Social Media Matters

In about an hour, I will head down to Keyano College to set up for a workshop called Social Media Matters.  The structure is based on a similar session I gave last spring, but even as I type, I'm adapting what we're going to do.  I tend to be a last-minute-guy when it comes to solidifying presentations - I need to stew on these things for quite a long time.

Keep the audience in mind.

This is advice that came from my good friend Claude, a theatre director and producer, who insists that the reason we are in the theatre is to serve the people sitting in the seats, not the other way around.  I like to take the same approach when facilitating a workshop.  What information, activities, questions and dialogue can I inject into the program that will actually deliver meaningful (and actionable) content?

Like it or lump it, social media has been integrated in our lives.  It cuts through all age demographics - some more comprehensively than others - and is so pervasive that we might not even realize it has infiltrated every nook and cranny of our lives.

I'm going to begin the workshop by asking people to share how they currently use social media, then we're going to do some deconstruction.

Example:  each morning I go through and send personal greetings to all my Facebook connections having birthdays.  How did this happen 20 years ago?  Did it happen?  Could it have happened?

Example:  I post a picture of a painting and share in with over 3,000 people on Facebook and a similar number on Twitter, plus multitudes more on Instagram.  How could this have been done 20 years ago?  How many things do we do based on a world that existed several decades ago?  Are we maximizing the tools available to us?

I was sitting in my office yesterday when I heard "Our marijuana goggles have arrived!" from down the hall.  It was Gayle at the Safe Communities office delighting in the arrival of a tool to educate young people of driving while under the influence.  The next thing you know, Lindsey was in my office encouraging me to try on the goggles.  I did, and had them snap a picture that I posted on Facebook and Twitter.

All of a sudden a dynamic dialogue began as people responded to my goofy face and the idea of wearing goggles to simulate a high.  A message came from someone in the media saying that Gayle should bring the device down for the announcers to try.  With just a couple of posts, the value of getting this educational tool elevated....all thanks to social media and massive networks of people.

I am going to walk people through 10 guiding principles that have helped me be successful in this social world, statements or actions that hopefully will provide a path to follow to increase your comfort and effectiveness:

1. Consistency is key
2. Learn from others
3. Measure

4. Strive for authenticity

5. Timing is everything

6. Picture = 1000 words

7. Trust your gut

8. Find the fun

9. Pick your platform

10. Maximize your assets

I'm also going to walk participants through my list of social media Do's and Don't.  It is important to say that my list is just that: my list.  Other social media practitioners would have a completely different list; and that's OK.  This is my rule book, if you will, that has served me well since coming into this space in 2007.

Watch Twitter for all the action today!  It should be fun.  You can follow me by clicking here.


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