Social Media Guide


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This is a special insert from the complete WEadership Guide. Is was intended for professionals in the field of public policy concerned with jobs, work, and learning - often called workforce development.

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Social Media Guide

  1. 1. SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDEHOW SOCIAL MEDIA IS HELPING WORKFORCE LEADERS LEADIn 2009, Tricia, a tech-savvy workforce board staff member in Portland, Oregon, noticed a series ofand mobile technologies and social media. She talked to senior leaders in her organization abouthow the workforce board might use these technologies to advance its work, too. They asked herto design and lead an initiative that would accomplish this goal. She worked with a group to de-stories and document programs, and Twitter, to learn from others and share resources relevant tothe workforce community. The workforce board also started a blog. A year later, Tricia’s organiza-tion had become one of the most prominent workforce organizations on Twitter. Her team had alsocommunity members. A direct dialogue ensued where blog readers began asking what happenedconnected with the community in a new way.Worksystems Inc.37 is an example of a workforce organiza- goals. More profoundly, social media enables an “ongoingtion at the cutting edge of a trend that is transforming busi- conversation of the planet.”38ness: the rise of social media. Social media changes theway people learn, work, communicate, and collaborate in Social media is not a single tool or application. It is anvirtually every industry, including workforce development. ecosystem built on a few basic tools that facilitate different Many workforce leaders we engaged in this project kinds of activities. For example, Facebook facilitates com- -cance of these new communication tools for job-seekers, Twitter encourages public listening, conversation, and re-but were less clear about their value to workforce organi- - increasingly, collaboration. These and similar services are complemented by hundreds of applications that amplify, connect, aggregate, share, sort, search, and recombinewere operating in the absence of organization-wide guid- shared content in ways that matter to users. Because theance or policy in the workplace. tools can change quickly, using social media requires a Social media is so profoundly changing the business of willingness to experiment, learn, and adapt, combining an array of tools in ways that meet your particular needs at awe offer this topical guide, which explains why social me- given point in time.dia matters and describes how workforce leaders are using Second, the use of these tools is goal-focused. Thereit to accomplish their goals. are hundreds of social media tools and more emerging ev- ery day. Workforce leaders will likely have to experiment to determine the tools that work best for them. But theseWHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA? tools should help workforce leaders do their work -Practically, social media is a set of tools that helps peopleeverywhere connect, share, communicate, create, docu- Third, the tools themselves are generally accessible on- line (or increasingly on mobile devices), but the collabora- tion they enable can occur both (face to37 38 Kurt Sonderegger ( cited in “The Social Media Boom” video examples of their work is this one 44 WEADERSHIP: The Guide
  2. 2. face). This is what makes social media so powerful. People can connect with other people entirely outside of formal organizations or hierarchies and collaborate on just about anything. three starting points: 1. The ever-evolving Wikipedia entry on social media 2. from the Twitterverse 3. Erik Qualman’s video, “Social Media Revolution,” from We offer the following examples of workforce leaders using social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter) to achieve their goals. A. LINKEDIN Casual users may think of LinkedIn as a place to post re- sumes and aggregate contacts, but many workforce lead- ers use the service in ways that explicitly build (and make share information and often connect other members to visible) social networks. The key is LinkedIn’s “Groups” their personal networks in and outside of the group. 2. Wide-angle Learning. We, the authors of this guide, workforce leaders using the service to build relationships— are members of a LinkedIn group called “Visualize Gov,” across organizations, disciplines, and geographies—that comprising 260 government and technology profession- help them achieve their goals. Here are three examples. als and representatives of foundations and journalism schools (from inside and outside the US). We use the 1. Network Building. Before you engage people, you’ve group to explore trends and effective practices in commu- got to connect with them. Katharine McClurg Anderson, nication, visualization, and collaboration in government. who coordinates sector initiatives in Colorado, estab- It exposes us to new ways to make complex information lished the PROs in Workforce and Economic Develop- easy to understand, and new tools, like those intended ment group in LinkedIn in 2008. Two volunteer members to support learning or simplify decision-making in gov- now manage the network, comprised of 825 members ernment agencies. representing economic and workforce development or- ganizations (public and private), as well as think tanks, 3. Open Problem-solving. Veronica Reyes is the Human foundations, colleges and universities, and private-sec- Resources Manager of the Aerospace Transition Cen- ter at Workforce Solutions in Houston, Texas. She is a outside the US. They regularly share resources, includ- LinkedIn power user. A member of dozens of LinkedIn ing reports, articles, and notices about conferences and groups, she also established the Aerospace Transition events where they might meet in person. Recent topics of conversation include innovation, approaches to On- members. When asked about how LinkedIn helps her the-Job Training, and whether or not the US has realized be a better leader, Veronica hardly knew where to begin. - “LinkedIn is how I do my work,” she exclaimed. “I’m ployment. Group members from diverse backgrounds connected to hundreds of aerospace industry profes- 45WEADERSHIP: The Guide
