You meet a lot of people these days claiming to have knowledge in social media because they use it personally, but photos of your potential employee’s lunch or their outfit probably won’t gel with your clients and customers like it would with his or her friends. How do you make sure the social media person you could be hiring can tweet with the best of them? Should they be certified for social media? Here’s a few ways to gauge their knowledge level:
There are a lot of great programs offered at colleges and universities these days which include social media in the curriculum, and even some whole programs dedicated exclusively to social media. Consider checking the program out online, or speaking to the coordinator of the program to gauge how much social media knowledge they impart in the program. And it doesn’t have to be a social media program. Public Relations, Advertising, Journalism, and even Broadcasting programs typically include social media in the mix.
If you have the knowledge yourself, or you know someone who does (preferably in a professional setting or even your own office if possible), ask your potential hire to draft some posts and tweets and see how they do!
PD Events, Books and Webinars
There are lots of great networking and learning opportunities going on every day for social media users and enthusiasts – find out how much time your prospective employee spends on developing their skills!
Hootsuite University is not a terribly difficult certification to earn, and most of the features they cover are either self explanatory or only come in handy in rare circumstances. At best, it demonstrates a familiarity with Hootsuite and a desire to learn more about social media. Visit learn.hootsuite.com for more info.
Radian6/Marketing Cloud Training
I’ve always been a fan of the robust training offered by Salesforce, but I admit I haven’t fully checked out their Radian6 training options (details here). My suggestion would be to ask if they have familiarity with enterprise level social media tools, such as Radian6 or Hootsuite, especially if you are using them or intend on bringing them in. Even if you don’t, it is worth asking as it may drive your potential hire crazy to be driven back to the stone ages if they were to lose access to these tools!
The difficulty I find in recommending books on social media is that many are out of date by the time they hit print. I know that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I guess to dive a bit deeper on that I would say the problem is that some social media books are too insistent on being about social media and not just about communications theory and practice in general. The only books which should be exclusively about social media should be case studies and how-to’s.
Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point presents interesting ideas on what is basically virality, before the phrase was coined, so I recommend that. This 2010 paper from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, titled “Social Transmission, Emotion, and the Virality of Online Content”, is another I recommend as a good starting point.
What do you think? Are there good social media books? What other resources do you use to learn about social media? Leave me a comment!
David Hall called the second screen the trend to watch for 2012. Since then, there has been a lot of talk over how organizations can use ‘the second screen’ – your smart phone, your tablet, or your laptop – to enhance your enjoyment of an event, and I get the feeling there are still many organizations wondering how exactly they go about doing it. Recently, I participated in Huffington Post Canada’s #TrudeauWalkInTheme ‘poll’ of sorts ahead of the Liberal convention, as just one example of how second screen content can be created even if group organizing the event had their own stream going. Campaigns can be limited to an established Twitter hashtags, or they can be more robust with guidelines set in place ahead of time and participation of key event participants. Ultimately, it can be used to shine a spotlight on what you’re doing…but someone else could also use it to capture your audience by beating you on content.
Obviously having your audience hijacked by a rival feed is a missed opportunity for your organization, so you need the tips and tricks to maximize the effectiveness of your content. So, how can you use the second screen to enhance the experience of your audience?
Use a post scheduler to ensure a steady flow of content through the event. Make sure you include a ‘starter’ message to let people know about the ground rules, like which hashtag to use. Also schedule a thank you message. Try to remember to include content for people not able to attend as well, such as a link to a live video stream or to more info about the event. However, you don’t want to solely rely on scheduled content…
If it is all scheduled posts, you can’t adapt to things on the go and it may seem like you aren’t actually at the event! Make it a point to work photos and other live content from the show floor into your social media stream.
Bake it in
Your second screen effort has to be a part of the event, not just a neat extra. Using Twitter walls, having your emcees contribute, and even just ensuring there is signage at your event and mentions in your reach out ahead of the event (invitations, reminders, etc.) is a must.
Respect the event
There is nothing worse than trying to speak before a crowd of heads looking into laps. Make sure you are reinforcing the importance of tuning in to the event and participating beyond just tweeting. Save your best content for the ‘commercial breaks’ and you may even want to encourage people to put away the phone for a bit – in a positive way – before key moments. I know some sports teams in particular are leery about tweeting too much during games so fans don’t miss the best moments and forget to cheer! And obviously movie and TV content has to be mindful of keeping the audience engaged so they don’t miss plot points, while also respecting their advertisers. So be mindful of what you are asking your audience to look at instead!
Offer something new
If I am at the event and I’m turning to social media, it is because I expect to get more content that way. That means it is your job to get the behind- the-scenes photos, to encourage the speakers to participate in the live tweeting, to give me facts I am not getting elsewhere, and otherwise prove to me that my decision to pop open my phone was a good one (no pressure!).
Be first, be foremost
To go back to my Huffington Post example from the beginning of the article, if you don’t create a second stream of content for your event someone else will. And even if you do, someone else might do it better. The important thing is to try, and use any advantages you have to promote your stream to your advantage. This could include the previously mentioned invites and signage, though a Twitter wall, etc.
What great examples of second screen content have you seen? And how will you use the second screen to your advantage at your next event?
Talknowledgy Podcast #106: Donald Trump, Microsoft, Instagram, and Shoppers Drug Mart All Earn a #Fail
In our second segment, NBC allows you to buy stuff you see in television shows using a smart phone app – Creepy or awesome? We also take a look at the decidedly not awesome comments made by the CEO of Instagram this week.
In our third segment, Obama is so happy about his win he’s singing about it. It’s our “YouTube Hero of the Week!”
And finally, in seg four we dish out the pain with fails going to Donald Trump, Microsoft, and Shopper’s Drug Mart. Tune in and find out why!
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Tags: Barack Obama, Can't Touch This, David Hall, Donald Trump, Halo 4, hurricane sandy, Instagram, Microsoft, Mitt Romney, MSP, NBC, Obama, Opinion, Ottawa, Phil Gaudreau, Podcast, Radio, Shoppers Drug Mart, Smart phone, Social Media, Talknowledgy, Technology, Twitter, US Election, Viral Video, Xbox Live