Teaching social media

28 October, 2008

In the last two weeks I attended two Social Media conference sessions at CPA Congress in Melbourne. The first was run by Micheal Axelsen and was called “Facebook, Myspace, YouTube & Flickr – managing and leaveraging the business impact of social networking sites”, the second was run by Keith De La Rue and was called “Effective organisational communication – blending traditional and Web2.0 techniques.”

Micheal’s session focused on managing the risks social media can pose to business and individual users when they are not paying attention. He provided a range of practical tips for keeping you and your brand safe online.  You can view the slide pack here.

Keith’s session was much broader, he looked at some ‘old skool’ communication techniques and strategies and contrasted them with their 2.0 equivalents. Interestingly I found myself writing loads of notes during the traditional tools section; it can often be very helpful to look back in order to look froward.

Both sessions in their own right were great but I looked around the room in both and saw a few blank faces, I don’t think this was the fault of either Micheal or Keith. I do reckon the conference producers could help by tweaking the program.  Micheal’s session was in the first week, Keith’s was that the end of the second, I don’t think there were any other delegates who attended both sessions. This meant that both Micheal and Keith had to spend time defining what many of the social media tools actually are. If your going to be organising training or a conference that will feature workshops on social media for newbies here is my proposed flow.

Workshop 1: What is Social Media and why should you care about it?

Spend this session focusing on why businesses should be interested in what Social Media can offer and provide an overview of the tools that they can utilise. (Keith covered a fair bit of this)

Workshop 2: Why are you going to get into Social Media?

Workshop to help participants identify the needs they are going to try to meet through social media

Workshop 3: How do you make it work?

This what Keith covered in his session this session would techniques for successful implementations, learning from ‘old skool’ projects and other social implementations.

Workshop 4: Being social and Safe

This is what Micheal covered, this is all about making sure that when you do engage with the interweb using social media, you don’t fall into some of hte traps many others have.

My point – tweak the program so that related sessions can flow from one to another and in the marketing, highlight the links between sessions.

…that said how many accountants are likely to go to four three hour sessions on social media?


4 Responses to “Teaching social media”

  1. I would also ask where you’re going to get that many presenters willing to present for 3 hours in a row (multiple times) :).

    He he – blank faces covers it pretty much. Ironically I would have loved to see Keith’s session and to have had Keith in mine 🙂 – the one pairing not likely to occur given our formats.

    Thanks: Micheal Axelsen

  2. Mick Leyden Says:

    True! Although even a link in the brochure between the sessions might have helped. When you have so much linked content it seems crazy not too do something so simple!

  3. I agree, there is a need to educate on Social Media.

    Not just what it is, but to undo the damage done by the New York Times and similar publications about the evils of Facebook, etc.

    Sessions like Michaels are critical for moving forward – I spoke at one in Sydney a few weeks back – however I can’t help flinching at the thought of people seeing the title, not attending the session, and gaining an even more negative view.

  4. Mick Leyden Says:

    G’day Stuart,

    I agree, users need to be warned of the potential perils of putting yourself or your brand out there but it would be nice if they heard the value the can extract out of it first!

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