  3. 3. Leadership enabled a Facebook page for the project. Dur- ing that time, we connected with 123 people, organiza- tions, and agencies, with an expressed interest in work- force development. We asked a few of them how they use Facebook in their work. Their responses are summarized in the three points below. 1. Supporting Events and Conferences. Workforce pro- fessionals use Facebook to promote and support their events. By sharing agendas, information about venues, and other highlights in advance of planned events, or- ganizers use Facebook to attract participants. During events, organizers use Facebook to communicate new they are scheduled. For many conference organizers, communicating through Facebook is more immediate than using email and simpler and more dynamic than changing their websites. 2. Reaching Young People. For busy workforce profes- sionals, email can be slow and cumbersome: wading through it is time-consuming, and conversations are quickly, especially on a mobile device. Younger work- force customers may change email addresses or not sionals, and nearly every recruiter in the region. I track use email as their primary means of communication, industry trends … I’m a conduit for information and a making them hard to reach. Facebook solves these host of discussions aimed at getting our collective chal- problems. As a result, young leaders, and even senior lenges solved. There’s no reason we should all be solv- leaders who need to interact with younger colleagues, ing the same problems over and over on our own.” often prefer it. LinkedIn offers a starter guide for new users in its Learn- 3. Enabling Peer Connections and Support. People caning Center communicate with each other publicly on Facebook. Recently, analysts have begun to use LinkedIn as a This means they can help each other solve problemssource of labor market data. WIRED magazine’s May 2011 rather than relying on a single person or organization.cover story, “Smart Jobs”, relied on LinkedIn data to ana- When customers share information on Facebook (a formlyze the mobility of workers across sectors.39 of crowdsourcing), it can save workforce program ad- ministrators, managers, and outreach staff time, helping -B. FACEBOOK and even a few on the US Department of Labor’s own Facebook page.the platform boasts nearly 100% recognition even amongnon-users. One of the challenges workforce professionals raised As a part of this project, we conducted an experiment. during our events and workshops is the issue of access toFor one week in February 2011, Enhancing Workforce social media tools: many public agencies restrict access to Facebook, forcing employees who use Facebook to39 At the time of publication, the WIRED Magazine story was not yet available to non- do their work using their home computers. Many of these subscribers. However, we refer readers to Planet Money/WIRED’s jointly produced Facebook users reported that they were not aware of a Smart Jobs series, of which this LinkedIn analysis was a part blogs/money/2011/05/27/136690812/looking-for-high-tech-job-try-cotton comprehensive social media policy in their organizations, 46 WEADERSHIP: The Guide
  4. 4. but that key social media sites in addition to Facebook Twitter. Followers use these updates to stay abreast of were also restricted in the workplace. - Here are three resources to help you integrate Facebook sional networks. into your communications and service strategies: 2. Sharing Learning During Events and Conferences. 1. John Haydon’s Complete Facebook Guide for Small Increasingly, conference planners rely on Twitter to ag- (2010) is accessible through Socialbrite’s gregate the “wisdom of the crowd.” By asking Twitter website here Keep in mind that users to employ a hashtag, all of the updates by indi- Facebook changes quickly, so parts of the guide are viduals in the same space, conversation, or event can already out of date. However, because the entire fo- be aggregated, regardless of who is following whom. cus is Facebook, it offers users sage advice about the This helps conference goers get more out of a typical event by giving them a view of sessions they cannot “hows” change. attend. It also enables attendees to share content with far-away colleagues. In addition, the aggregated feed 2. IBM Center for the Business of Government’s An Open provides conference organizers with unparalleled intel- Government Implementation Model: Moving to In- creased Public Engagement. where there were logistical or other problems, or which about Facebook, the report provides a number of case speakers drew the largest crowds, for example. studies in which public agencies use Facebook to ac- complish key objectives 3. Learning and Connecting with Peers Through On- 3. For more experienced users, Inside Facebook offers Times. For example, at the end of June, we partici- the latest information about platform updates and re- designs and how to use them well resource professionals attending the Annual Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Meeting in Las Vegas, and regular participants in the weekly online C. TWITTER Twitter to share a list of questions in advance of the “I don’t get it.” Twitter is a microblogging service that lets users craft short (140-character) posts (including links) on respond to each other’s comments and questions about just about anything. Users can follow other users, create the subject matter.41 Similar chats oriented at learning, lists of users, and link content together through the use of problem-solving, or intelligence-sharing among col- - leagues both local and remote occur every day. cates the subject of the post and enables topical search. Twitter appeals to different groups in different ways. We found few Twitter users among the workforce leaders we engaged as a part of the project. However, all leader Of Internet users, only one in ten white people use Twit- respondents knew what Twitter was, and most expect to be using the service in the future. Latinos do.42 Here are three ways workforce leaders are using the service to achieve their goals: Twitter is more popular on the West Coast and in the Southeast than elsewhere in the country, New York 1. Listening to Thought Leaders. Among Twitter’s 200- State and Washington DC are the exceptions in the 300 million users40 are many thought leaders in key Northeast.43 education, human resources, economics, social innova- tion, and government. These people often test ideas, 41 Our team used a service called Chirpstory to curate the highlights. The summary is available here ask questions, and reveal not-yet-published data on 42 Pew Internet & American Life Project, Twitter Update (June 1, 2011) http://www. 40 Denver Post, “How Many People Actually Use Twitter?”, June 9, 2011. http://blogs. 