The final presentation of our social media strategy for Vocalo.org happened on Thursday. It went really well, barring the fact that we went wayyyy over our allotted time. In the four days between the first draft of this that I posted online and our final presentation, we made a lot of tactical changes based on feedback from readers, our friends, and the awesome new Managing Director at Vocalo, Silvia Rivera who was incredibly generous with her time and insights. And there’s still a final white paper to finish editing that goes into greater detail about the process and strategy (I’ll be posting that too!).
We had 3 interesting questions during the Q&A post presentation:
- Why no YouTube?
- Is Foursquare worth the effort?
- In addition to teaching users to create, why not find creators would will also be users?
Thought provoking all.
After MANY long debates, we landed on not pursuing a YouTube campaign because we couldn’t imagine a possibility (in the near future) where someone would search for content (on say, hand gun control) on YouTube, come across Vocalo’s channel, find their way to Vocalo.org, and become a regular listener, much less content creator. We believe that in the short term at least, Vocalo should be focusing on a Chicago audience, interested in Chicago’s issues, and willing to engage in Chicago’s community. YouTube seemed too anonymous, too disperse, and too resource intensive. But, we could be wrong.
We presented a few Foursquare campaigns that Vocalo could test pilot, but our implementation plan calls for them to essentially just keep an eye on Foursquare for the next six months. We think Foursquare would be amazing tool to use for community engagement. So far, we’ve mostly seen big consumer brands and media companies rolling out campaigns, but the potential for political and social campaigns seems enormous. But, we could be wrong.
The last question was really more of a comment, and it struck us as pretty genius (hat tip to James Warner). Vocalo could reach out to street artists, political activists, and other local content creators, and partner with them using Vocalo’s platform. This would increase quality of the content on Vocalo’s site, and reach a wider community of users. Of course there’s a danger that these folks could abuse Vocalo’s platform, but that’s the case with any new user/contributor.
As we were wrapping up this project, both Meredith and I have been marveling at the amount of information we were able to collect about Vocalo, just via social media channels, and how closely our recommendations line up with the changes they’re already in the process of implementing over the next few months. I was also thrilled to realize that all of the research I did on theatres & social media turned out to be really applicable in the social media strategy for an entirely different industry.
Ironically, at the exact moment we were giving this presentation in class, Beth Kanter was giving a conference call with TCG member theatres on “Using Social Media Strategically for Theatres.” I was really bummed I had to miss it, but via the magic of hashtags, Beth’s great wiki, and the notes of a few colleagues, I got quickly up to speed.
But now I’ve really got to get back to wrapping up my thesis so I can actually graduate in 23 days…
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