Social Media: an Obligation, an Opportunity, or a Threat

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Is online social media really a threat, or a great opportunity.

This presentation aims to:
1) Discuss the social media landscape as it stands with reference to public networks and common conceptions
2) Show how a social network resonates as a model for associations and their goals
3) Look at how private and public social networks can become a threat to an association, with examples
4) Cover using a private social network for an association and how to get the best from it
5) Show how to use the best of both (private & public social networks)

Case studies from outside of the membership sector will include:

- Channel 4
- Nokia

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  • Wars were won and lost, empires were created and destroyed through communication or the lack of it
  • The same message goes to the entire audience
  • Consumers can choose to tune in to certain broadcasts
  • The content on some websites is generated by the users, and moderated by the ownersThe content, after all, is why people visit websites in the first place (Please remember that next time you’re commissioning a site and arguing over fonts for 3 hours…)
  • People don’t have to have one-to-one email conversations any more – they can discuss things in place with anyone else who is participating
  • This can create relationships with like minded people that they would have never otherwise met. (Or they start trolling each other and bring out the schoolyard insults), but either way, you can add value to your content through discussion.
  • These relationships turn into communities
  • And the communities end up looking after themselves, allowing the owner to focus on the important things
  • Facebook – 1/7th of the entire planet.Twitter – the entire population of the European Union
  • Apologies for making you feel really old…
  • Social Media: an Obligation, an Opportunity, or a Threat

