One Video: Posted 5 Ways to Social Media

When we visited the NMSU Learning Games Lab in February, their team had some questions common questions about social media. They are working on refining their social media strategy and were curious about how they should tailor their messages to fit each social media platform (i.e. What a post on Facebook should look like compared to Twitter, Instagram, Google+, etc.) This is such a common question, we thought a blog post was in order!

Below is the “Don’t Wash Your Chicken!” video produced by NMSU that happened to go viral. We explain why under the video – but watch it first to see if you can take a guess:


NBC News

What’s your guess? Why did it go viral?

This video is short and to the point. The video above is a simple illustration of a viral video that gives the viewer educational, fact-based information. There are some great keys to the success of this video, and small snippet animation with it. First, the message is simple. Don’t wash your chicken! Next, the video is short, but NBC news shortened it even more. It shows the animation of the chicken and bacteria being spread as the person puts it under the running water.

No matter which social media tool you’re using, you want to make sure any video you share is short and sweet. With the creation of Vine and Instagram videos, people’s attention spans continue to decrease. Some topics warrant a longer video (say, a video on how to water bath can tomatoes, for instance). But most videos need to be less than two minutes, or you’ll lose your audience.

So, how would you go about posting this video to each social media site? Would the posts need to look different?

The answer is: it depends. 

Because this is a video, there are only so many different ways you can go about changing how you post it, but it is possible. Here are some examples:

Facebook: Keyword is VISUAL

Sample Post: Keep text short and simple. Copy and paste the link to the video, but then delete the link text. You want your post to be visual and attention-getting. You can also paste the YouTube video link to allow the video to automatically play when people come across it on their newsfeed.

chicken video FB

Twitter: Keyword is INFORMATION

Sample post: Twitter is all about information and informal learning. Again, keep your post short and simple (you only have 160 characters to fit it all in!). Use a link shortener to keep the link small, and include relevant hashtags that will help people find the video. Try not to include too many hashtags… for no other reason than it’s just annoying. (Note: we probably could have included the #NBC hashtag and/or @NBC Twitter handle in this Tweet as well!)

chicken video Twitter

Instagram: Keyword is PRETTY/CREATIVE

Sample post: Instagram works as an app on your mobile device, so you’ll need to download the app from iTunes (for Apple devices) or the Google Play store (for Android devices) first. Most Instagram users are using it personally, rather than professionally. Here, the example is from my personal Instagram account, but I’m sharing an Extension-produced message. I took a screenshot of the video with my phone, then chose a cool Instagram filter to apply to the picture. And just for fun, one of my favorite quotes about Instagram is: “People of Instagram: your pictures are not cool and you are not creative.” We may feel this way (I do), but if a large chunk of young people that we’re trying to reach are in this space, then we should try to experiment with sharing information in this space so we can meet people where they are at.

chicken video Instagram

Google+: Keyword is SHARING/COLLABORATION

Sample post: Google+ is a safe haven at the moment for techies and nerds who have lost interest in Facebook and Twitter. But that doesn’t mean that they’re the only people using it. As more people find out the cool user-friendly features of Google+, they’re realizing it’s a much more collaborative tool than any other social media platform out there. Sharing is key on Google+, so include the source of information and why you think it’s useful. Like Twitter, many people utilize Google+ as part of their personal learning network, so they look for information to learn from and share – not necessarily to just entertain themselves. A couple of cool features that only Google+ has: 1) It automatically picks out useful hashtags to add to your post and 2) You can create circles of people you follow, and then choose to share information with specific circles, 3) Google Hangouts… enough said.

chicken video Google+

Pinterest: Keyword is INSPIRING

Sample post: Pinterest works as a digital bulletin-board of sorts. After my husband and I bought our house back in 2008, I began taking pages out of my Grandma’s “This Old House” magazines and putting them into a binder for renovation and decorating ideas. With Pinterest, I don’t have to do this anymore. I can create my own digital “binder” of sorts, and create binders (or “boards”) for as many topics as I want! So in a Pinterest post, you would include a photo of the video (or other photos that are available via the link you’re sharing), along with a message about why it’s good to have this information or idea handy.

chicken video Pinterest

Keep an eye on Instagram and Google+. As Facebook continues to decrease how many people your page reaches “organically” (which just means, without paying for ads) more and more organizations (especially non-profit ones) are jumping ship or are spending more time experimenting with sharing information on other social media sites, such as Instagram and Google+. Amy Hayes presented a great session at NeXC on how to utilize Instagram – you may want to check it out.

Now – keep in mind that even though we’ve showed you how to share the same link on 5 different social media sites – that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be using all 5. It all depends on what your audience (the people you’re trying to reach) are using. For more information on how to find out which social media platforms would be beneficial for you, click here.

~Jamie & Heather

Quick Byte: What is an Internet Meme?

