This hands-on workshop held as part of the Festival of Learning 2013 and run by Media School lecturers Dr Ana Adi and Dr Anna Feigenbaum helped community organisations, NGOs and campaigners approach communication through social media in a more strategic manner. Through a series of interactive and focused one hour sessions, the workshop got attendees thinking about the role new media and social media can play in your engagement with the community, your current communication with your target audience, your objectives for social media communication and the ways in which you can monitor and measure the impact of your online activity.
Event attendee Philip reflected that the workshop was:
“A very well presented and facilitated session with Ana Adi covering the rationale for social media and how to measure what it does. Although the social media landscape has evolved greatly over the last five years, the what, why and how questions to understand how social media can work for you and your business remain the same: What are your objectives? How will you recognise success? What are your key performance indicators? What should you monitor and how frequently should you monitor it?
Within the social media landscape there are recognisable and bespoke social media tools. If you are ‘expressing’ then Twitter and blogs will feature highly; if you wish to provide visual ‘content’ then YouTube and Flickr may be the right tools for you; what about ‘networking’ – well there’s LinkedIn and Xing amongst many and if you are firmly in the ‘social’ arena then Facebook and Google+ is for you.
“Overall, know what you want, how to measure and analyse it. There are many free analytical tools available to you. Facebook has Insight built-in for example. External tools such as Google Trends look at trends in search terms (who, where from, when?). This type of analysis helps identify language used by others as well as common typos which could be used in website optimisation, SEO and marketing.
“Tools such as Social Buzz and Topsy look at Facebook, Twitter and Google+, but be aware such systems are not ‘human’ and capture data based on programming, so sentient in-message analysis can be misleading. So what’s good to measure? Well, that is down to you, however there are many tools and approaches, you just need to pick the ones that are right for you.”
Also in attendance was Luke Williams, a very experienced social media ‘geek’ (to use his introduction). Luke works for the RNLI and uses many social media tools and outlets covering RNLI HQ and all UK RNLI stations (200+). He spends around an hour a day on analysis and an hour responding. This is a busy role, but does offer a guide to the amount of time an organisation could spend using social media effectively.