Presentation on trends in Social Media for Education

Here’s a video of a presentation I delivered in Barrie, Ontario, Canada to local guidance councilors.

This presentation is 30 minutes and has a focus on trends in Social Media with a focus on Education. Warning, the visuals will be boring, so be ready for that. Note, at about minute 9, I mention LinkedIn’s revenue for 2013, this number should be projecting for $1.4B rather than what is stated.

How a simple #hashtag brings together a community

Not everyone knows how to properly use a #hashtag, and even less people know how to use a hashtag to accomplish a goal. I was very proud to take part in the #SudburyMob yesterday, an opportunity for anyone to tweet about why they love the community they live in.

This initiative was wildly successful yesterday with 167 total tweets, reaching nearly 40,000 people and 85,000 timeline posts. This doesn’t even take into account all of the additional views gained by people viewing the hashtag.

In advance of the tweet mob, the word was spread privately and quickly (only 2 days in advance) through LinkedIn. The return on the effort for this one is a no brainer, do it. Not only does it bring up community pride, but it certainly helps tourism and citizen engagement. Here’s a beautiful tagboard of all of the photos and tweets from the #SudburyMob Tagboard.

SudburyMob Stats

SudburyMob Stats

Even though our goal may have been to trend nationally, we absolutely had a positive impact in the social sphere. I’d encourage anyone to do this for your community, the return on your time is amazing and it’s really a testament to your city or community.

Congrats to you, Sudbury! 

Brand Touch Points

Early today, I gave a presentation about using social media throughout the sales process. Our sales process, in Education, is a long one; over the course of 8-10 months, our sales people visit prospects face to face and introduce our brand to them. As this process moves forward, I was considering that there are very few brand touch points. Going over the course of the 8-10 months, I’ve found only 10-15 times where the prospect interacts with either our brand or our sales people.

As we move forward, we’re aiming to use social media to close those gaps in communication and hopefully increase those touch points to a point where prospects engage with us twice as often. The key here is using the sales person who visited that prospect to develop a personal connection immediately. While this seems obvious, maintaining that connection through the process is very important, as our competitors are trying to establish the same thing – a connection.

While this connection becomes personal, it also becomes more efficient. Throughout the process, the prospects have many questions, and they struggle along the way to find the answers to their questions. They end up sending an email with many questions or large questions that take our staff hours to answer, this can all be avoided by increasing the amount of touch points and predictive info pushing over our social channels – answer their questions before they have them.

Of course, all of these things are the basics and seem obvious, but the execution is where the plan goes from idea to success. It’s our job as a resource team in marketing to fuel and follow up on the execution, and to incentivize the sales peoples’s behaviour. It’s our job to make sure we get results.

As you head into your next planning session, plan to execute and more importantly, execute the plan.

Becoming a Social Media Guru in 60 minutes

This presentation, slightly modified from another deck I use, was delivered to 4th year Marketing students at Laurentian University in Sudbury. Here’s an overview of the presentation:

  • Trends
    • What are social marketers doing today?
    • Which channels are they using, or considering?
  • Metrics
    • How can you measure your success?
    • How can you measure your success AND explain it to your CEO?
  • Best Practices
    • What is everyone wishing they were doing

Defining Your Success on Twitter: Ornithology 2.0

Defining your success on twitter from Jean-Paul Rains was a presentation delivered to the #PSEWEB conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 
With nearly all PSE institutions on Twitter, we’ve established that it is important to have a presence. That presence has differing levels of dedicated resources, different goals and varying measures of success. Like Ornithology, this presentation will cover the study of behaviours, effectiveness, and measurements of PSE Twitter presences.

Defining your success on Twitter can be difficult, even more difficult when trying to explain it to someone who is Twilliterate. If being on Twitter is merely a way for your organization to check a box, that’s fine. But, if you are interested in taking that check box and turning it into an easily attained performance measure, this presentation is for you.

Like any dedicated birdwatcher, we took a look at some of the more successful Canadian PSE Twitter accounts and aimed to find commonalities in their behaviours and how that translated to their successes.

Finally, after searching for ways to define success from # of followers, % breakdowns of interactions to 3rd party measurements, we take a look at the different ways (free!) for you to measure your success.

Look past your number of followers and turn that check box into a CEO friendly success story.

Smoke Signals and Messaging.

Most recently I sat in the vast ocean of audience that was listening to a keynote from @JesseHirsh CBC’s national correspondant in technology, thinking to myself what Social Media consists of for the audience.

Jesse mentioned that “Social Media” really began with smoke signals, this dates back to ancient china when soldiers would send smoke signals to alert their countrymen over 750 kilometers away. This was really significant to me. Every time I face clients who are apprehensive about “social media” I’m of the view that this fear is really fear of the unknown. However, this media is already “known” to them, it’s merely an extension of their current communication strategy. The tools have changed but the game is the same.

If you believe in Marshal Mcluhan’s “the medium is the message” then the message may be different, however the goal is the same. The real change is in the tools, much as the evolution from radio, to television to internet, all of these mediums have relied on similar content. The most important thing we can teach is the tools.

Our mission should be to build the confidence in clients that they already have message, and that we can transform that message to fit the new mediums.

Social Media isn’t about followers, or fans, or click-through rates, it’s about building relationships with your network. Once that network is built on trust and value, then you can start looking at the numbers.

Those numbers are the measure of success but can only exist if you understand the reason behind the smoke signals.