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.