SOC9: A Little Birdie Told Me - What the H1N1 Outbreak Taught Us About Using Twitter

Tonya Oaks Smith 
Director of Communications, UALR William H. Bowen School of Law


The audio for this podcast can be downloaded at http://2011.highedweb.org/presentations/SOC9.mp3



Announcer: This is one in a series of podcasts from the HighEdWeb Conference in Austin 2011.

Tonya Oaks Smith: Hey, everybody. Can I see a show of hands who's bought a big ticket item in the past year? I'm talking cars. I had to buy a car right after PSU Web. Thanks, Robin. Car? Refrigerator? Computer? How did you feel about that purchase? How did you go about making that purchase? How did you do research?

Audience 1: The internet.

Tonya Oaks Smith: Thank you, Logan. I appreciate that.

There is a process for participation. We'll start off with that. I don't know if anybody knows that the Girls Gone Woowoo have calendars, so whoever is the best participator gets a free calendar.

So how did you make your decision? Logan says he went to the internet. Did anybody, consumer reports, research, that kind of thing? OK, consumer reports. Did you talk to family and friends? You did? OK.

 01:11

Audience 2: My dad sells cars.

Tonya Oaks Smith: Oh, well that's convenient. You didn't have a choice what car you got, right?

Audience 2: Well, a little bit.

Tonya Oaks Smith: Were you conflicted to make the decision? Who's trying to decide if they're going to get a new iPhone? Who's already got a new iPhone? And who's going, 'I don't know if I want to invest in that right now?' I'm in that boat because I just got a 4 a couple of months ago.

And afterwards, after you made that big purchase, how did you feel? Come on, shout it out at me.

Audience 3: Warm and fuzzy.

Tonya Oaks Smith: Sweet. What did you buy, a kitten? OK. How did you feel, Georgie?

Audience 4: Well, I got an iPhone from Blackberry and I was a little anxious to make the switch to a different format, but I've been happy since then.

 02:06

Tonya Oaks Smith: OK. Anybody who, 'After I bought my car, I loved it, it made me very happy, and it's cute and it's in the parking lot out there?' OK, so you had a little noise involved, a little cognitive dissonance?

Oh. Did you want the new car?

Audience 5: Not particularly.

Tonya Oaks Smith: Oh, see, that's what I wanted. I had made enough child car choices for... It is what it is.

So that's exactly the kind of thing we're going to be talking about today, not buying cars, not buying refrigerators, not buying phones. We're going to be talking about how to get students to make that decision, to implement a decision to commit to you guys, to you all's universities, or alumni to make a decision to give money, or just people to make a decision to like your school. I mean, in the end that's what we want. That's all what we want.

 03:10

So the decision to buy and implement these of something new is the thing that we're going to talk about today. But first, we're going to get started.

I'm going to tell you who I am. Robin's told you a little bit, but I'm going to go a little bit more into detail. And we're going to talk about why you should care. You should care, because we should care about people. And then we're going to talk about who you guys are. And I do care. And then we're going to talk a little bit more about what we're talking about today.

My professor says, "You say whatever you're going to say you say, what you're going to say, and then you tell people what you said." Did I say what I'm going to say? Yeah? OK.

This is me at a glance. I'm the Director of Communications at the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law. It's kind of hard to say that, but we have to differentiate ourselves because we are not the flagship university of the state.

 04:07

I'm the Co-Chair for the Regional HighEdWeb Ar, HEWebAr. You all might've seen that hashtag back in July. I'm also Co-Chair of the HighEdWeb Regional Support Committee, so if you guys are interested in starting a regional, I'm one of the people you can come to along with Jason Woodward.

Just this past December, I earned my Master's Degree in Applied Communication Studies at UALR, and what that means is that I just took some stuff that they were telling me and tried to use it, and this is part of what I did.

I'm very interested in Twitter. This happens to be, I think, my favorite area of social media, just because of the immediacy and the ability that people have to use it regardless of the fact that they feel like they may not be a good writer or particularly adept at communicating their thoughts. It's really easy to use.

 05:10

Prior to joining the Bowen School, I worked for main campus. Our campus, my school, has about 500 students. Main campus has about 13,000 students. And I want Megan to wave her hand. She's at my campus, too. She's going to be taking over the job that I used to do, maybe? And Megan's a HighEdWeb virgin, so yay.

This presentation is a result of a lot of that work that I did when I earned my master's degree in Applied Communications Studies. I got sick and tired of the curriculum that we had taking the interpersonal classes. We had a lot of interpersonal classes. And I call that 'Granola theory' because it didn't feel like it was particularly applicable to what I was doing at any point in time.

