How and When to Use Social Media


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This slide deck was prepared by the Social Media Director of the IBM Center for the Business of Government to show how and when to use various social media tools. The lessons are applicable to government, private-sector, and nonprofit organizations.

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  • Open Government Directive FINDINGS FROM WEB 2.0 STUDY: Rise of User-Generated Content . . . . Government needs to meet citizens where they are – government needs to reach out, not expect people to come to their websites (e.g., CDC in Whyville for flu) Citizens are willing to interact with government agencies online. The role of 3 rd party intermediaries will increase. Government provides data, intermediaries will customize, reconfigure, distribute. Government will need to rethink content and service design. More granular, so intermediaries can tailor. Government will have to find ways to embed authority. Citizens trust government with private data, but not for service efficiency. Access, privacy, quality, security.
  • DC Data Catalog : 428 Data Sets Maryland Recovery: Austin, TX Recovery: Other City Recovery: Miami 311 On-Line: (better than scrolling 4,500 requests) Virtual Charlotte (311): . . . iPHone tracker of citizen requests Lubbock Open Checkbook: Crime Reports: Everyblock News: Neighbors: (Boston) See-Click-Fix: Plano, TX:
  • Dialogue occurs along a continuum Synchronous – Asynchronous Mediated – Unmediated Blogs Traditional public hearings Google mapping of data Town hall IBM Jam NYC Budget Scenerios: Galveston: Tourism: seawall, 1894 Opera House, roller coaster Urbana, IL: Portland, OR :
  • Montreal – Idea competitions for ideal taxi stand:,40491560&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL Apps for Democracy: VA DMV Wait Times: BlockShopper: St. Louis: How-To’s: Wiki or YouTube: . .. Get a business license, register for school, pay a ticket, pull a permit. . . ..
  • Private Sector example: Intuit – Tax advice from users, created a community Library of Congress: allow users to help tag, index new materials – supplements experts, speeds cataloging, moves content to user communities helps Census locate addresses, houses. Creates customized maps of communities (park benches, water fountains, historical markers, etc.) Interactive map to better understand crime in the city.. . Maps, crime reports, RSS or email feeds. Different kinds of communities: -- transaction-based (e.g., Amazon) -- interest-based (e.g., BioMedNet) -- relationship-based (e.g., neighbors-for-neighbors). . . Life experiences
  • “ Rise of the Creative” -- economic development Denton, TX: Twitter feed programmed to post on Twitter every arrest made by police, with names, age, and charges. . . By a Univ of N. Texas art student who decided to use publicly available info. . . . California DMV employees – posted videos of the 10 most common mistakes made by people trying to pass their drivers exams.
  • How and When to Use Social Media

