Learning to use Facebook Live at a Social Media Surgery

Having been helped at a Social Media Surgery a year ago to set up her first social media account for a local support group, Linda has been a regular at Halesowen Social Media Surgery. Linda quickly got to grips with Twitter, however figuring out how best to use Facebook for the group took a little while. There are differences between Facebook Profiles, Pages and Group which need thinking through. Steph Clarke has written a really useful post about this which I’d recommend if you are thinking of using Facebook for a local group or organisation.

At last month’s surgery, Linda came along asking about what other social media she should be using, beyond Twitter and Facebook. We had a look at the great content Linda had been sharing through Twitter and Facebook, and I thought that the next challenge perhaps wasn’t something else, but rather looking at what Twitter and Facebook could do which Linda wasn’t making use of. I mentioned Facebook Live, and admitted that I hadn’t used it myself at that point, but I understood that it was a fun and immediate way of creating and sharing video within Facebook. (There are some useful tips from Facebook on getting the most out of Facebook Live.)

Linda and I quickly got playing and figured it out, at which point Libby from Halas Homes arrived to find out how to connect Twitter and Facebook accounts. She asked what we were doing, and was also excited to hear about Facebook Live. I suggested that Linda show Libby how to use it. And there it was… we created some Social Media Surgery magic. Linda had come along to receive some help, and now she was giving it. The video below captured the magic moment. Social Media Surgeries are brilliant because everyone can contribute and benefit at the same time.

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The problem with Facebook Pages

like us on facebook

Often people coming along to social media surgeries are keen to harness the networking power of Facebook. If you are involved in a local club, group, society, social enterprise or voluntary organisation, under Facebook terms you will need to set up a Facebook Page rather than a personal profile (see how are Pages different to personal profiles). So if it turns out that Facebook might really be a useful communication and collaboration tool for a group, we obviously point people towards Facebook Pages, and help them to set things up.

Before I used Facebook my knowledgeable colleague Melissa Guest repeatedly tried to explain to me why Facebook Pages are like islands. A key difference between Facebook and Twitter is that your Twitter timeline displays a stream of all the tweets from all the accounts you follow (there are also summaries available now too), whereas Facebook uses algorithms which make decisions about what posts you will see and not see in your news feed. I hadn’t realised quite how much these algorithms affect the likelihood of a post on a Facebook Page reaching people who have liked the Page.

This article about the organic (non paid for ) reach of Facebook Page posts was recently shared by the excellent Comms2point0 this week. Here’s an extract about brand pages, I can only assume it’s the same for group or charity Pages:

“Here’s how it works (in simple terms): Your brand page posts a piece of content. Facebook immediately puts that content in a very small pool (but statistically significant) of your followers news feeds (sub 1% of your following depending on how many people follow your page). It chooses the people most likely to engage with your content. 

If that test audience engages well with your content it will open up your content to about 2-4% of your total audience, and if they also engage deeply with the content then it may begin to loosen the resigns and open it up to more of the audience. HOWEVER, if your engagement is low as a part of that initial test audience then Facebook will chose not to show it to anymore of your audience.”

Despite knowing this rather disappointing fact I will still be posting across the handful of Facebook Pages I manage or jointly manage. Partly because I know from questions people ask that they expect projects and organisations to have a presence on Facebook. Partly because if a few of use our Facebook profiles effectively to share content from Pages we can get things out a bit further. And partly because Facebook events are a really effective way of inviting people to something and simple for them to respond.

What do you feel about Facebook Pages and their utility?
How do you get the best from connecting with people on Facebook?
What advice would you give at a social media surgery about using Facebook?

And if after this you need cheering up bit, I can highly recommend checking out more of the great things which Dan and Darren aka Comms2point0 do and share, on their blog, on twitter, through their lovely weekly email and yes… on their Facebook Page.

Social Media – you had me at ‘hello’

I am ridiculously excited to be posting the first guest blog on this site. It is by Claire Bayley, Talking Newspaper Co-ordinator for Thomas Pocklington Trust based in Stourbridge. Claire responded to this post in which I offered copies of the Creative Citizen’s Variety Pack in return for stories about ways people are using digital tools. It is fascinating to read about what has helped Claire to take on responsibility for social media in her role – and look out for some really useful social media tips in Claire’s story. Here it is.