 06:06

When I took the class Diffusion of Innovations, which is the theory that this research is based on, I found something that I could grab a hold to. What the theory talks about is getting people to adopt what you want them to adopt. And it's not evil. It's just the way we all work.

I used Twitter in my thesis because I had a lot of professors who talked about the fact that social media is a passing fad. Can we all have a general laugh? Hahahaha. "It's a passing fad," I was told. "It is not valid interpersonal communication," I was told.

I think, through this research, that I showed that it is valid interpersonal communication and we use it everyday. And I really don't care at this point if my professors think it's a load of hooey.

 07:07

So let's talk about you guys. You've heard ad nauseam about me. How many of you have personal Twitter accounts? OK. How many of you manage accounts for universities, colleges? OK, that's interesting. You don't have a personal account, but you manage an account? OK. That's managing an account.

How many of you have more than one account that you manage? I would've given a word for that. How many times have you tweeted from the wrong account? Like, ugh.

Do you sometimes feel like there's no rhyme or reason to what you're putting out there? Yes? No? Yes, no rhyme or reason? 'There's no logical reason I should put this stuff out here, but somebody told me to do it so I put it out there?'

 08:16

Do you feel like your messaging sometimes gets bogged down in exactly the tool? The restrictions of the tool? Well, that's something that we have issues with everyday in what I'm doing, especially, I communicate with attorneys all day. And I don't know if you all have communicated with attorneys a lot, but it's a lot different than talking to normal people, please don't tweet that, because they take everything literally.

On the agenda today we're going to talk about the background for Diffusion of Innovation. We're going to talk about the theory, we'll talk about the research we conducted, and then we'll talk about the results and the practical applications which is I know you guys want to get to. You all don't want to listen to me talk about what I did for two years.

 09:05

The background. Why did I talk about Twitter? Well, I told you all, I think that it's a valid communication medium, I think it's got mass media elements, and I think it's got interpersonal elements. The prevalence is more and more out there. We've used it. You all know all this stuff.

Recently I thought it was really interesting to watch when Steve Jobs died, because I saw it on Twitter, then I saw it on the TV, and it was just amazing to me to see this happen live. It was like these other instances that I've got up here.

I don't know if you all know, but 200 million tweets a day. That's an astronomical number. And there are millions of users, and we know that there are some who are super users and there are some who are not. I think probably we have a lot of super users in this building today.

 10:05

And then I focused on H1N1 and the use of Twitter to communicate information about H1N1. Am I doing that? Do you know? Oh, OK. We'll go all Janet Jackson from the '80s. Thank you, Georgie.

H1N1 was a health catastrophe that we anticipated. Who was on their campus when we started talking about it, started talking about communication plans for it? 'What are we going to do if we get a bunch of kids who are in a dorm who are sick?' We actually anticipated that, and I remember sitting in the first meeting going, 'We don't know what's going to happen.'

And we could use other communication vehicles during the outbreak, so I could look and compare as to how the information came to people. It was like a perfect storm for me, honestly.

 11:05

I was looking for a topic for my thesis and it was a 'right place, right time' kind of thing. I was in the midst of this communication plan for H1N1 to talk to our students and, bam, this happened. So I could do my research at the same time I was working, and that's nice when you can actually do that.

I also was able to use what I learned in my work. It may not have materialized then, but it certainly has materialized since then in using it in what I do.

So the theory we were talking about. Who's heard of Diffusion of Innovation? Mark is usually, I look in the back and Mark's sitting back there. So one, two, three. Megan? Four, five. You all should get this book and read it. It's not a hard read. Right, Megan?

 12:02

Audience 7: No.

Tonya Oaks Smith: It's not a hard read. By Ev Rogers. Ev grew up in rural Iowa. He was a sociologist and studied initially how farmers adopted crop innovations, and saw that there was a curve that developed and people talked to fellow farmers and learned that, 'Oh, your weed is growing better than my weed, so I'm going to try what you try.'

He was also a supreme networker, and I think that most everybody in this room should be a supreme networker or at least try to be, and that just means making connections and helping other people make connections.

"Diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system." And blah blah blah. Geez, you all are quiet. Blah. Blah.

 13:07

The 'innovation' is a new thing. The 'communication' is either mass media or interpersonal. And over time, we watch the adoption through members of the social system, and the social system is the important thing that we have to worry about because we're considered a change agent so we have to develop a system for ourselves.

These are the steps that we go through in communication of innovation, and my research focused on these three initial stages.

