Friday, November 20, 2009

Are you using the right SM station to broadcast your message?

The past few months there has been debates about linking Twitter with Facebook. With the introduction of Twitter to LinkedIn updates, I'm sure the debate will continue. Here's something to keep in mind:

Social Media is like television stations.

Think about that for a moment or two. When you're watching TV there are certain channels that appeal to different demographics, but there is some overlap.

Let's take the news for example. Fox, CBS, NBC, CNN all can have a different take on a story, people will tune into the station they feel best suits them. Or they will change stations to get a different perspective on the story.

The same is true with Social Media. While there is overlap from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn people use each for a different purposes and perspectives. The university might have similar audiences across channels, but they tune into each for different reasons.

While you can send out the same core message on each platform about an event or announcement change the messaging to fit the audience.

There is a reason we have so many news stations and there is a reason we have so many Social Media sites. Utilize them to their fullest.

Where are the two missing sides of the HighEdWeb Keynote situation?

Last week, over a month after the event, The Chronicle came out with an article about the David Galper Keynote from the HighEdWeb Conference in Milwaukee. After about forty comments, The Chronicle posted a follow-up article. Comments on both articles represented two sides of the situation, those who attended the conference and those who didn't.

Those who did not attend the keynote took the stance the Twitter Back Channel virtually "lynched" Galper, and the Tweeters like "hyenas" wanting blood. For the attendees, they reasoned what happened and attempted to give their side of the situation. But there are two perspectives of this story that have yet to be shown, the perspective of the HighEdWeb Association and the perspective of Galper himself.

The past five or so days, I have tried to contact Galper through everything short of calling him. I'm not one to just cold call someone, especially in this situation where I was in attendance at this particular keynote. I reached out to him via LinkedIn,

Hi David, I attended a conference you spoke at this year and would like to speak with you further about it. Please add me to your network.
I have yet to hear back from him. I disclosed the fact that I was in attendance at a presentation he gave because I did not want him to feel as if this was a bait and switch or that I was trying to harass him.

After doing some more searching, I went to the HighEdWeb site to see if his presentation was available there because he put all of his contact information on his last slide. It was not. I was informed by a HighEdWeb representative that the keynote presentations are the intellectual property of the presenter and they were not asked to let the association put it online.

Okay so what to do next? I asked for his email. No one on Twitter seemed to have it. So I asked HighEdWeb and was informed they would not give it out because they were trying to do what's right from the association perspective.

I have yet to ask anyone one from the HighEdWeb Committee for their opinion on this. After a few direct messages on Twitter with a couple, I'm not sure they would really have much to say on it, in the interest of the association.

Update: I missed this post. It does give some insight to the HighEdWeb perspective.

So will we ever see these two missing perspectives? I would enjoying hearing what they have to say. I think it would make this conversation come full circle.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Get Your Audience to Make the Decisions You Want

Another conference come and gone. SIM Tech 09 was just as good as HighEdWeb. Great people doing great things with not so great amount of money. There was so much information going back and forth that it was hard at times to absorb it all.

But, during presentations something small would be said and it would trigger a line of thoughts and tweets that would get attendees to collaborate on an issue. Or something would be said that would trigger and "ah ha" moment. Many times these "ah ha" moments were just clarifying and reinforcing what we already knew.

One of the biggest take aways was:

Create great usable content that will drive your audiences to the predetermined goals you wish them to get to through the tools that target them.
What does this mean?

Content, Content, Content. Create content that is engaging and of use to the audience. Draw them in and make the call to action. After you draw your audience in, give them the option for the outcome you have decided you want them make. But don't broadcast your message everywhere.

Do your research and find out where your audience is.

There are reasons why certain television shows are aired on certain stations. While there is some over lap in audience, different demographics go to different places. If you think about Websites, Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. as different television stations you'll start to see the that each is geared towards different audiences.

Make them make the choice you want them to. Don't send someone to buy milk in the chip aisle.

No matter what tool we use, we want our audience to do something. Unfortunately, there are so many options for them to take they miss the one thing we want them to do. If you send someone to a landing page to request information, don't give them 20+ options to navigate from the page. If you want someone to apply, don't bury the info 3+ links into your website.

So what can you do?

Re-evaluate your tools. Are you broadcasting on the right channels? Make sure your audience is making the choices which align with the goals you have set forth for them