Graduate Research Services at The University of Otago is hosting their second annual Twitter conference on the 23rd of August. Last year's event was a great success and a lot of fun for all those that participated.

This year, Know Social Media are proud to announce that we are sponsoring the event! This involves producing an online transcript of entries (read last year's transcript to get an idea of what happens) and providing an excellent prize to the winner.

The competition is open to all University of Otago post-graduate thesis students in which each, gets to summarise their thesis in six tweets. To minimise confusion, submissions will be scheduled so make sure to register soon.

The cool thing is that students can submit their tweets from anywhere (home, cafe, other-side of the world, ...). Even better, the whole world can read and participate.

Twitter might seem a strange target for Academic research. It turns out that distilling a thesis (even for those near completion) into six, 140 character statements is a very difficult task. This is compounded further by writing for a general readership with no prior knowledge. Consequently, Twitter is an excellent forum to communicate difficult and abstract concepts.

Furthermore, Universities ought to be seen participating in the wider community by disseminating the research currently underway. So, what's better than a public, online forum like Twitter?

This event is informal and fun so if you are a University of Otago thesis student, register for the conference and sign up for Twitter.

Facebook have just announced roles for Facebook Page admins. This means that owners of Facebook Pages can control what actions different kinds of administrators are allowed to do. 

For example, a Page manager might have full control while a Moderator may only be permitted to respond to questions and comments. This allows for better management of your Facebook Page and provides more opportunities for staff and external businesses (e.g., to measure analytics) to access specific features of your Page but only those relevant to their jobs.

There are five distinct roles: ManagerContent CreatorModeratorAdvertiser, and Insights Analyst. I include a table (sourced from Facebook) that illustrates what kinds of actions these different roles can perform. 

Manager Content
Moderator Advertiser Insights
Manage Admin Roles
Edit the Page and Add Apps
Create Posts as the Page
Respond to and Delete Comments
Send Messages as the Page
Create Ads
View Insights

Clearly, the Manager role has the most permissions (which matches responsibility level) while the Insights Analyst has the least. In fact, this latter role is increasingly likely be performed by an external business monitoring Page performance. 

By assigning the appropriate role to your admins, you are guaranteeing increased security around how your Page will be used.

I recommend taking a look at this Facebook help information then review how your Facebook Page is currently being managed. If you have any queries, please feel free to get in touch
My good friends at Turboweb (they make website management simple for business) have teamed up with Know Social Media to provide a 6 week intensive workshop on social media. It is called "Launchpad" and I am really excited to be a part of this worthy project.

The Launchpad has been in planning mode for quite a while and I am delighted that it is now ready to go. The aim is to take businesses, regardless of their social media experience, and prepare them for social media readiness.

What does this mean?

In a nutshell, it means that businesses will leave with a solid social media infrastructure in place, a solid understanding of social media's strengths and weaknesses, a clear plan of where to go, and how to manage related resources - including employee participation.

It sounds comprehensive - thats because it is! Social media is a much wider proposition than simply marketing as it has an impact on many facets of a business' operation; internal (e.g., employee guidelines), technological (e.g., Facebook or Twitter?) and external (e.g., engaging with customers) are three such areas.

Social media is also way of doing things

With this mind, the Launchpad sessions are designed to be interactive, informative and fun. A lot like social media itself. There are clear outcomes for each session and participants will take tasks away to work on, think about, share, etc. in time for the following session.

Paul Southworth (Managing Director of Turboweb) convinced me to shoot a quick video to chat about the Launchpad. The aim was to quickly explore our thinking in the hope that the value inherent in the course becomes clear. Watch the results (below). 
To find out more about the Launchpad, take a look at the official website. Here you can find background details, pricing and registration information. 

I hope to see you at the first session on Tuesday May 29th at the Turboplex. It starts at 5:30, finishes around 7:00pm and will most certainly be a blast!
Declaration: This is a short post to highlight the existence of retainer options provided by Know Social Media. 

Retainer agreements are often overlooked but very useful documents. They provide real support and reassurance to businesses embarking on their social media programmes and benefit freelance businesses (like this) as they provide some certainty around incoming funds each month.

Agreements typically require an up-front payment each month to reserve time for the client. The amount paid is generally a discounted hourly rate, set at a fixed price and invoiced monthly. A range of tasks is specified, e.g., trouble-shooting, community management, advice, research, etc., and conditions such as scope (i.e., what is not included), unused hours, overtime, termination, and so on are all detailed. 

The document is completed with identifying client and provider information and their respective signatures. In the latter case, once the document is mutually agreeable.

Know Social Media has a range of options to choose from. Each with an hourly limit, variation in the types of services provided and governed by the same overarching conditions. Like everything done at Know Social Media, the options are client friendly - fair, written simply, tailored to specific client requirements.

