers. Do your pages work well there?
  • Want to catch up on responsive design? Follow Luke Wroblewski. Mobile is and isn’t about just smartphones. Its about recognizing that users now connect on a variety of devices. Are you even thinking about that? Should you be?
  • Don’t just jump onto Facebook or Twitter because they are popular. Do they fit your organizational needs?
  • Best chart ever! Social media explained by donuts.
  • Okay, this may be better!
  • Don’t be afraid to set some goals and follow through with them. How are you going to undertake them?
  • Dunbar says that at any period in your life, you maintain 150 meaningful relationships (or you have the capacity to have only 150 but you may have over, they just are not as well maintained). That is true online. If you have a strategy, it should be to make sure your information is part of your target clients 150, how are you going to get there?
  • Remember babies spend lots of time listening before they utter their first word. Just sayin’
  • Most social tools have ways for multiple people to administer them. Share the work.
  • Use the tools and evaluate your success. If you deployed something, and its not working for you, don’t keep using it.
  • Social Media 101 - Understanding the potential use in outreach and education

    1. 1. {Why} DoesSocial MediaHave to ChangeEverything?Amy E. HaysEmerging Technologies Program SpecialistTexas A&M AgriLife ExtensionInstitute of Renewable Natural Resources/Water Resources Institute1
    2. 2. Evolution 2
    3. 3. 3Social Media Revolution 2011 - -Erik Qualman, Socialnomics.
    4. 4. 412Concept via Michael Wesch HistoryInformation TransferClockWriting468Printing PressTelegraphTelephoneRadioTV910SatelliteInternet11Email MySpace
    5. 5. Struggle• How do I keep up?• How do I keep my work/business up?5
    6. 6. Why does social mediahave an impactinformation discovery?6
    7. 7. 7WHERE GOOD IDEAS COME FROMby Steven Johnson
    8. 8. 8Web 1.0 - staticWeb 2.0 – user generatedWeb 3.0 - simulateWeb 4.0 - ?
    9. 9. 9
    11. 11. 2011 2012
    12. 12. 12
    13. 13. 13Go [there]tofind everythingabout [THIS]
    14. 14. 14Come [HERE]information needsto find me
    15. 15. Top Search Engines•Google - 4,717,000,000/day•YouTube - 26,666,666/day•Facebook- 1,000,000,000/day15
    16. 16. MAJOR SHIFT - 2011Search Engine Optimization16
    17. 17. in·for·ma·tion- thecommunication or reception of knowledge orintelligence18dā-ta- factual information (asmeasurements or statistics) used as abasis for reasoning, discussion, orcalculation
    18. 18. STRATEGIES TO DO NOW19
    19. 19. What We Already Know…Communicating the Value PropositionNielson Norman Group – you peaktheir interestin less than10 seconds?
    20. 20. 21Tip #1 – You don’thave to be involved ina social network toreap the benefits ofsocial media
    21. 21. Website Check-up• If you do nothing else, evaluateyour website FIRST?22
    22. 22. How will a page sharelook in social tools?23• When someone comes to your site and wantsto share, are the technical aspects of yourpages complementary to social network“pulls”
    23. 23. 24
    24. 24. 25Facebook “pull”Image fromsiteTitle header andSite addressSummary text
    25. 25. 26Pinterest “pull”Photo fromsiteAttempt toPull info
    26. 26. 27
    27. 27. 28
    28. 28. 29
    29. 29. 30
    30. 30. 31PinterestFacebook
    31. 31. 32Learn How to Writefor the Web
    32. 32. 335 Things to Do In WebWriting1.People scan in a Z – formationFIRST and then decide to readSECOND
    33. 33. 34
    34. 34. 35
    35. 35. 36
    36. 36. 375 Things to Do In WebWriting2. Add a picture (we’ve alreadygone over this
    37. 37. 385 Things to Do In WebWriting3. Link outward to credible sourcesand link inward to additionalresources on that site WITHIN thetext
    38. 38. 39Leads to externalwebsiteLeads user toadditionalinternalresources
    39. 39. 405 Things to Do In WebWriting4. Use some bolding and emphasison important points
    40. 40. 41
    41. 41. 425 Things to Do In WebWriting5. Direct users to ACTION• Read more about it• View a video• Go to another website• Take a tour• Take a class
    42. 42. 43Tip #3 – Think Mobile
    43. 43. 44
    44. 44. 45
    45. 45. Mobile Now – Mobile First?• There are now more than 1 billion smartphones in use worldwide: 1.038billion in total.• It took us 16 years to pass 1 billion but its estimated to take only threeyears for the next billion smartphone users to come on board.• 3.2 billion people, or 46% of the worlds total population of 7billion, have at least one active mobile (cellular, not just smarpthone)device.• The global "addressable" population is 4.7 billion.• Of the remaining 2.3 billion, 1.5 billion live in pockets with poor or nonetwork coverage, though this should fall to 1.1 billion by 2017. Theother 800m include some elderly, disabled and cash-strappedunemployed, as well as the very young or incarcerated. (source)Source: Luke Wroblewski -
    46. 46. 47Tip #4 – Pick astrategy first, not atool
    47. 47. 48
    48. 48. 49
    49. 49. Be Specific in Goals• Do you want more people to sign up formeetings, events, newsletters?• Want more people at events?• Want to drive people to your website?• Have more fans/followers?• Enhance your website with feeds?50
    50. 50. Sean Carton ClickZ – A Social Media Strategy Checklist1. What are we trying to accomplish?2. Why social media?3. What kind of social media will help us best achieve our goals?4. Are we prepared to let go of control of our brand, at least a little?5. What will we do to encourage participation?6. Who will maintain our social media presence?7. Do we have the resources to keep this up, or will this be a short campaign?8. How does engaging users via social media integrate into our overallmarketing/communications strategy?9. How do we measure success? What constitutes failure?10. What will we do less of if were spending resources on social media? (Dec. 21, 2009)
    51. 51. 52Tip #5 – DUNBAR
    52. 52. How Do You Make the Top 150?• A relationship means two way conversation• Ask questions• Provide leads to new resources• Highlight friends/partners information• Provide context to links, comments• Don’t just show a link, give dialog as to WHY your clients wouldbe interested• Show a little personality• Engage, engage, engage – all relationships must be cultivated53
    53. 53. 54Tip #6 – Listen/Followother good examplesFIRST.
    54. 54. 55Tip #7 – Let othershelp
    55. 55. Avoid “one man” mentality• Teach employee’s how to use social tools to “spread” the news• Hold trainings on how your employee’s can be part of the process• Don’t fall into a “marketing only” mentality• Set reasonable guidelines on your expectations of socialchannels and employee’s interactions• Set tone and examples• Encourage volunteers/advocates to help you in your socialmedia endeavor• Don’t make it a “secret” project56
    56. 56. 57Tip #7 – Set measuresof evaluation. If it’snot working, kill it.
    58. 58. Want to learn more?59Social media tools and techniques are changing andbuilding. Join our online webinars to learn more (use search tools to findrecorded webinars)
    59. 59. 60Amy E. HaysEmerging Technologies Program SpecialistTexas A&M AgriLife ExtensionInstitute of Renewable Natural Resources/Water Resources Instituteahays@tamu.eduahays@extension.orgFind me on: