Don’t Panic Guide to Social Media #3

So I had my usual chortle at Twitter’s expense this morning, most people laughed but a couple of people on Twitter weren’t very happy with me :-)

I do use Twitter (when I get a chance) so you should probably put that into context. I suppose the problem with humour is that it does get lost sometimes.

My talk was entitled “Pragmatic Optimism” (about Social Media), and as always, I appeal for calm and balance when discussing social media. It’s easy to get a false sense of reality.

To be successful I believe that social media must be integrated with broader marketing/communications efforts.

I believe that central to that, is a clear understanding of what you’re trying to achieve (also known as your objectives) and a clear insight into your audience (are they online, where are they?).

It appears that this comes across to some people as “old school”.

Well I suppose in the social media context I am “old school”. I’ve been blogging since 2002, so I should soon be reading “Murphy’s Law is dead” posts very soon.

It’s interesting.  The feedback I’ve had from the majority of delegates has been incredibly positive.  Many are struggling with understanding how we manage the demands of online and offline.  This is a major issue for many people.  They view my pragmatism with relief.

Meanwhile the people sucking the social media Kool-Aid react with disgust that you could be telling them that, actually, the emperor may not have any clothes on or certainly not as many clothes as they think :-)

What is incredibly interesting is the number of attendees on Twitter and the dynamic of people discussing and debating your talk live is, well interesting to say the least!

I’ll post a synopsis of my talk (without the asides :-) next week….

Don’t Panic Guide to Social Media #2

At the beginning of every social media conference, there’s normally a quick audience poll to see the usage of social media among the attendees.  Typically the audience numbers are high on things like social networks or reading blogs and then the numbers dwindle on more “niche” tools.  This morning the opposite was true.  Nearly all the attendees are using Twitter! Wow. (Even for a cynic like me that’s incredible).

Great presentation by Meg Pickard on how view the world of social media.  They post about 1,000 online items per day….

Graham Goodkind from Frank PR did a very interesting talk on consumer social media.  His point on brands on FaceBook caught my imagination.

Where major corporate brands may garner 20,000 members on Facebook this is dwarfed by user generated groups.

For example:

I don’t care how comfortable Crocs are, you look like a dumbass: 1,221,128 members


(UK TV Presenter) Jeremy Clarkson should be Prime Minister: 428,956 members



Don’t Panic Guide to Social Media

Great turn out at the event in Manchester.

I did my usual grumpy view of social media :-) and was followed by Marshall Manson from Edelman who gave a great overview of the changes ahead.

I loved his description of walking into a party and starting off talking to a stranger by saying “For immedia release…” (That’s a PR-Social Media gag folks).

Marshall was followed by Simon Wakeman.

Simon had a really interesting talk about the adoption of social media in local government, the challenges and the opportunities.

They surveyed 82 communicators across 61 local authorities:

  • Nearly 50% of local authorities in the UK are using blogs!
  • Over one third are using podcasts
  • Social networks, Wikis and Video are being used by 20%
  • Over 55% of councils have used social networks while 42% have no plans and the balance are not aware of them.

Simon’s authority have launched Mixit – a mixture of blogs and podcasts aimed at younger people.

  • The objective was to create two way communication and get young people involved.  The young people are actively involved in producing the podcasts
  • The secondary objective was to help Medway learn about podcasting as a communications tool
  • Originally set up as a six month project. Operating cost was GBP200 but the people cost was a lot more expensive with 14-15 hours involved in planning and producing each episode.
  • 300-400 people have downloaded the content

In Manchester…

I’m in the United Kingdom today in the lovely town of Manchester speaking at the Don’t Panic Guide to Social Media event.

Looking forward to an interesting conference.

[Of course I’m only posting this as a result of guilt.  I’m talking at a social media conference and I haven’t posted anything since November 19th].