Monday, July 11, 2011

Why Use Social Media?

Presented by Randall Ross, Executive Director of Gathering Media at IICSE, Columbia, SC. July 11, 2011

These are my notes:

Why Use Social Media?
  • Its where the focus is
  • we are already focusing on it
  • to keep in touch with the global village
  • correct info at the right time...and quickly.
  • "marketing tool" - Sort of
Social Media is relationships. Schools should think of themselves as a "tribe" (see Tribes by Seth Godin).

No longer "us vs. them". Our community (Tribe) is made up for people with:
  • common values and connection
  • common values and limited connection
  • common values and NO connection
  • no common values and no connection (not in our tribe)
"The real power of tribes has nothing to do with the Internet and everything to do with people." - Seth Godin

"If you don't lead the discussion, then someone else will."

8 Reasons why we should engage in social media?
  1. Your people are!
  2. It is a great way to humanize your organization. Have a school account AS WELL AS a personal account
  3. People will get to know you (your tribe, your organization, and you as a leader.)
  4. People will learn something. (content creation, distribution, and affirmation)
  5. People will stay informed. (more efficient than a newsletter. real-time updates and response)
  6. People will defend you. (That's the way a tribe works...loyalty. People that believe in you will protect your brand and message.)
  7. People will talk to you. (unique access and format. real and perceived flattening of connection.)
  8. People will talk about you. (your values and story can be spread. your advocates can start conversations of their own.)
6 Fallacies of Social Media
  1. Social Media is inexpensive (takes a lot of time, man hours, and training to do it well)
  2. Social Media is fast (social media is about relationships. Relationships take time, trust, listening, and constant communication. It is not a "silver bullet".)
  3. Social Media is "Viral Marketing" (not every tweet will get retweeted 6 billion times. Social media simply makes viral marketing possible)
  4. Social Media results can't be measured (many tools have ways to track the interaction and activity in a qualitative and quantitative way)
  5. Social Media is optional
  6. Social Media is hard (SM is created to be a natural/organic thing. If it is hard, you are trying to make it more than it is)
Is Social Media Safe?
As an individual? Organization? Community?

What is the danger of engagement in Social Media? (individual responses from attendees)
  • Bullying
  • how much info is too much?
  • isolation from those right next to you
  • broadcasting unwanted information
  • destroy reputation
  • burn bridges
  • Control of content
  • Can't stop
  • perceived superficiality of relationships
  • intentional or accidental misrepresentation of self
Presenter's Response:
Social Media has no moral position. It is the misuse of SM that is wrong. The people are wrong, not the tool.

For 6 years, Mark Zuckerberg has been focused on one thing: Free Social Connection. The greatest benefit is also the greatest threat. 
Spiderman: "With great power comes great responsibility." There is great power in SM.

"Back in the day, bullying happened in the school yard and you came home to your safe haven. Now you come home to a whole new aspect of bullying."

There has been a lot of progress in the past few years. We now have built-in safeguard to protect the integrity of SM.

Blogging safeguards - Mostly related to comment management. Setting preferences, moderation, etc. The blogger can choose the level, type, and accessibility of the two-way interaction.

Headlines (Twitter, FourSquare, etc.) - Safeguards based on followers. Regulate who is following you. Delete inappropriate people.

Social Networks - Most activity happens on your News Feed. News Feeds have many controls as to what shows up.

YOUR Social Media is never out of your control. Education is the key. The problem is: other people are out of your control.

The starting point is Theology - God reigns over SM just as much as He reigns over the other aspects of life.

What other defenses do we have?
  • Policies
  • Tribe Leaders and Advocates
  • Legal Defenses
Resources: - media library - Parenting "Teens and Facebook"

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