Photo of Claire with life-size Toy Story characters Buzz Lightyear and Woody

I’ve been a fairly avid social media user for a number of years, I remember MySpace and Bebo with equal parts happiness and embarrassment when I think of the pictures and posts I used to put up. Facebook became big around my University during my first year, so of course I signed up.

After a couple of years Facebook was getting overtaken by parents and their friends, I didn’t really want them seeing tagged pictures of me from student nights out but I’m too polite to decline their Friend Request. I signed up to Twitter as a form of safe haven. I soon saw why it had become such a success, as Stephen Fry once said “It’s not called social change or heavy debate… It’s called Twitter!” If anyone can find a better explanation please email me. I tend to do a lot of retweeting, mostly of silly accounts that accurately express my love of pizza and Gogglebox.

I work for the Thomas Pocklington Trust at the Stourbridge Resource Centre based in Oldswinford. The main part of my job is running the Black Country Talking Newspaper, we record audio news articles that get sent out to over 200 blind and partially sighted people each week in the Dudley borough. I have a fairly technical background and am not afraid of computers and digital media so (I think) for that reason I have recently been asked to head up Social Media for our centre. At first I was excited but then it clicked just how daunting a prospect this is… I’m responsible for our social media presence around the world and all I really do is post pictures of my dogs!

Photo of Claire’s dog on a soft chair with TV remote control and Toy Story Top Trumps pack

Ollie’s day is sorted (via Twitter 24/1/2015)

I went to a conference in February run by Sound Delivery (@sounddelivery), a digital media training, production and consultancy company. It was an intense day to say the least but I will say the word beneficial is an understatement. I went along as someone who uses Social Media on personal time to kill time; but I left feeling so inspired to change the world with my tweets!

The theme of the day was ‘being the story’ I started with a talk from Chris Cox (@coxness) the Digital Communications Manager for Mind, he spoke about the importance of developing a digital content strategy. I soon learnt this is paramount for any organisation in 2015. I’ll share some of the things I learnt with you here…

  • Put yourself in your audience’s shoes – ask yourself what are they Googling for?
  • Broadcast media was a blip – we’re now coming back to peer-to-peer media and storytelling.
  • Content is king.
  • On Facebook, don’t post more than twice per day, people will soon get bored. However, on Twitter you can post to your heart’s content!

It is also worth looking at how engagement is measured. Here are the three main goals…

  • Applause (likes & favourites),
  • Conversation (comments & replies), and
  • Amplification (shares & retweets).

The latter is the one to focus on.

After leaving the conference I realised that whilst we give so much of ourselves on social media, we must also protect ourselves as individuals. I don’t follow anyone I work with on Twitter nor am I friends with them on Facebook. My personal Facebook page is as good as empty to anyone who views it who is not a ‘friend’. If anyone chooses to follow my personal Twitter account then I won’t stop them if they manage to find it. I do not advertise it though and I have a disclaimer about any opinions shared in the little ‘about me’ bit. One of the things I have struggled with is how to set up all of this without leaving my own profiles vulnerable. It is difficult, but it is still do-able and as long as you are happy with the page security you set up and don’t post anything really stupid then in my opinion, you will be fine. Don’t let it hold you back because you will get left behind.

I will leave you with this – stories make the world go round – think of Finding Nemo, it is in effect a story about the power of the story. Why not post stories about yourself, your journey, or the journey of a carer or volunteer? It does not all have to be about the service user (although don’t leave them out altogether!) That’s all the wisdom I have so far. Now, to quote Sound Delivery – get out there and be the story!

Credit & thanks to Chris Cox of Mind and Jude Habib (@judehabib) of Sound Delivery.

You can get in touch with Claire by email: claire.bayley@pocklington-trust.org.uk on the new twitter account @TPT_Stourbridge and there will be a TPT Stourbridge Resource Centre Facebook page coming soon!