Helping Waiheke businesses and organisation make the best out of social media.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dehumidifiers and Social Media

Waiheke Radio, of which I am a volunteer, experienced some flooding last week during the big rain which also caused slips all over the island. With all the electrical equipment, computers, etc., in the studio it was imperative that we started drying the place out as quickly as possible in order to avoid further damage. The few industrial dehumidifiers that were available at the local hire store were already rented out, so we turned to the community via our social media channels to see if we could borrow a few household dehumidifiers to start the process off. First I tweeted the request on our Waiheke Radio twitter account, which then updated Facebook although we also independently made an update on our Facebook Page. Within minutes I had two donations via Twitter and the Facebook page attracted a couple more. The community and our own volunteers quickly had 9 dehumidifiers up and running in the station in a matter of hours.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Case Study: Emma Hughes Photography

We recently helped Emma Hughes Photography develop an online social media presence. Emma wanted to develop a Facebook business page but without adding too much extra work to her already busy schedule as a popular wedding photographer. Emma was already a steady blogger on her Wordpress blog, so rather than recreate content on both platforms we integrated her Facebook page with her blog using a Facebook application that automatically posts her blog updates to her Facebook page wall. In the process we also secured a Twitter account which is automatically updated as well. We also looked at how her blog could be more easily shared across multiple platforms by her readers and installed the AddThis set of icons as well as the Facebook Like widget.

In the three weeks since starting her Facebook Page Emma has attracted 69 fans to the page and is starting to gain some valuable insights into the demographics of her Facebook visitors. Many people may not be aware that Facebook pages also come with an "insights" page that tracks the age and sex of visitors to your page as well as country of origin and other consumption metrics such as media consumption (pictures, video, etc.) Since starting a Facebook page, Facebook is now the third top traffic referrer to her blog, although this traffic does have a fairly high bounce rate according to Google Analytics. This is probably not of too much concern as it might be in other sites, because this is a blog and readers might be expected to only read the story they have been referred to from the post that appears on her Facebook wall.

The above process is a relatively standard and straight forward configuration and works well for people or businesses that are already blogging. If you would like more information on how to set this type of arrangement up for your small business or enterprise please contact us.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Community managers, who needs em?

A good indicator for the settling of social media into the workplace is the fact that there are now numerous job titles and descriptions describing work within the online landscape. These terms are slowly becoming commonplace amongst recruiters and large organisations with significant consumer bases and marketing budgets. The first one I remember coming across, and one that is increasingly prevalent amongst the job sites, is community manager. There is a lot of conversation around about just what a community manager is, but Jeremy Owyang (one of the originators of the term), outlines some features of the role like this:
  1. Listen
  2. Respond
  3. Inform
  4. Shut up and sit back
  5. Listen more
This is an iterative process, and to me describes a conversation between people in an online community that is sustained over time. The fact that there are now organisations willing to pay people to attend to this type of work online should reveal just how serious these organisations are taking the new media.

This is all fine though if you are a large organisation with marketing money to spare, but what if you are one of the thousands of small businesses trying to reach people who are increasingly spending more and more time online searching for products or services? What characteristics does one require to be a community manager, and do you need to worry?

Firstly, I'd say you need to question whether your type of business, service, or product is one that has some kind of community mulling around it. Wine for example is an industry that absolutely flourishes in online conversations. The amount of blog posts and twitter activity about Waiheke and wine for example are huge and my account is constantly being followed by wine commentators just because of the association of Waiheke to wine. This is because wine is a conversational community; the very product itself is associated with the art of conversation.

So if you have a product or are in an industry that might attract something of a community around it, or if you are fiercely promoting a specific brand, then perhaps exploring further these characteristics and seeing how you might be able to perform these functions online could be well worth it. A lot of it is about being firstly being able to find the conversations, track them, and integrate yourself into already pre-existing communities and discussions. Twitter for example is a great way to find out what people are saying about a brand or a market, but also a Google blog search ( is a great way to lead you in the right direction.

If you need help getting there, feel free to contact us as well, or post your questions to the Waiheke Social Media Facebook Page.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Waiheke Social Media

Waiheke Social Media will be a source of information and a service to help Waihekians undersand, utilize, and make the best out of the new social media.

There is a lot of hype around the term social media at the moment, but the idea is here to stay and is highly relevant to our communities, the way we work, and the way we play. The impact of the internet is expansive and its potential in all aspects of life can not be ignored.

The idea for helping islanders understand the landscape and use of social media came out of a course I taught at the Waiheke Community Education Centre on using Wordpress to create websites. In that course many people were becoming very curious about how blogging, RSS, and things like Twitter and Flickr could be used together to form online identities, establish community, or market a business enterprise. These people were not geeks or techies by any stretch of the imagination. They were ordinary people from a wide variety of backgrounds who all lived on Waiheke.

Our aim WSM is to help the people we currently know best: Waihekians. We believe that online media doesn't mean the end of conversations on the beach, in the supermarket, or with friends over a bottle of our fantastic local wine. So in the coming months we'll be blogging (here), working on a Facebook page, and Tweeting about social media and Waiheke Island - listen in.

If you require more personal hands-on assistance on setting up and learning about how social media can help your community business or organisation, please take a look at our Services page.