I really like retainers because it means clients are happy and reassured and I really enjoy keeping an ongoing, active relationship with clients. Moreover, it is important because social media programmes are long-term, require consistent effort and ought to be continuously reviewed.

If you or your organisation are interested in retaining Know Social Media's services, please get in touch to find out more.
Tomorrow Facebook will roll over all existing Facebook Pages to the new Timeline design. They have not given much time to adapt to this layout, making things difficult for new users and those organisations managing multiple Pages.

However, there is still a little leeway to optimise your Page or Pages before tomorrow. To help, here are a collection of links to various articles to guide you through the process. I have also included an excellent annotated image from Mari Smith which provides a visual guide to the changes:
The first two links are sufficient to be ready for tomorrow. For those feeling nervous or confused, please feel free to get in touch.
This is a temporary post so that Technorati can verify this blog. Not entirely sure there is much point these days.

Every organisation, regardless of size, needs to have internal guidelines or policy that makes it clear how employees ought to use social media. Guidelines are important for outlining the expected behaviour an organisation expects from its staff (this includes everyone). 

This is especially important for those staff that explicitly represent the organisation on the internet. If the organisation happens to handle sensitive information then knowing what staff can and can't say is even more important. This problem is compounded for organisations such as government departments, hospitals, and local councils who are bound by legislation that prohibits the release of key internal information, documents, decisions, etc. 

Because people increasingly use social media in their everyday lives, this means there is a risk that privileged information might get inadvertently leaked; in addition to the usual undesirable behaviours such as bitching about the boss, harassing other employees, etc. Consequently, providing some clarity around what is expected from staff - as social citizens as well as employees - is now a necessity.

Fortunately, guidelines do not have to be onerous or draconian to be effective. They need to be expressed in a way that staff will acknowledge their existence and likely act on them. 

For example, try using language that is positive and active rather than negative and prohibitive (see the University of Otago internet usage policy as an example of the latter).  Moreover, if staff are involved in the creation of these guidelines then the likelihood of staff buy-in is improved.
The Victorian Department of Justice in Australia have put together a comprehensive and pretty robust policy. It is clear they have put thought and resource into producing these guidelines - as evidenced by the video below. 

The intention of the policy is to "establish a culture of openness, trust and integrity in activities around Web 2.0". This is of course laudable and even though this policy is very long and has some bureaucratic language still, it is on the whole a very good piece of work.

Take a look at the video below (ignore the claim that email is social media as that is plainly erroneous) and if you feel compelled, skim through the Department of Justice policy. You might just find a framework that works for your organisation.
Facebook provides analytics for its Pages called "insights". These are important to Page owners monitoring their Page performance in terms of engagement and growth. 

Recently, it was identified that the data used to produce these reports is not current. In fact, the data can be up to four days old. This is less than ideal for admins that want to work with the most recent (and hopefully accurate) data so that Pages can be tuned to increase the size of their communities and encourage more engagement.

If you are a Page admin, Facebook currently displays a message acknowledging this delay and their attempts to improve the currency of the insights data:

"During the past few weeks you may have noticed delays to your insights data. We're sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused and want you to know that we're working to resolve these issues and make sure they don't happen in the future."

Stay tuned for progress on this issue. In the meantime, examine the insights for your Pages (if you haven't already done so).
Source: Appnova

I am working with an out of town client who needs an intern to help roll out the strategy I am preparing. This person should know how to administer common social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube as well as experience and/or sound knowledge of community management.

Great communications skills are a must as are reliability, professionalism, access to the internet, business understanding, creativity and of course time. If you know about video and mountaineering then even better!

A student who has successfully completed COMP 113 with me in the past couple of years (or is a current student) is preferable. However, if the right person cannot be found from this group then the position will be opened up.

The client is out of town but the work can be undertaken in Dunedin. In terms of payment options, this needs to be confirmed as do start and end dates.

If you think this opportunity sounds interesting and right, tweet me or send an email stating your case.
This is a quick post to wish everyone a happy, interesting, and social 2012. Know Social Media is open for business and January is looking very, very busy. 

A number of clients want to get to work straight away - which is great! In addition, I am working part-time for the University teaching a summer school paper. The cool thing is that the paper "COMP 113" is all about social media (what it is, why it's important, how to use it, ...) and online community (who is in your community, how to keep them happy, community management, ...). 

It means I get to talk about things I care about and work with everyday. Students get to build their own online community and have fun doing it. The added bonus, is that explaining concepts is the best way to learn what they really mean. Moreover, talking with smart and engaged Summer School students means I learn even more.

I have many ambitions for 2012 (including blogging a lot more frequently) and feel positive and excited about Know Social Media's future. And while I am busy, I am always willing to explore opportunities so please feel free to get in touch.

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