Creating A Big Buzz On A Small Budget

March 27, 2010 at 10:32 (Keswick Film, Tech)

Yesterday I wore my Keswick Film Club hat and attend a workshop to find out ways of using social media tools and new technology to promote events and build communities.  I wasn’t familiar with Christian Payne (aka Documentally) who was running the workshop but it turned out I did know his work.  He was involved with the campaign last year to restore Bletchley Park which hit the headlines when Stephen Fry got involved and (accidentally) tweeted the birth of his child.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, I thought I knew a bit about social media already and the day might just be a basic introduction to Twitter, but it turned out to be much more than that.

It all took place in the Cornerhouse in Manchester which seemed like a great place and our lunch was fantastic, I wish I’d had time to look around a bit more but I hope to go back someday.  As expected most of the day focussed on Twitter but as Christian/Documentally pointed out the skills you need to make effective use of Twitter will transfer to any social media, including whatever may eventually replace Twitter and more than likely your networks will migrate as well.  One of the most interesting things was watching people who “didn’t get Twitter” at the start of the day slowly come to understand what a wonderful and powerful thing (I wanted to say tool but it’s so much more than a tool) it is and embrace it.  I really hope these people stick with it, I consider myself a geek and it took me a while to fully understand (I’m still not sure if I really do) and it took a car accident for Documentally to get it.

Here a some of the useful things I took away with me to make the most of Twitter:

  • Once again it’s all about who you know, build a network and interact with your network.
  • Make sure you have a URL and Bio filled in so when people stumble across you on Twitter (and that’s perhaps the point of Twitter) people can find out who you are and what you do.
  • If you have an account for your organisation, use your real name on the profile.  It’s much easier to build relations with a person than a faceless organisation and people are less likely to be negative to a real person.
  • If you are an organisation and many people use the account put their details in the Bio and end each tweet with your initials (some apps will do this for you automatically).
  • Clicking your avatar takes you to the full size picture so use a good sized image and when people want a picture of you it’s already there.
  • Use the same avatar everywhere, it’s still all about branding and you want people to recognise you wherever you are.
  • Similarly don’t change your Avatar on a regular basis, a company doesn’t change it’s logo on a weekly basis and it’s no different here.
  • The mentions/replies page is the most important part of Twitter, you need to know what people are saying about you and don’t want to appear to ignore people.
  • Lists, it’s all about lists now:
    • Follow more people and use lists to filter them (you don’t even have to follow them to have them on a list).
    • Look what lists people are adding you to and see who else is on that list, somebody thinks you have something in common so maybe they should be in your network.
    • Follow other people’s lists that interest you.

Even for me, already knowing quite a bit,  it was a lot to fit into one day but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Quite a bit of time was also spent on audio and video blogging which I didn’t think I’d be that interested in, but I hadn’t realised how easy it is to do and maybe it’s something we should be considering at the Film Festival.

It was a really informative and enjoyable day and I think everyone who attended went away with lots to think about.

Oh and just so I know where to find them here’s a list of some sites/services/apps that were mentioned and may be useful:

  • Xmarks
  • DABR
  • TweetReach
  • Posterous
  • Backblaze
  • qik
  • tubemogul
  • 12seconds
  • Audioboo
  • Scoopler

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