Social media training notes

November 30, 2011

Here is the presentation and some back up notes, videos and more from the social media training day held for various NGOs in Nairobi in November, 2012.

  1. What is social media
  2. Conversational distribution tools
  3. Storage and distribution tools
  4. Research
  5. Broadcast during live events
  6. Community
  7. Internal communications
  8. Resources

What is social media?

November 30, 2011

The Wikipedia definition of what social media is rightly tells us social media is all using web tools to enable interactive communication,

The term Social Media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue… Social media are media for social interaction, as a superset beyond social communication. Enabled by ubiquitously accessible and scalable communication techniques, social media substantially change the way of communication between organizations, communities, as well as individuals. link

Social media has come an awful long way in the last ten years. See the video below:

Conversational distribution tools

November 30, 2011

Twitter and Facebook have evolved into key conversational distribution tools. Here are a few tools that will help you use Twitter more effectively.

  • tweetdeck – a fee downloadable application that allows you to monitor keywords, post to Twitter from multiple accounts. It will also allow you to control your Facebook accounts, status updates and pages, all from one application.
  • hootsuite – does everything tweetdeck does, but is web-based. An excellent tool which allows you control up to 5 twitter accounts for free. A pay-for model offers more functionality.
  • monitter – a simple keyword monitoring website.
  • trendsmap – see what’s happening on twitter where you live. See tweets and keywords mapped.
  • – a web url shortener with statistics
  • – hootsuite’s own web url shortener. Ties in well with hootsuite and offers statistics.
  • twitterfeed – allows you send an RSS feed to Twitter.

We also looked at a number of monitoring tools:

  • twitscoop – see what’s popular on Twitter
  • topsy – a powerful real time search engine
  • listorious – discover Twitter lists and interesting people to follow on Twitter
  • – see which Twitter accounts are popular in different countries
  • social mention – see who’s talking about different things/people and where

Lastly, we looked at the excellent curation tool Storify in some detail. Here’s a short video from Al Jazeera, who use Storify extensively,

And, here’s a quick explainer about how it works – the video is a little old now and the screen you see on Storify now looks slightly different, but the principles and method of using it remain the same.

Storage and distribution

November 30, 2011

There are a number of excellent document storage anbd distribution tools available that allow you to plug your content directly into the ‘social web’


November 30, 2011

Learning to use Google Advanced search is the first step to learning how to search the web more effectively.

The next step is to start using Google Reader to bring in all the key, targetted searches you regularly perform. Used properly, Google Reader will become your one stop shop for all your web news gathering needs.

Google Reader uses RSS to funnel the information you need into the Reader. This video will give you a quick reminder how Google Reader and RSS work:

Diigo is a fantastic tool for storing, sharing, annotating and manipulating the news you need to be across. Well worth getting to grips with this tool. See the video below for an explainer.

Broadcast during live events

November 30, 2011

There are a range of services available that will help you put together a live event on the web. These are the ones we discussed on the course. They include video streaming and text based live tools.

  • Ustream – reliable and stable live streaming video service that can handle high demand. Allows auto sharing across other videosharing sites. Has a usual ‘social stream’ which you can embed anywhere.
  • Qik – allows lives streaming and archive of video, automatic uploading to Youtube or other videosharing sites. Can broadcast from mobile phone.
  • Scribble and Coveritlive – allows you to add live updates from across the web in a twitter-like stream. You can embed both tools onto other websites and blogs when covering a live event.
  • Tweetdeck or Hootsuite – two excellent twitter monitoring and broadcast tools.


November 30, 2011

Facebook is still the most popular social network out there. There are many concerns about the services privacy settings, some serious worries over ownership and yet more concerns about what the network knows about you.

However, it is the default social network for many. However, be aware that in many parts of the world, Facebook is not the most popular social network.

Google+ is still young, but worth keeping an eye on.

If you need to build a customised social network to plug into a website or blog, you should take a look at Ning.

Internal communication and distribution

November 30, 2011

We discussed a number of possible internal communication tools during the course. The consensus seemed to be that people should be using Skype Chat as opposed to mass cc emailing 20 people for relatively minor issues.

We also discussed Google Chat as an alternative.

Yammer was also discussed. This is a pay-for Twitter-like tool for use within organisations.


November 30, 2011

I have created a list of tools, advice, videos and links to helpful guides to aid you with each of the tools we discussed during the training. In addition, here is a list of useful tips to think about when beginning to use social media at an NGO.