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Playing the social media game

Thinking about social media strategies at the PLACES Training Workshop on social media in Birmingham, UK
Thinking about social media strategies at the PLACES Training Workshop on social media in Birmingham, UK


Here on the second day of the PLACES Training Workshop on social media for science communication, we're playing a social media game. Podnosh ( created this fantastic conversation game to get us thinking about what our social media priorities are.

Rather than just ploughing forward without any strategy, social media works best with a carefully planned priority outline. We also need to consider what the costs are - in money and time. It's about spending money and time in the most targeted way to yield the most efficient results. Podnosh has kindly gathered alot of the helpful information from this Workshop into a blog - view it here:

Where do you want to direct your energy and time?

  • Hyperlocal blogs: encourage people to blog about their local realities and help them create content. Swap links.

  • Facebook: Create a Facebook group and "like" others who are interested in similar issues and topics. This helps you gather more followers.

  • Who can comment on your blog? Are you open or are you closed to comments from the general public? Are you ready to be "conversational and transparent"?

  • Twitter: the Twitter audience is usually more productive than Facebook discussions. It's easy to get simple, strong, succint messages out to a lot of people using Twitter. You can stimulate curiosity enough to get someone to click your links.

  • RSS Feeds are powerful! Use RSS feeds to monitor what people are saying online - this will give you a sense of trends and concerns. Then you can tailor your content to what actually interests people. Make YOUR content available via RSS feeds, as well. Use a Creative Commons license so that others can freely post what you've produced. Make it easy for others to find and monitor your content. Having trouble understanding RSS feeds? No problem! Watch this YouTube video and you'll be an expert in minutes:

  • Mentorship: Pinpoint people who know what their doing in the social media field and get them to spread their knowledge to others in your project or organization. Use human resources effectively!

  • Openness: Share your material and data openly on your website or blog. This kind of transparency helps build trust with your audience and gives them the chance to comment on how you do your work.

  • Use simple video and audio and embed them in your blog or website using YouTube. This is a more personal, entertaining and dynamic way to communicate! We've been experimenting with this here at the Workshop - check out some of the results here:

  • Build "link love" with other websites and blogs. The web is all about hyperlinks which creates a connections between organizations/projects, etc.

  • Think about having a blog rather than a website: Blogs are more informal and usually allow people to comment on what you say. Blogs are updated faster than websites and are more interactive. Your blog is like a the ultimate hub for all forms of social media. It's gathers all the strings together into one integrated bunch.