I’m DK the founder of MediaSnackers, from Wales in the UK.
One of the big things with our clients at the moment is the barrier to entry with social media. A lot of it is attitudinal, institutional sometimes where the policies or strategies that are in place don’t actually encourage creativity and freedom. So a lot of our work is actually to enable people to understand what social media can do for them.
Whether that be making things cheaper, quicker or easier, the next step then is to enable them to use it in some pro-social or productive way.
We work cross sector, we don’t just work with educators, but thats really cool because we nick ideas from other sectors.
So we work with broadcasters, agencies in the commercial sector, and I think thats really good because models of innovation outside your sector are really important. If you are an educator, look at what biscuit brands are doing, look at what car manufacturers are doing, yet don’t look at what they do, look at how they do it.
Once you ask how they are doing it, that creates a model of delivery and once you’ve got that model you can adapt and adopt it into what you are doing, so always look at the benefits.
A lot of our clients (that) are coming to us, look for (assistance with) Twitter streams or FaceBook fan pages, and we try and pull them back from that, because a lot of the focus on there is about output not outcomes.
They know that they want something, or want to use social media because they’ve seen it in the papers or something like that, but they don’t really think about the outcomes, and the outcomes can be simply that they want to drive traffic to their site or drive publicity or promotion to what they are doing.
Most of the time we challenge them to ask if they’ve got the resources and capacity to maintain a Twitter stream. If you’ve got a Twitter stream, what are you going to shout about? If you don’t have a cool weblog or space to link back to you’re just shouting in the crowd and no-ones going to take notice of you.
Social media is about people, it’s not about platforms, it’s not about technology, all that stuff is value neutral – you bring to it what you bring to it. What we want to do with our clients, and maybe as educators as well is focus on the benefits and values for you as an educator, as a school, as an institution.
If you can prove the values and benefits, hopefully the guys up stairs who write your cheques and set the policies will enable you and give you that creative freedom to try and play.
Play is really important, that is how we learn as kids and we forget that as adults we don’t play any more. But social media is set up for ‘play’, with lots of buttons to click and things to explore.
So just play on this stuff, and I’m sure the benefits and values will just spring out at you.