Merriam Webster defines a meme as an “idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture”. With the introduction of the popular world wide web in the 1990’s, the meme morphed into a more specific ideal of how information was exchanged through online interaction.

The First Internet Meme

Think about the way that information is communicated online, or even with text message today. How do you convey emotion? The emoticon. These “faces” were popular in how people transitioned from face to face or conversation over the phone. Unable to see the emotions of the person typing meant there had to be a way developed that communicated how someone felt, otherwise something serious could be taken lightly, or something aimed to be lighthearted might be taken seriously. The first emoticons the :- ) and :- ( have stayed popular in use as they are simple, easy to remember, and convey needed emotion in communication.

picture-cat-internet-memeThe Rise of Image Memes

Today there are images. While they existed before “I can has cheezburger” http://icanhas.cheezburger.com/ exploded to popularity of the meme. From that time on, memes have taken on different popular culture. Today, we see meme’s almost as quickly as we learn about the news or popular culture that they relate to. The I can has cheezburger meme has led to more cat pictures with funny sayings, often trying to give a human-like facade to cats. The idea of relating an animal to human problems has been popular with almost every animal imaginable.

 

 

 

 

4680932ee7e483f1a4e929f4cb15e2e2 The Angry Cat

Often with meme’s they will feature the same image with different saying or text on them. The angry cat comes to mind with this type of meme. Her little angry face is the same, but the words change (for the record, the angry cat is a female and named Tadar Sauce).

 

 

 

 

 

 Keep Calm & Carry On

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An example of a popular recent meme is the “Keep Calm and Carry On” Often replicated and changed to fit popular culture. The original was a World War 2 poster that the British used. Designed to be put in public places, such as transportation the idea was that the poster would only be hung up if the Germans invaded Britain.  Since that invasion never happened, the poster was never put out publicly. (for more information on this poster please visit this site on the history behind it (http://www.keepcalmandcarryon.com/history/) The image to the left is a depiction of all of the original posters used by Britain during the war.

 

Below is an example of meme that has taken this British poster and gave it popular culture with the hit by Kansas, Carry on Wayward Song.

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So What Does this Mean?

69a1aba67c2c0255e0c98351dfc09b9fSo what does this mean for you and Extension? Well, it depends. Understand that at any time you have something that could become a meme. Popular culture can often be unpredictable, but there are many ways to bring a meme to the internet population in a way that would make it funny AND educational.  In 4-H memes are often warm fuzzy moments for alumni, honoring parents, or volunteers. The idea is that there are so many people who support 4-H that they will share those photos and more and more people will be exposed to it.  An example of this is the graphic to the left. The graphic is visually pleasing, has the clover on it, and is aimed at those camp counselors and campers that we take to 4-H camp every year. The more that put this picture on their social media accounts, the more people are exposed to the 4-H brand.

The same can happen for any area. If there is just a snippet of information that someone wants to get out to the public, a meme may be the way to do it! Maybe something about hand washing, or something about gardening practices could be popular with many people on social media. With sites like Pixabay for graphics, and a graphic editing program as simple as paint, a meme can be born!

Ideally the graphics we could put out would have the college branding attached to them. The branding attached would give Extension as well as Ohio State exposure to the public as a place of resource in their communities. While putting together a meme may seem just like extra work, the ability to grab someone’s attention is a visual way online is worth the reach and interaction you can gain.

Think about what you could contribute to the online world with meme’s. What important information might you be able to share? A fun example to look over is the http://heckyeaheducationalmemes.tumblr.com/  While based upon English education, you can see why it would work to have small snippets of information to share.

As always, if you have questions, please let me know by leaving a comment or emailing me at gottke.4@osu.edu.

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How to Create Your Personal Learning Network on Twitter in 5 Steps

twitter-logo

One of the themes mentioned throughout the National eXtension Conference last week was the increasing importance of Personal Learning Networks. Many of us who have been using social media for years have tapped into the informal learning that can easily take place in online social spaces – specifically on Twitter. PLN’s help Extension professionals learn from each other, as well as learn from other experts in our fields of work and study.

1. Create a Twitter account if you don’t already have one. Ed Tech Heather Gottke wrote a great blog post on how to get started on Twitter here.

2. Begin following people by adding people you already know; colleagues and clients. Then add people who you know are experts in their field. For example, I follow Mashable and Beth Kanter to get social media info; TechCrunch for general tech updates; Paul Hill for 4-H STEM programming; Mike Gutter for financial education; Let’s Move for nutrition education, and the Pew Research Center and NASA just because I’m a geek. You’ll also want to add CFAES, Keith Smith, and Dean McPheron, to stay up-to-date on our college’s goings-on. Feel free to see who else I follow and add them to people you follow.

3. Organize the people you follow into lists and use a social media managing tool. I use Hootsuite. But some people like Tweetdeck better. Both are free to use the “regular” version. You’ll have to pay to go Pro and get extra perks like analytics, but I use the free version and feel like I have access to everything I need. You’ll need to create your list categories in Twitter.