43 Hubspot report and map (2010) ter/1051/ Territory-US-States-Infographic-HubSpot.jpg 47WEADERSHIP: The Guide
  5. 5. The person most likely to use Twitter is a female, His- OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA RESOURCES panic, twenty-something who attended college, lives Social Media Policies in a city, and earns under $30K or between $50K One of the concerns we heard from leaders exploring these and $75K.44 new social spaces is uncertainty about how to govern their use. The following resources can help workforce leaders Although Twitter is the most popular microbloggingservice, other similar technologies exist for supportinggroup communication and collaboration, such as Yammer, 1. Beth’s Blog. Beth Kanter, co-author of The NetworkedSocialCast and Moreover, this kind of commu- (2010), is a leading expert on the use of socialnications capacity is now built into many enterprise level http://www. - is a virtual laboratory notebook. It offerstions, and agencies. 2. Chris Boudreaux’s website http://socialmediagover-D. FOURSQUARE, GOWALLA, GEOLOQI, AND contains three invaluable resources:OTHER GEOLOCATION SERVICESGeolocation services installed on your mobile device do Access to his chapter “How to Develop a Social Media Strategy” in the Social Media Managementcommunicate your location to other users of the service. Handbook (2011) Additional social and game services can be layered ontop of these basic functions. The most popular geoloca- A link to a searchable database comprising 176 so-tion services include: Foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite, and cial media policies from a variety of industries andLoopt. New applications like Geoloqi and Glympse offerconstant location tracking, automatic check-ins and layers sectors more sophisticated add-on services (geo-tagging, auto- A whitepaper entitled “When You Can Say ‘We have Only a few workforce leaders we talked to during the a social media strategy.’” that provides help align-project knew about these services, but they saw the pos- ing business goals with social media strategies. Thesible implications. paper is particularly relevant to large organizations Imagine that your mobile device lets you know that you are within a few blocks of a class that starts in 3. A brief from the Center for Technology Innovation at ten minutes and has two seats available. Brookings (part of its Issues in Technology Innovation series) called, “Designing Social Media Policy for Gov- Imagine that your device, which knows you are job ernment.” Relevant to all levels of government, the guide offers eight elements for decision makers to consider as are in front of is hiring. they craft social media policies Imagine that your device lets you know that a hiring manager in your LinkedIn network is behind you in line Our Favorite Websites & Blogs About Social Media for for coffee. the Public Interest We discovered hundreds of helpful social media websites Although these services are little known within the work-force community, they hold promise for workforce leadersinterested in innovative approaches to connecting people, Rob Reed offers an analysis of geolocation’s potential The Knight Foundation. Chock full of reports, resourc-at es, media, and inspiration at the intersection of democ- racy, journalism and community BuySellAds Twittergraphic (2011) uses-twitter-and-why/ 48 WEADERSHIP: The Guide
  6. 6. The Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Our Favorite Books About the Life project. A key source of data about the use of so- Impact of Social Technologies45 cial technologies. We had a hard time narrowing down our list, but eventually - Socialbrite. Our go-to page for help using social media fers insight independent of a particular set of tools. These for social good. books emphasize the broader social and economic chang- es social media is enabling, rather than a particular tool or Mashable. The largest independent news source cov- single moment in time. ering digital culture, social media and technology, the site curates content under the tab “Social Good” that , might be of particular interest to workforce leaders. by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine (2010) GovFresh. An inspiring site devoted to citizen participa- Here Comes Everybody tion in government at all levels, refreshingly non-federal. by Clay Shirky (2009) Macrowikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams (2010) by Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith (2010) Open Government by Daniel Lathrop and Laurel Ruma (2010) (Video of author Laurel Ruma speaking at the Knight Foundation’s Community Information Challenge Boot- camp, October 2010) 45 The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the US Department of Labor. Mention of trade names, commercial products, or organiza- tions does not imply endorsement of same by the US Government. 49WEADERSHIP: The Guide
  7. 7. The Social Media GuideA special insert from the WEADERSHIP GUIDE (2011)Authors: Kristin Wolff (@kristinwolff) and Vinz Koller (@kollerv)Social Policy Research Associates (@Social_Policy)SPRA.com Complete Guide is available for download and other special inserts available for download at: