If you were there and spot any omissions or additions, please shout out in the comments.
The theme for the September 2011 Social Media Surgery is:
‘Combining Twitter with a Business Blog’
Social Media Surgeons:
We kick off….
In the Audience:
Richard Phillips – This is the 2nd surgery he has attended. Here to absorb social media strategies.
Gerwyn – Also his 2nd attendance to the surgery.
Paula – Looking into how to effectively use social media as a campaigning tool. She is a part of the charities, Wheelchair Dancespot and Strictly Wheelchair Dancing.
Stuart – Works at Meltwater as a salesman. It is at this role that he has learnt how to use social media for business, and not solely for personal use. Focusses on ROI of social media.
He came to the first surgery in July 2010, knowing very little about social media and social media strategies. His number one priority is paid client work so work on the side, he believes must be at the absolute minimum. So social media is a conscious choice of how he has decided to spend any extra time.
Ian is very strategically-focused when it comes to his social media presence and has a social media plan, that he uses on a day-to-day basis, that will inevitably, aid his bottom line.
He encourages people to avoid merely having social media expectations, without seriously considering a social media plan.
Ian has a blog, a few micro-blogs, an email newsletter and a Linkedin and Twitter page. You need to build your profiles effectively, in order to get yourself, your brand, out there in the digital dimension.
You need to be aware of your objectives, as regards your social media goals.
A company goal, such as sales function, customer service, relationship management and brand awareness will decipher how their social media strategy is formed.
As regards sales – clever searching is key, in order to find who you want to impress. Then create your profile around them and provide them with information that is relevant to them, slowly (and subtly) forming a relationship online with your prospects.
As for campaigning, a lot of advice out there relates to stories and examples, but it is very hard to find specifics.
From the Audience:
Paula yearns to get the word out there for transport and sport with mobilities. She wants to raise the profile of wheelchair sports that are out there, and also to fight the injustice they are facing as regards transport restrictions, mainly the tram ban by the GMPTE, to ban all mobility scooters from trams. For more information on dance charity visit:
Chi-chi suggests starting a blog to get the information out there. Then she suggests finding people with an understanding and knowledge of the subject and ‘connecting’ with these networks. She enforces that you need to know HOW to use the network ‘influencer’ to achieve your goal and make sure your blog is visible to them.
Ian suggests, finding out who the GMPTE audience is and who influences them and target these networks. Make your voice heard to them and soon, the fear of negative press and opinion, may lead the GMPTE to re-think their actions.
Hyper-local newspaper, @InsidetheM60 – they have created a hyper-local news website.
@networkmcr – has over 8000 followers in Manchester and has become a local influence.
There are tools out there to assess your social media influence, eg. Klout. As Chi-chi has seen the tool evolve, she has become more and more suspicious about it, as there is too much variation between the social media ‘greats’ and the ‘oks’.
HubspotTV (based in Boston) – they share a lot of information online, and in turn, have turned into a highly trusted source of content.
Stuart, although he prefers not to provide marketing advice as that is not his background, he has found more and more, that this is what he is doing, as big companies are struggling with their social media plans. He believes that many small businesses out there, use social media as an advertising board and there is no communication, no interaction and no engagement.
Hootsuite – carry out a lot of case studies and publish several blog posts about using their tool, and provide easy ways of using their function.
How can we use blogging effectively?
Chi-chi – Consistent blogging allows companies to create a trusted and credible resource online with the use of key words. If your articles are informative and thorough, people will begin to trust what you have to say online and will begin to recommend you, through their own social media pages.
Would it work if there was a team blogging?
It should magnify the effect of blogging, if there is a team involved. A blog should be a company’s social media hub.
Where should you start blogging?
Ian: To dip your toe into the the water of blogging, use free blog sites, such as Tumblr, WordPress and Posterous.
Holleh: Sites such as Flavorsme and Aboutme enable you to link all of your social media pages together, helping you to create a social media homepage for your digital persona.
On a more serious note…
The surgery has been going for two years now and has been a labour of love for all of those involved. However, due to the existing online domain changing, we need to decide how to evolve Manchester Social Media Surgery. Chi-chi proposes creating a Social Media Managers Association. If the format of the surgery is the same, will this be of value to you?
Paula: She is part of a charity organisation, so as long as the new surgery, encompasses the broader (and the more bizarre) walks of social media life, she thinks it would be a good idea.
Stuart: Thinks it is a brilliant idea and will be deemed more ‘professional’.
Chi-chi: The role of social media manager is accepted more and more nowadays, so she feels it is the perfect time to create a space for these people to come together, to connect and to learn from one another.
And that’s a wrap! Thanks to everyone who came. Details of the next Social Media Surgery event will be posted soon.