By all accounts, yesterday’s first Learning Social Media By Doing Course was a success!
Put on specifically in response to requests by attendees of the Social Media Starter Course for a more practical follow-up course, the half-day workshop was aimed at giving beginner to medium level social media users a hands-on introduction to social media tools.
And hands-on they got!
For most of yesterday morning, myself and the marketing team from iknow-uk, the award winning online accommodation and hospitality directory, went through a rigorous Learning Social Media By Doing course agenda, starting with iknow-uk putting together their first ever blog post and ending with them solving a social marketing problem they had using the course blog. Here’s a snapshot of their first blog post:
The main objective was to give iknow-uk’s marketing team a safe and structured environment in which to experiment with some of the social media strategies they are working on. By all accounts, it worked.
As promised in the course overview, the Learning Social Media By Doing course includes a strong online participatory element: we had a web panel on Twitter interacting with the course as it progressed and providing sterling contributions both on the course’s blog and on Twitter.
The course began with Twitter introductions in which the attendees introduced themselves, using the course Twitter hashtag, #bydoing.
Hannah Taylor of Voluntary Action Manchester, one of the attendees on the first Social Media Starter Course, had kindly agreed to volunteer on the web panel and provided some key responses to the attendees during the course.
Her response to the first question, reproduced below, set the tone for the day.
@vamanchester @iknow-uk say they hadn’t expected social media to take off so quickly for them and consider this a pitfall. What was your experience? #bydoing
@realfreshtv @iknow-uk the more time u put in the more u get out of it. Suprising how many similar orgs are out there to link with #bydoing
The company is in the process of migrating their corporate website onto WordPress but the marketing team are yet to use the web publishing platform.
What was great was that by the time they returned to their offices in Preston they had received some comments in response to their blog posts!
Alongside the practical element of researching a topic, putting the copy together and promoting it online using Twitter, the team from iknow-uk also received some excellent insights from the web panel.
Here’s an example of the Twitter dialogue that went on during the course:
Q from Learning Social Media By Doing Course: What tool would you recommend for automatically posting blog post titles to Twitter? #bydoing
@realfreshtv not sure I like auto posting to twitter. It feels like it should be a people place. Botts desimate community.
Her follow up suggestion was stellar advice:
@realfreshtv maybe encourage subscription by email or reader to RSS feed. Post on Twitter Yes. But twitter’s power is conversation.
Really interesting Twitter need just came up. Wondering how to deal with missed tweets. What do you think? http://twurl.nl/5ijpjd #bydoing
@realfreshtv Account RSS feeds, RSS feeds for search phrases and backtweets.com
This was very helpful indeed and provided a neat opportunity to discuss using Google Reader to manage feedback from social media platforms:
@craigmcginty Excellent points, Craig. Just discussed & shown @iknow-uk how to use GoogleReader to subscribe to TwitterSearch RSS. #bydoing
I’ve reproduced his comment below, it was that good!
In short, don’t!
This is really just one of those things… If a user follows a reasonably large number of people then stuff posted on the general timeline will get bumped from recipients lists by the volume of upstream tweets. Particularly if the user in question only logs in at certain times of day or like me tries to limit twittering into specific times during the day.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing to lose tweets though… People only have so much attention to give and aside from checking @replies and DMs they aren’t going to want to read everything. In fact this ephemeralness is one of the great things about twitter which marks it out from “old” methods like email. There is no “You have 4324 unread tweets this morning.”
Practical solutions for marketeers:
Spread things out: Tweet at various different times of day (or night) – preferably different things.
Embed a twitter search for your @name prominently on your website
And if you post lots of links, you could potentially do something clever with a custom URL-shortener, like a retractable iframe displayed over the target page with your branding and tweetstream in it…. Now there’s an idea!
I particularly like his notes on using custom URL shorteners to brand linked tweets. That could develop into a Twitter PR business model!
All in all, an incredibly insightful morning.
As it happens, iknow-uk requested a follow up to the follow up course and so I’m now looking into developing a more advanced course focussed on social media measurement and audience analytics. I will post details on this as soon as it is ready.
That’s it really.
If you would like to attend the next Learning Social Media By Doing course, please contact me.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the Learning Social Media By Doing course is designed as a follow up to the Social Media Starter Course. As a consequence, attendees on that course have priority.
I have arranged courses for organisations who wish to book a tailor-made session for their employees so if that would suit you get in touch.
- Using Twitter for Discussion and Feedback during the Social Media Starter Course
- Practical Marketing Training: The Learning Social Media By Doing Course
- The Learning Social Media by Doing Course Overview
- Book on the next Social Media Starter Course and get 50% off the Learning Social Media by Doing Course
- Real Fresh TV’s Monthly Social Media Events Guide – September