    1. 1. Social Media A obligation, an opportunity, or a threat?Jules CopelandSenior Developer – Ninety Ten
    2. 2. A quick aside on nomenclature…‘Social Software’
    3. 3. Some Venn Diagrams People have social lives Social software People have work lives Business software Social BusinessSocial Work software Software Life Life
    4. 4. The word ‘Social’In this context, substitute the word ‘social’ for‘collaborative’Suddenly, you will start to realise that a lot ofsoftware you use is ‘social’ MS Office review panel Google Apps, DropBox, SharePoint, file servers Project Management software
    5. 5. The word ‘Social’‘Social’ can, but does not have to mean:“Frivolous activity that doesn’t profit your organisation”
    6. 6. The words ‘Software, media and network’As a web programmer, I don’t think of there being adifference between ‘a piece of software’ and ‘awebsite’In technical terms, the only difference is the locationof where the compiled code is runningThat can be on the device you are currently using, oron a server anywhere in the worldThe important thing is that you can interact withsome data
    7. 7. A little history lessonIn the beginning... Wax tablets, papyrus, messengers, carrier pigeons, town criers etc… Communication is a good thingAutomation in the 15th Century The Gutenberg printing press Allowed the distribution of knowledge to a much broader audience
    8. 8. A little history lessonAround the turn of the 20th Century Telephony – telegrams and then telephones Broadcast media - Radio &TelevisionAround the turn of the 21st Century The Internet – The “Information Super Highway”The New Millennium Always-on connectivity An explosion of advanced web technologies
    9. 9. How did they change the way we communicate?Printed media can be referred to as a ‘One-to-Many’relationship
    10. 10. How did they change the way we communicate?Telephony can be referred to as a ‘One-to-One’relationshipIt also introduces two-way communication
    11. 11. How did they change the way we communicate?Broadcast Media can also be referred to as a ‘One-to-Many’ relationshipAnd it introduces the concept of ‘channels’
    12. 12. How did they change the way we communicate?The early internet combined the previous concepts,and increased the potential audience sizeexponentially
    13. 13. How did they change the way we communicate?The early internet combined the previous concepts,and increased the potential audience sizeexponentially, through the web
    14. 14. How did they change the way we communicate?The early internet combined the previous concepts,and increased the potential audience sizeexponentially, through the web and email
    15. 15. How did they change the way we communicate?The internet today is a melting pot of amazinglypowerful technologies allowing:
    16. 16. How did they change the way we communicate?The internet today is a melting pot of amazinglypowerful technologies allowing: Consumers to become producers
    17. 17. How did they change the way we communicate?The internet today is a melting pot of amazinglypowerful technologies allowing: Consumers to become producers On-page communication
    18. 18. How did they change the way we communicate?The internet today is a melting pot of amazinglypowerful technologies allowing: Consumers to become producers On-page communication Formation of relationships
    19. 19. How did they change the way we communicate?The internet today is a melting pot of amazinglypowerful technologies allowing: Consumers to become producers On-page communication Formation of relationships Formation of communities
    20. 20. How did they change the way we communicate?The internet today is a melting pot of amazinglypowerful technologies allowing: Consumers to become producers On-page communication Formation of relationships Formation of communities Self-sustaining hubs
    21. 21. The Social Media Landscape Facebook: 1 billion active users Twitter: 500 million + users LinkedIn: 175 million members Google Plus: 100 million monthly active users Social media is not a passing fadSource: http://therealtimereport.com/2012/10/12/social-networking-stats-twitter-dominates-media-attention-rltm-scoreboard/
    22. 22. Social Media & AssociationsMost associations recognise the power of socialmedia, but: They are not sure how it applies to them They find it difficult to visualise how they can fit it in with their existing infrastructure
    23. 23. A social network as a model for a membership association
    24. 24. A social network as a model for a membership associationThe Internet is now a ‘many-to-many’ networkYou can talk to your membersYour members can: talk to you talk to each other post their own news ask questions answer questions (yours or your members) organise their own events
    25. 25. Ask yourself,Why was your association set up?
    26. 26. How a social network mirrors the goals of an association The goals of a membership body (a suggestion) Education News articles, ‘How-tos’, legislation Publishing Forms, documentation, standards Standardisation Committees, polls, debate Collaboration Share knowledge and resources Conferencing All of the above in one place Networking Introduce like-minded people Promotion PR that benefits everyone
    27. 27. How a social network mirrors the goals of an association A social network does all of these things It updates everywhere, in real-time It lets your members contribute directly It provides a single point of contact It is better at introducing like-minded people than you are… It doesn’t take evenings and weekends off
    28. 28. If you do nothing…Social networks are a threat to your organisation
    29. 29. But you just told me that they were really good..? They are – they are so well aligned to your business models, that there is very little barrier to entry for anyone else to start doing what you’re already doing This could weaken your organisation, or worse, through impersonation, damage your reputation At the very least, you need to establish a presence on the free networks
    30. 30. That sounds like an obligation… We would argue that it is Look at the film industry’s reaction to new technology Illegal downloading lets movie fans watch the films that they want to watch, when they want to watch them, for free. Unsurprisingly, lots of people do it Instead of embracing such a ubiquitous distribution channel, they have dug their heels in – and appear to have the attitude that “Our business model has worked perfectly well for 90 years thank you very much. We’ll just ask our friends in the government to draft some draconian laws that are mutually beneficial”
    31. 31. That sounds like an obligation… I assume, in most cases, you don’t have the luxury of high level contacts in Westminster This leaves you with the options of digging your heels in, or making the best of seriously good opportunity
    32. 32. What if no one tries to set up a competitor?Competition is not your only threatLast years A-Level graduates have no idea what lifewas like before the internet.The next generation of employees learnt Ctrl-Alt-Delnot that long after A-B-C.A printed newsletter once a month will seem like aquaint relic at best…
    33. 33. When opportunity knocks…Make the most of available technology
    34. 34. The free networksNetworks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedInhave enormous reachThe vast majority of both your existing and potentialmembers will already be on at least one of themIt takes minutes to set up an account – for freeThey can provide a quick and easy route to havingopen discussions with your members
    35. 35. The free networksSome caveats… Not all networks have private areas Not all networks will give you moderation rights All of them own your content All of them control the rules of your network Any of them could switch off their servers tomorrow Anything you post will have to compete with hundreds of other messages
    36. 36. The paid networksPaid networks can address a lot of these problemsThere are two types of paid network ‘White-labels’ or ‘Site builders’ – paid on subscription These can solve a lot of your problems, but you are still at the mercy of the people hosting it Bespoke networks, built from scratch or built around a framework (usually paid through SaaS or bought outright and self-hosted) These can solve all of your problems, but they come at a price
    37. 37. White Labels and Site-BuildersDepending on your needs, these can offer aneconomical solutionHowever: They are less customisable They ultimately make the rules They may retain ownership of your data They can make your exit strategy very difficult
    38. 38. Bespoke networksTailor made solutions will be able to address all ofyour specific needsYou will own your data and your membersYou can specify your own rules and modify themwhen it suits youYou can even integrate them with existing systems,such as membership databasesYou will have ultimate control over everything
    39. 39. Making the best of both
    40. 40. Combining free and paid networks In order to maximise the benefits of all of your networks, you need to recognise their strengths The free networks are where most of the people are, and it’s where they spend most of their time Your own network is where the valuable content and the interesting discussions should be By posting linked teaser content on the free networks, you can corral your existing members, and in the process, attract new members
    41. 41. The ultimate networkBy doing those things successfully: You can increase your membership numbers You can reduce your running costs through efficiencies in administration, printing and postage costs Your members will benefit not only from your knowledge, but the knowledge of other members – in faster, more personalised, and more convenient ways
    42. 42. So…Social Media: An obligation, an opportunity, or a threat?
    43. 43.  All of the above
    44. 44. SummaryFree social networks are a threatYou are obliged to protect your good name at thevery least. You are obliged to update your methods ifyou hope to attract the next generation of membersBut most of all – they are an incredible opportunity tofulfill the core aims of your organisation in a muchmore efficient manner
    45. 45. Affordable bespoke networks

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