  • Once you have “followed” a Twitter account. Click on the settings icon beside the “Follow/Following” button. This will pull up a drop-down menu, as shown below:

twitter list example

  •  Click on “Add or remove from lists”. A separate box will appear asking you to “Create A List” or choose which list to add this person to:

twitter list example 2

  • Next, you’ll pull your lists into Hootsuite or Tweetdeck (whichever you choose to use). In Hootsuite, you can do this by adding a stream to your dashboard for each one of your lists. Click on “+Add Stream” and then click on the “Lists” tab (highlighted in yellow below):

twitter list capture hootsuite

  • Once you’ve added a stream for each of your lists, your dashboard will look like this (if you are as list-happy as I am anyway!):

hootsuite dashboard

4. Find more experts to follow by searching and following hashtags. For example, I have found people to follow by searching for #socialmedia, #edtech, #food, #money, #parenting, #4H, just to name a few.

5. Build upon and share what you’re learning by networking with those you follow. Retweet what they’re Tweeting and put their ideas into practice. Reach out to them and start a conversation. Let them know how you’re using their expertise, concepts, ideas, etc. I’ve networked with colleagues all across the country via Twitter and have met some amazing and inspiring people. They’re Educators, Program Specialists, Faculty, and Techies. Once your Personal Learning Network grows, you begin to realize how we can all work together across the nation to make Extension much stronger and our programs more impactful. Cooperating, collaborating, and sharing ideas and resources also reduces our time spent on reinventing something that someone in a different state already does well. Meeting via Twitter can put all of these things in motion.

For more info, Beth Kanter has an excellent blog post on using social media for professional learning here.

Other ideas? How have you built your own Personal Learning Network and who have you included in it?

~Jamie

National eXtension Conference Recap: Ed Tech Everywhere!

NeXC theme

A few members of our Ed Tech group (Kim Roush, Jerry Thomas, and myself) attended the National eXtension Conference last week in Sacramento. Ever since attending and presenting at NeXC in Oklahoma City two years ago I’ve been touting the event as the closest thing to an Extension Ed Tech conference that we have, and this year didn’t disappoint! Here are some highlights:

Expert panel session at NeXC. Harold Jarche, Dave Gray, Jane Hart, and Beth Kanter.

Expert panel session at NeXC. Harold Jarche, Dave Gray, Jane Hart, and Beth Kanter.

Favorite Quotes (all by keynote speaker Dave Gray):

– “There’s already something that is serving the purpose of sharing information online. It’s called Google. What’s YOUR purpose?”

– “If you’re not making it up as you go along, you’re completely out of touch with reality.”

– “People don’t learn by spending time planning and predicting. They learn by making things.”

– “A lot of experimentation is skill-building.”

– “Cooperation is the future. And it’s not the same thing as collaboration.”

Most talked about takeaways to apply now:

– Instagram is the next social media platform those of us in Extension should be experimenting with.

– We should spend more time explaining how people should utilize Twitter as a tool to build their personal learning network. (I’m itching to write up a separate blog post on this topic – so look for that soon.)

– Extension professionals should be encouraged to take more time out of their day/week to experiment – to learn and try new things.

– We are stronger together than we are apart. If there is one thing eXtension has taught me, it’s that we can create amazing things when we collaborate (and cooperate) with one another. Even across state lines.

While at NeXC, we presented a session about our Ed Tech pilot project here in Ohio. Kim, Jerry, and I presented in person and Heather and Teresa joined via Google Hangout. A few of our colleagues were nice enough to help us out by submitting video testimonials describing what an “Ed Tech has done for them”. Here’s the finished video by 4-H Ed Tech Heather Gottke:

One final thought: NeXC isn’t a conference for those serving in leadership positions for eXtension. It truly is an Ed Tech conference without calling itself an Ed Tech conference. I would encourage anyone interested in tech, national collaboration, and simply doing things differently to attend NeXC in the future. Being a mom of two, I try keep my travel to a minimum each year… and this is a conference I always have on my calendar.

Director Keith Smith trying out the newly acquired OculusRift virtual reality technology.

Director Keith Smith trying out the newly acquired OculusRift virtual reality technology.

A group of OSUE folks trying out Google Glass. Director Keith Smith, Ken Martin, Jerry Thomas, and Jamie Seger.

A group of OSUE folks trying out Google Glass. Director Keith Smith, Ken Martin, Jerry Thomas, and Jamie Seger.

Meeting with Stan Skrabut of Wyoming to talk webinars as teaching tools! Our fellow Ed Techs joined via Google Hangout.

Meeting with Stan Skrabut of Wyoming to talk webinars as teaching tools! Our fellow Ed Techs joined via Google Hangout.

Questions about NeXC and what we learned? Leave a comment!

~Jamie