Social Media and NIGAG

@Iwhitten – known to the real world as Ivor Whitten asked me to speak at a NIGAG (the Northern Ireland Government Affairs Group) along with @brownturf (Susie Brown head of communications for the Northern Ireland Assembly) and himself.

We each did an opening 10 minuter leading to a Q&A.

I was talking to notes rather than a written piece, so I'm just putting out some of the headlines I had stuck down. The audience was largely people who were new to or had only some understanding of social media and was to help them develop use of social media within an organisation to promote the message or view of that organisation.

Here are some of the points.
  • We are all professionals. If we are asked to take on a new project we instinctively know where to start. Yet with social media a lot of people go a bit insane. Remember what you already know about business of project management – start with a plan.
  • Agree a strategy.
  • Identify resources – social media is not free. The platforms can be, but it takes people to make it happen.
  • Build in new resources. If you don't know what you need find out.
  • Do a social media audit in your organisation – find out uses what and why (and check to see if they are any good) – they will become your ambassadors. Find out who doesn't and why. 
  • If people argue against social media or dismiss it, listen to their arguments. The get them to make the same arguments but replace 'social media' or 'Twitter' or 'Facebook' (etc) with the words 'talking to people'. (E,g, 'Social Media is a waste of time' = 'Talking to people is a waste of time'. The point is Social Media is talking to people, not piddling around in front of your computer all day wasting time. But without that plan it will be aimless.
  • Know what you want to achieve – make that part of your plan/strategy.
  • Build in measurements and measuring tools so you know if you are achieving your goals
  • TIME – make time but use it efficiently.  Social media (like talking to people) takes time.
  • Don't just talk – listen.
  • Don't just talk about yourself. If you just talk about yourself you will bore people. Talk about other interesting things – what you read, what you see etc.
  • Contribute to the conversation. Don't just use your own social media – go to where other people are talking and contribute – but please don't just peomote your message
  • Decide on the tone – if there is more than one person representing the organisation, work on the VOICE
  • Work to balance personal and professional.
  • Build a community and manage that community.
  • Understand who makes up that community – supporters, staff, board of directors, followers, the people you want to influence. Who are the others?
  • When you are online – don't be stupid.
  • Be the person – not the computer.

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