Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

Not feeling the social media love? When to change course (or even abandon ship)

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Unplugging an electrical cordRob was at the Inbound conference last week in Boston, joining thousands of communications professionals sharing experiences and ideas on using content to engage audiences.

When do you pull the plug on a social media channel?

That’s the question that faced Copyblogger, a service that’s all about communicating through social media. Yet they decided to leave Facebook — the single biggest gorilla in the social menagerie.

Graph in front of Facebook logoIt was actually a simple decision. Copyblogger was getting likes and shares, but very little engagement. Or, as their Chief Content Officer Sonia Simone told a packed room for her session The Intersection of Content and Social Media, “We didn’t love Facebook.” And great content, she added, is about love.

Copyblogger wanted a thriving community on Facebook, not just a presence. And if they were only participating reluctantly, that lack of enthusiasm would probably be picked up by their followers, and damage engagement.

They turned comments off on their blog for similar reasons.

English: Comment iconMany of the comments were low-value “Good post!”-style responses… along with a ton of the usual spam. And while they were also getting longer, more engaged comments, Copyblogger decided that — consistent with the company’s mission of promoting great written content — those conversations would be more powerful happening on the commenters’ own blogs.

Both decisions allowed them to focus their resources where they’d have the most impact, and engender the most productive engagement. Because the often-overlooked truth is that even “free” platforms like Facebook and Twitter have a cost to them: the time and attention they require you to spend to keep them fed with content, take part in conversations and uproot whatever weeds poke their heads out.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you should ditch Facebook; you almost certainly shouldn’t.

But it’s worthwhile to give every platform a hard look now and then, and ask yourself: What do we intend to accomplish here? How are we measuring it? And how are we doing? And based on the answers, lay in a few course adjustments.

Those probably won’t be as drastic as shutting off blog comments or bailing on Facebook. But they can help ensure you’re making progress instead of spinning your wheels.

Your members can help you make the most of your next social media communications opportunity

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Twitter photo from #ImInWorkJeremy campaign

We’re strong believers in the power of members as messengers, especially in the socially networked era. And the latest proof of that power comes from a spontaneous campaign among doctors working in the UK’s National Health Service.

Last week, UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt threatened to impose mandatory weekend working on hospital doctors in England. He claimed people were dying because of a “Monday to Friday culture” in the NHS.

He’s far from the first right-wing politician to insinuate that people working in the public sector are lazy. It’s an article of conservative faith that public-sector workers don’t make that extra effort the sainted private sector would demand.

Yet in conservative-led jurisdictions, public-sector employees are working harder than ever, trying to bridge the gaps created by cutbacks from, yes, conservative politicians. They’re far more committed to the people they’re serving than their right-wing employers are.

For communicators, the challenge is to make that point without playing into the right-wing narrative by sounding entitled or whiny.

NHS doctors rose to that challenge with a spontaneous campaign dubbed “I’m In Work Jeremy,” started by a trainee doctor. Within just a few days, thousands of them had posted selfies: photos of themselves and colleagues on the job, on the weekend, tagged with #ImInWorkJeremy. As of today, the hashtag has appeared more than 125,000 times.

And the impact went well beyond social media. Mainstream news outlets picked up on it, starting with a news website for GPs and eventually drawing coverage from The Guardian, the BBC and more.

What did #ImInWorkJeremy do right, and what can you learn from it for your next campaign? Here are seven lessons: (more…)

14 ways union communicators can succeed in 2014

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Next year promises to be an eventful one for progressive communicators, and we’d really like to see you knock it out of the park. So I asked around NOW’s offices: what are the ways (large and small) unions (small and large) could dramatically improve their communications impact?

Here are just some of the suggestions I got back. (Big thanks to Kristen, Joanne and Marie!) And whether you’re a professional leading a major public campaign, a volunteer helping your local get the word out, or somewhere in between, we suspect you’ll find something useful in this bulging holiday stocking of advice. (more…)

When tragedy strikes, take stock – and hit the social media pause button

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Photo of a thumb pressing the pause button on a remoteWhen the news broke of last Friday’s attack on a Newtown, Connecticut school, many people turned to social networks: some looking for news, others for comfort, and still others a forum to express themselves.

But amidst the flood of messages of concern, sympathy and anguish on Twitter, you could also see businesses blithely tweeting about deep discounts and holiday sales, and organizations asking their followers to retweet cute photos of cats. And they reaped a whirlwind of online anger over their callousness and insensitivity.

In most cases, though, callousness wasn’t the problem. Automation was. (more…)

Keeping conversations… well, conversational

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Canvasser with an iPadYou might think it should be obvious: when you’re using a conversational medium, stay conversational. But shiny new tactics can derail even the best campaign strategists… including those on Barack Obama’s successful re-election campaign.

In a must-read post on Slate, John Dickerson reports on his interview with Obama campaign manager Jim Messina in the afterglow of the President’s November 6th victory. One topic that came up: iPads on the doorstep.

(more…)

Campaigns & Elections Canada issue two!

Friday, June 25th, 2010

The latest issue of Campaigns and Elections Canada hit the virtual stands yesterday. It focuses on social media tools in campaigning and features an article on online video by our own Marie Della Mattia. The whole issue is free to view here.

What are cuts to public services costing YOU?

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

What are cuts to public services costing YOU? Add your story to others on the facebook page. BC public sector workers show how cuts = lasting damage #unioncmns