How to Use Social Media – For your learners, for your institution, for you. #SocMedYH

I attended the above online training session this lunchtime. The facilitators, Scott Hibberson, Kevin Campbell-Wright, Kathy Boyer and Deborah Judah (contact details here), were friendly and helpful as usual and even though the group was made up of learners at different stages of social-media-usership everyone learned something.

The webinar focused on Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter, foursquare, YouTube and diigo. WordPress and slideshare were also briefly mentioned.

Barnsley College was featured as a best practice example for Facebook, twitter, YouTube and foursquare. Another example was Craven College but we didn’t have time to look at their sites during the session.

Here are my brief notes on each social network that was discussed today:

Facebook: useful for

  • staff-student communication
  • peer support
  • resource sharing
  • debate
  • research
  • marketing
  • alumni/keeping in touch
  • emergency communication

Twitter: useful for

  • information sourcing
  • reflective diaries
  • commentary on lectures/conferences
  • marketing
  • emergency communications
  • networking

Twitter is very much about communication, even more than Facebook. It is also a fast-moving network, so if you use it for your organisation make sure you check it at least three times a day to respond to anything that comes up, e.g. questions, complaints.

foursquare: useful for

  • induction
  • community activities
  • tips and guides (for organisations)
  • marketing
  • geocaching -> another example of something similar given by a participant was creating a mediascape

By creating your location (e.g. a branch library) on foursquare you can get free marketing and promotion via your users when they check in. Foursquare has a competitive element and everyone loves a competition (to become “mayor” of somewhere, in this case).

I like the idea of using geocaching as part of a library tour, highlighting building aspects or services. It also facilitates teamwork.

Flickr: useful for

  • sourcing images
  • portfolio building
  • evidence gathering
  • promotion, e.g. new buildings
  • groups
  • commentary

diigo: useful for

  • peer assessed materials
  • collaborative discussion around links
  • links to VLE
  • tag clouds
  • corporate resources
  • auto-post to blogs
  • research
  • discussion
  • staying ahead of best practice

On diigo you can get an institutional account, so not every user needs their own account. It’s also useful for creating reading lists.

LinkedIn: useful for

  • careers advice
  • employability
  • career building

Slideshare: useful for

  • repository
  • portfolio
  • research
  • discussion
  • sharing of your expertise (add to LinkedIn)

YouTube: useful for

  • sourcing videos
  • video diaries
  • corporate video for sharing
  • CPD: sourcing “how to” videos, talks and lectures

And while I’m here…

I have decided to put Code Year on hold. I am still receiving the weekly emails, so I hope to go back to it sometime but I’m not in the right headspace for it at the moment.

I have also just finished reading A Leadership Primer for New Librarians: Tools for Helping Today’s Early-career Librarians Become Tomorrow’s Library Leaders by Suzanne Byke and Dawn Lowe-Wincentsen. A lot of the content is common sense but it’s well written (reading it feels a little like chatting with a mentor), there are some good suggestions for further reading and it’s a good reminder of what you need to think about in your work life/career, both to be successful and satisfied. Don’t be scared, take initiative, ask and offer help, have ethics – just a few points raised in the book. I would recommend it to anyone who works with other people, in any position.

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