What is a Social Media Surgery?

I am not going to claim to have invented Social Media Surgeries, I could but I would be quickly found out. Have a look at what Walsall do….

What I have done is create something that fills a need and I have called it a  Social Media Surgery – ba boom.

So what was the need?

I was fairly sure that there were colleagues in our office who might be interested in digital channels and social media. However I did not know this definitely, nor at what level.

Also I wanted to give a higher profile to our digital work. Partially so that no one could say that they did not know that there was someone looking after digital matters; or that they did not know that we had standards and guidance.

So I needed have some easy way of interacting with colleagues that is relaxed and allows us to have a chat and find out their concerns, prior knowledge, market our services etc.

What did I do?

I created a Social Media Surgery of course. This means that once a month (the last Wednesday) I stand at the entrance to the restuarant for an hour. My high tech equipment is: a small round table; two chairs, a box of nice chocolates; Social Simon; and a stand up poster asking

‘Do you have any of these symptoms?

‘Not sure about the Office policy on the use of social media?’

‘Unclear how the NAO uses social media?’

Confused about Facebook’s privacy settings; or how to use Twitter?’

Drop in for a free consultation and meet Social Simon our medical assistant.

I generally lure people in by the offer of a chocolate or ask them if they have any burning issues with social media.

Does it work?

Yes it does. Why, because its social.

I get asked all kinds of questions. One of the first things I identified was a general interest in LinkedIn and how to use it. So I have now set up a Bite sized LinkedIn training event.

I also get a good feel for what colleagues are concerned about or particular issues that I can have a think about finding an answer for.

At the last event a board member said hello and we had a chat about LinkedIn. So a better profile for digital and impact at the same time.

What else do you do?

I have set up an internal blog also called Social Media Surgery to follow up any issues raised and talk about digital generally.

But who is Social Simon?

He is a Social bear from the Himayalas. There are not many of them around these days due climate change. However he knew that the NAO needed some help so he came across specially to provide us with advice. You had to ask didn’t you.

My thanks also to @Puffles2010 for inspiring me.

What is your online brand?

I have been talking to a few people recently who have made me think about personal online brands.

This might sound a bit odd. Why should I be interested in my online brand? I did not know I had an online brand. I thought that was just for ‘brands’ such as Nike or Coke?

In fact if any of us that use the internet we have an online brand. It is made up of all the things we say and do, the name that we use for ourselves and perhaps most importantly what others think of us.

For example have you ever thought about what name you use on different digital channels whether it is Facebook, a discussion forum, Twitter, Instagram, or a blog?

Do you always use the same name? What happens if someone has the same name as you? Do you want to look the same to all your ‘audiences’? Do you even want to be recognised?

How often have you done a search on your own name to see what it throws up – is it what you expected? What do you think of your ‘brand’ now? What would someone think if they were a recruiter or were checking you out prior to a meeting?

Why not also try some free software called Topsy. Type in the name for yourself that you use on social media channels. You should be able to see what others see. Did you really mean to use those swear words when talking about that episode of the Apprentice? Probably not.

So is your brand ‘on message’ with who you think you are, or for what you want others to think you are?

If not, it might be time to do your own personal brand audit. If you need any help just let me know. My usual charge-out rates apply.

(I wrote this originally for work colleagues)