Last night I had the privilege of chairing the Manchester Social Media Surgery and I came away learning a lot. The Social Media Surgery is a free monthly event that features a panel of experienced digital and social media marketers and usually somebody who isn’t an expert but is using Social Media to produce real benefits for their business. I attended as a participant for the first time in July 2010 and I am grateful that I did; I’d been reading about how small businesses had to be on Facebook and I’d already set up a Twitter account for my business (even though I had absolutely no idea what to do with it!). Sitting and listening to experts and practitioners at that event, I came away with what was probably best described as an ’emerging social media strategy’ scribbled on the back of a post-it pad. There is so much conflicting advice about Social Media that I really benefited from listening to solid advice and having the chance to ask questions about my own situation.

If you missed last night’s Surgery, some of the discussions are captured in the live blog, you can follow the Twitter hashtag #mansms and here is a summary of the top tips from the Surgeons:

My reflection on last night:

  • Social Media is incredibly powerful
  • Social Media can allow you to do many things at no cost (or for very low cost)
  • Anybody can now do things that were once the preserve of large companies with a big budget
  • Video is surprisingly easy to capture, produce, and share
  • It is easy to use the power of Social Media to do the wrong things, so advice can be very helpful
9 Comments
  1. Great to see you using digital and social media so effectively Mr Pettigrew. And how lovely to hear Manchester accents!!! Hadn’t realised how much I miss it

    • Janey, thank you for your kind comments and I’m delighted to have brought you a taste of home! What’s the social media scene like in Switzerland?

      • Social Media in Switzerland is very happening as it is everywhere, everyone seems to have a smartphone wherever you look, a bit more conservative though in Corporate Pharma

        • It is really interesting to see how Social Media is being used and the biggest companies seem to be far worse at using it than smaller companies. In the UK, the FTSE 100 have very limited use (or are just using it to push, not engage) and the incidents like American Red Cross and Chrysler aren’t encouraging them. I suppose regulated industries feel like they have more of an excuse but they’re going to have a lot of catching up to do!

          • Shame I missed this. The potential of social media to promote events is huge, and it’s something I see day in, day out as one of the organisers of Chorlton’s Big Green Festival. As a voluntary group with a tiny budget, we rely massively on social media to generate buzz.

            I actually wrote a blog about how the voluntary sector can use social media earlier this week, with examples drawn from the festival – http://theeword.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-voluntary-sector-can-use-social.html

            It’d be interesting to hear whether or not this tallies with what was discussed at the surgery.

          • Richard,

            Thanks for the comments and I like your blog post which contains sound, practical advice.

            Some of the themes we touched on included using multiple channels to reach people, ‘triangulate’ to ensure people hear about events several times from several sources, and amplify the message by re-using/re-purposing content across different media types.

            Everything that you’ve described in your blog post sounds great and I really like that you’re encouraging people to try video (I did the event video above on a £75 camera); Have you thought about crowdsourcing a post-event video by brining together footage from loads of different people?

          • Some great ideas there. I think triangulation is a good way of putting it – hadn’t thought of it like that before. And crowdsourcing a video certainly has potential – we’ve always done it ourselves in the past.

          • @Richard Frost:

            Great input here, I’ve checked out your blog post and really enjoyed your detailed tips on how the voluntary sector can use social media.

            We’d love to have you join the panel of Surgeons at a future Social Media Surgery if you’re happy to be involved?

            Please shoot me a tweet or DM if of interest…