Recently I was invited to give a webinar presentation to the National Association of Extension Program & Staff Development Professionals about social media strategies for Extension professionals. I've provided my slides and notes for the content I will cover:
Just another thing to do
People that think this way are lost. I’ve wasted too much time explaining the value of social to people who are not, and will never be: practitioners.
Try what you have learned today. Probably only 1 or 2 people will actually do what I talk about today.
The skill sets it takes to be a successful Extension professional are a different skill set than you needed ten years ago, even though that was the skill set that mattered for decades.
Extension is failing at social media
F.A.I.L = First Attempt In Learning
Leadership STILL does not recognize the value and importance of social. I’ve heard, “That’s good for you, but not me since I am an administrator and I don’t have time for that.” What about Tim Cook, Eric Schmidt, Elon Musk?
Extension is grossly underestimating how communication has shifted
Extension does not communicate in the year we live
Why? Because social media is new and there is no standard way of measuring it yet. There are very limited “Best Practices” yet.
We don’t have to use social media and we can get away with saying, “I just don’t have tech skills.”
Social media is…
A slang term for the current state of the Internet…right now. It’s just a term of relevancy. It’s really a term for communication portals. It used to be called Web 2.0 – Facebook was previously referred to as a Web 2.0 site back in the day.
Social media has been going through a legitimacy curve the past several years. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Pinterest will become the establishment.
If you want to communicate something, you’re going to need to communicate it through these portals. This is where the eyes and ears are. The world has changed, the culture has shifted—we must communicate in the portals where people are living.
Social media is the plumbing for word of mouth.
It’s not about impressions and numbers. It’s not about width, it’s about depth.
Follow the attention. Understanding what to say is critical, but if you don’t know where to say it, then it doesn’t matter.
Attention is the asset. Before we can engage and impact we need attention. We need to learn how to communicate in the modern world and create a gateway drug version for our long form content (fact sheets, publications, videos).
For those who will execute on the things I share today, your first question might be “Where do I start with social media?”
Start by answering the following:
Tell the truth, because:
Do you need help figuring out you Why?
Read "Start With Why" by Simon Sinek (at least watch the TED Talk and take notes).
"Start With Why" - This is the foundation for your communication in social media
“People don’t buy What you do, they buy Why you do it.” - Simon Sinek
What do you want to accomplish through social media?
Always remember to ask why three times.
What does success look like? If you were celebrating the success of your social media efforts one year from now, what would that success look like?
Achieve your 'What'
Who are the people you need to connect with?
Your target market is the tip of the spear; it’s not the entire market.
The tip of the spear will help you win the battle that will win you the war.
If your goal is to reach everyone; you’ll reach no one
Audit your programs to determine your target market.
Identify a demographic - age, gender, income, interests, location.
Shift the allocation of your time and resources to focus your marketing efforts specifically on this demographic.
You can directly target these people with your content through Facebook dark posts.
There is a simple approach few people understand.
It’s how things work in real-life but few people realize that it works on social media too.
Book:Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
Give, Give, Give, Ask
Build relationships (jab/give) before you start selling (right hook/ask). It’s about earning attention before asking (kids and chores).
Most people on social media only ASK, and then they quickly give up because they get ignored.
When was the last time you spent time with a telemarketer? How did it go? You can’t interrupt people anymore.
Social media is just a communication tool. Be the same person on social that you are in real-life but GIVE first.
Comment, Share, RT, Re-Pin, Heart, Like - be ACTIVE.
Find, reach out and GIVE to the community and the ‘Influencers’ of the community – these are the people with large followings, people care about them. Analyze their strategy; ask “How do they add value?” They are successful not because they were an early adopter, but because they CARE first. They GIVE to their community.
GIVE to the community and they will lift you up.
“Your story needs to move people’s spirits and build their goodwill, so that when you finally do ask them to buy from you, they feel like you’ve given them so much it would be almost rude to refuse.” - Gary Vaynerchuk
Attention => Conversion => Impact
Use social media to drive attention (traffic) to where you are seeking CONVERSION (What are you measuring? What gets measured gets done).
We are in the IMPACT business, but we can’t make an impact without first attracting ATTENTION.
You do not have to use ALL social media platforms.
What demographic are you targeting?
Be willing to pay for attention i.e. Facebook dark posts
2015 Strategy for #CoopExt
A strategy I think every Extension Professional should spend time doing throughout their day.
Listen & Share (Give)
Share the research of your land-grant university. Explain and interpret what it means to your target audience in long-form content and chop it up into micro-content. Use hashtags so people who are searching will find it.
Learn & Curate (Give)
Create a personal learning network
Follow people you can learn from – subscribe to their blog RSS feed, email list, like on Facebook, create a Twitter List
Promote people that add value. Share the content of influencers with your network.
Your job is to add value to your network by sharing connections and content
Search by specific keywords and hashtags
Curate the information that adds value
Remember, we are knowledge workers:
Tell stories (Give)
Share the stories behind the impacts
Express your WHY when sharing your work experiences
Share directly with stakeholders: Policymakers, Colleagues, Admin, Funders, Influencers - Get connected to these people. They need to know what you are doing. Share your impact stories directly with them.
Lead & Engage (Give)
Find communities that exist in your areas of expertise and serve them
Participate in Tweet-Ups
Host your own Tweet-Ups (Twubs, Nurph, Tweetchat), G+ Hangouts On Air, Periscope, Meerkat.
Bring people together – introduce people, share contacts
Share specific content with specific communities
What do you want people to do?
It’s important to track your progress and assess a variety of metrics over time so you can learn what works and what doesn’t
Extension professionals are getting together to learn social media
Join the eXtension Educational Technology Learning Network
Bimonthly tweet-ups, use
Follow hashtag #EdTechLN on Twitter
Paul Hill, Ph.D.
I design, plan, and evaluate economic development programs for Utah State University.
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