    1. 1. April, 2011 From Orbital to In-the-weeds: When and How to Use Social Media Gadi Ben-Yehuda, Social Media Director IBM Center for the Business of Government [email_address] 202.515.4532
    2. 2. What to Expect <ul><li>Preformatted tweets for you to send out from your mobile devices </li></ul><ul><li>Illustrations that will help: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Distract from my strolling lecture style </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarify abstruse concepts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Directions so you know when to laugh, applaud, or shake your head in disbelief </li></ul>
    3. 3.
    4. 4. Tweet <ul><li>@GBYehuda will start at vertiginous heights to lay groundwork. #paradox #socmed </li></ul>
    5. 5. What is a medium? <ul><ul><li>Tweet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>@GBYehuda thinks MacLuhan is famous #quotes him: &quot;All media are extensions of some human faculty- psychic or physical.&quot; #socmed </li></ul></ul>Marshall MacLuhan, right, in Annie Hall . His book, Understanding Media , laid out his understanding of media: “extensions of some human faculty, either psychic or physical”
    6. 6. <ul><li>Every medium requires a human being to supply the content, it doesn’t make sense to think of newspapers the same as light, completely content-free except in some very rare cases. </li></ul>It’s a Medium; Is It Social? Books Book Clubs Spreadsheets and databases Google (current) Mp3s Rock Concerts Running Shoes Sports Arenas Encyclopedias Wikis Fortune Cookies Twitter Motorcycles Happy hours Television Facebook Newspapers Conferences Asocial Media Social media
    7. 7. Almost
    8. 8. Tweet <ul><li>@GBYyehuda: adding a medium engenders large changes #socmed </li></ul>
    9. 9. Descending. . . .
    10. 10. Switching gears, switching metaphors Social Media are tools, not blueprints. If you use them without figuring out how they will hold up actual necessary parts of your house, then you’re wasting your time and resources. Worse, you’re setting yourself up for failure because the house you’re building is going to be inefficient and possibly dangerous.
    11. 11. Microblogs Followers, retweets, mentions, analytics showing traffic from Twitter, sped up response times tied to replies and mentions Success metrics Ideally, everyone in the office will know how to use Twitter, will garner their own following, will follow their own (likely overlapping) set, will subscribe to various lists What kind of resources will be needed for success Setting up a Twitter account is easy and fast, but it is recommended for everyone to use an app like hootsuite or tweetdeck to optimize the time spent on Twitter. See my Twitter Usage Guide for more details. Microblogging campaigns are usually open-ended. How to get started; what a campaign looks like Twitter is like the foundation of your house: you use it to listen and all other media can be supported by twitter. Importantly, Twitter depends on the use of non-digital social media—promote your Twitter feed at conferences and all events How they fit in to your operational strategy Communicating complex ideas, outlining detailed positions, seeking structured data When to avoid them To disseminate news, react to breaking events, listening to constituents, as a back-channel at events When to use them Developing ideas, communicating nuanced positions, building a community, directing complex action What they’re bad for Listening, listening, listening! Also, getting out your own message in a real-time medium that encourages quick conversation and rewards high-value communiqués What they’re good for
    12. 12. Blogs Comments, tweets, mentions, links from others’ blogs, traffic. Success metrics It takes significant time to operate a blog. More than one person can be involved, and writing the blog (while a time-consuming activity) is not the total, nor even necessarily the half, of maintaining the blog. Updates to Twitter, comments on others’ blogs, mentions of the blog in analog social media are all required to build an audience for and add value to the blog. What kind of resources will be needed for success Before starting a blog, it is best to have at least the first month’s of posts written (or at the very least, sketched out). In the first month, do not expect to attract a huge following, but rather, just start writing to engage in the conversation with other bloggers or maybe even only your internal audience. Draft a blogroll, post it on your site, and leave comments on their blogs with some frequency, as appropriate. Make yourself part of the ongoing conversation. Importantly, blogs can be open-ended or keyed to a specific event or topic that will run its course and then be archived. How to get started and what a campaign looks like Blogs help to humanize an office, or provide an editorial outlet for specific people within an organization. Above all, people expect authenticity from a blog—Web sites are the best loci for official statements and position papers, while people expect the voice and content of blogs to be more personal. How they fit in to your operational strategy Detailing a policy or plan of action that is not open for discussion When to avoid them To espouse complete ideas or let people know your plans (even if slightly inchoate) in a venue that encourages comments and further discussion When to use them Real-time conversation, quick dissemination of ideas, posting material on which you do not want feedback What they’re bad for Communicating nuanced ideas and garnering feedback. Presenting a more immediate and personable face for your organization What they’re good for
    13. 13. Social Networks Friends, activity on your own feed (e.g. comments to your posts), traffic driven to your other digital properties, dissemination of your content through others’ feeds, increased participation in offline attributable to your social network activities. Success metrics Significant time should be spent monitoring the traffic and coordinating between this medium, your blog(s), Web site(s) and microblog(s). Further, analog social media engagement should feature the URL for your social network What kind of resources will be needed for success Prepare both to post new material to your feed (with four components: headline, lead, link, and image) and respond to comments. Social networking campaigns are usually open-ended. How to get started; what a campaign looks like Social media are excellent means by which people can self-organize and even begin to become activated to perform tasks beyond the realm of the medium (or any digital medium) How they fit in to your operational strategy Discussing contentious materials at length, developing the data points that will lead to policy decisions, publishing content on which you do not want comments When to avoid them Disseminating content published in other media, engaging discussions already started within the medium When to use them Hosting original content, debating contentious material, requesting structured data, What they’re bad for Joining, forming, or enhancing an online community focused on an event or interest. Monitoring, engaging and/or directing, conversations within that community. Sharing content from your other media with the network. What they’re good for
    14. 14. Ideation Platforms Number of submissions, quality of submissions, number of evaluations Success metrics Significant resources required to monitor and promote the brainstorm and then to gather the evaluations and implement the appropriate submission(s) What kind of resources will be needed for success Open an account with an ideation platform (bubble ideas, idea scale) and post a topic. Augment the campaign through Twitter, social networks, your blog, Web site, and analog social media, raising awareness of and interest in the site. Leave comments on others’ blogs, highlight especially helpful/insightful entries, and invite people directly through Twitter and other semi-public media How to get started and what a campaign looks like Ideation platforms are like long-running brainstorming sessions with the added value of an evaluation tool. When implemented correctly, they make your organization more responsive, agile, and open How they fit in to your operational strategy When you do not have the resources to follow through or you do not expect to reach a critical mass of users with appropriate knowledge or skills to create a meaningful sample of ideas When to avoid them To generate and evaluate a wide range of ideas from all interested parties When to use them Technical, legal, or policy decisions What they’re bad for Requesting and receiving ideas around a general topic or theme, from internal or external participants, and evaluation of submissions What they’re good for
    15. 15. What will you do in your house? <ul><li>Monitor – keep tabs on the conversations that affect our missions </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate – transmit information or allow for recipients to transmit information among themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Organize – create groups of people with a shared identity to ready them for tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Activate – give people tasks, goals, and tools to accomplish meaningful assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Empower – Provide a platform for people to self-organize and set their own goals, develop their own tools, and accomplish their own mission. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Abandoning metaphors: what can you do in social media? <ul><li>Find specific people we might not otherwise be able to talk to; </li></ul><ul><li>Engage a number of people that we might not be able to reach; </li></ul><ul><li>Identify and enfranchise groups of people we might otherwise overlook; </li></ul><ul><li>Organize and direct activity more efficiently; </li></ul><ul><li>Push content to people who have self-selected to receive it; or </li></ul><ul><li>Allow people to collaborate on a single project synchronously or asynchronously. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Questions? <ul><ul><li>Gadi Ben-Yehuda </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter: @GBYehuda </li></ul></ul>