Learning with Laurel

Today is Day One of a three day crash course in social media. Part of the learning process is the creation of a blog and published notes direct from the classroom to share with the Teach (Laurel Papworth), class buddies, and anyone else interested in picking up a few tips on this whole social media Thing.

There’s no escaping the Thing so read on and I hope you’ll learn as much as I have.

Laurel, also known as Silkcharm,is the CEO of Community Crew and has been teaching, speaking and managing communities all over the world. To read all about her stellar career, click HERE.

Social Media, especially for business purposes, is all about branding, understanding behaviour, and sharing (stories, links, images, and so forth).

Communities “unit on purpose and divide on values”. This is known as swarming behaviour; where people may come together to talk online about a common subject or issue, but they will be divided on their values. For example, people may join a forum or group to talk football but be divided by the team they support. This division, in the case of football, might be expressed by shared branding – team colours and badges for instance.

Not understanding this community behaviour could cause fissures where you don’t want them. To circumvent these, put the fissures into your forums/blogs. Have space for members to share their communal likes as a whole and as splinter groups. This way, a splinter group will be less likely to break off (taking valuable members with them) to form their own forum.

Next important Thing to understand is about sharing. Traditional marketing supplies information to the masses – en masse. This is called broadcasting your message. It’s the basis of print advertising, television, radio, any form of advertising where there is no two way engagement or conversation. It’s also known as “one to many” advertising.

Social marketers look for influencers and negotiate with them to share a message or social object (image, link, video) with their followers. This saves the marketer the need to build up their individual follower numbers before they start marketing.

A good networker will also be sharing on a daily basis. As Laurel put it, “I found something great. Let me tell you about it.” It’s not just about retweeting a link to a good article you’ve come across and definitely not about automated sharing of links to your own articles, but about retweeting or reposting a link to an article, story, image or video and then adding value to the sharing. You might make a comment about your reaction or opinion on the link (good or bad), it might be shared as part of a conversation or as a collection of links to a relative subject.

Laurel calls this: Find – Filter – Finesse – Forward.

Stay tuned. The next few posts will cover – Broadcast versus Social and the Path of Engagement: Shallow Online Presence to Deep Social Engagement. That last may take a few posts as it’s quite in depth.

On a sidenote (excuse the pun), this course is presented by Laurel and The Community Crew, and taught through the University of NSW campus on O’Connell Street, Sydney – just down from Martin Place and up from Circular Quay. I bought my early morning coffee starter from More Cafe, up the road. It was so good and just what I needed after a sleepless night and early morning. Looking forward to finding another great cafe tomorrow morning.


2 thoughts on “Learning with Laurel

  1. Pingback: Campaigns: Answers to Questions « Social Side Notes

  2. Pingback: Learning with Laurel: 10 tips for setting up a community forum « Social Side Notes

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