The information stage, that's when you just get your good goo in your brain. The persuasion stage is when you try to adopt a decision. The decision stage is when you get to the point where you've made your decision, then you implement. And confirmation is that end where we're talking about, you said you weren't happy with the car? You're in confirmation stage with that car. And that's where cognitive dissonance comes in.

 14:17

So what does this have to do with your work? Yeah? No? What does this theory have to do with my work?

Well, just like people talked about H1N1 ad nauseam, 'I'm getting sick,' 'I'm getting cold,' 'I'm getting I don't know what,' 'I'm sitting by this guy on the train. He's coughing.' They talked about everything. Mike talked about it yesterday in his presentation where you want to give people something good to talk about and you want to give them the right channels to talk about. Well, they're going to talk about stuff regardless no matter the platform. We just have to think about how to use them, and I mean 'use' in the best sense, to communicate what we want them to communicate.

 15:08

Let's talk a little bit about our research. And don't let the numbers scare you.

Over 300,000 tweets used one of three terms, and this is hashtag and just in the content of the tweet in 140 characters. 'H1N1', 'swineflu', or 'swine flu', the two words, during the height of the outbreak, and we took the time from Spring to Fall 2009 because that's when the outbreak happened.

What we did was we isolated tweets for one of three key days in the outbreak. April 25th was when the World Health Organization met to discuss the epidemic, so news reports peaked tweaks at that time.

September 4th was when there started to be a lot of deaths in Mexico. Do you all remember that? I think, probably, particularly in Texas and areas down here, people started to  freak out, 'Oh, my God, did you go to Mexico? Are you getting sick?' That kind of thing.

 16:12

And then October 24th was the date that Obama declared a national health emergency. You all remember that?

So each of those days were days that were particularly salient. Does anybody know what 'salient' means? What does it mean?

Audience 8: Important or relevant.

Tonya Oaks Smith: Important or relevant to a viewer, reader, somebody involved in the story. And 'salience' is one of those key terms that we need to remember when we're communicating with people.

So we isolated for those three days and came out with 15,000 tweets. That's 15,000 tweets.

Now, originally, I had 1,200 pages of content that I needed to look at for content analysis. Do you all know how big of a stack of paper that is? It's like that big. It's ridiculous. So we had to figure out how to narrow the scope, so we narrowed it down to 15,000 tweets. And that's still a whole heck of a lot.

 17:15

Then, we conducted a detailed reading of 5,000 tweets for content, just to see what people were saying and what people were looking for, what kind of information they were looking for. This is the kind of thing that we can use everyday in our work when we're communicating in whatever way.

After that, after the content analysis, we did a survey of Twitter users, and I actually tweeted out the link so if anybody took my survey, I thank you, I appreciate it greatly. We talked to them about, "Did you get vaccinated?" "How did you make your decision?" "Where did you find your information?"

We also talked to them about their behaviors on Twitter as a whole, and that was probably the most telling, not the stuff that had to do with H1N1 specifically but the stuff that they had to do with what they do everyday with the tool.

 18:13

With the results, the content analysis leant three themes. People go on Twitter or come to anything, for that matter, for information-seeking and sharing. They also share misinformation, which is the scary thing, and you'll see when we get further on in this that the misinformation is perhaps one of the most just 'argh' things.

And then there's uncertainty reduction. For instance, 'I'm having a reaction to my shot and I can't figure out what I'm supposed to do.' We have a lot of that in higher education. Think about when you've got a fire alarm that happens in a dorm and you have somebody tweet about it, and if you're not watching and not paying attention to it, then that uncertainty builds and there's a void of information. And as we found with other emergencies, people will fill that void with misinformation.

 19:19

The results on the survey of users were very interesting. We asked, "How often do you pass along information?" "How do you choose what information to pass along?" and "How do you verify the truth of the information that you see on Twitter?" and then, "How does that information impact your decisions?"

This is where we get scary and hanky people. The majority of our users pass along information one to three times a day. However, we've got super users who tweet 10 or more times a day. How many times a day do you tweet, estimate?

I know, I did an analysis. I do like 20 a day. It depends on how hard I'm working.

 20:08

Who thinks you're one to three times a day? Who thinks you're five to 10? How many do you do, Georgie, estimate?

Audience 4: Fifteen.

Tonya Oaks Smith: You just had to be glummy.

But I think for people who talk for a living, it's not a lot. I mean, I get paid to talk. And those people are the people we need a lot to hold off and make use of. Just like when we're trying to find bloggers, we need to find people who are involved. Mike talked about that yesterday, too.

When we asked individuals how they chose to pass along information, this was really interesting to me. This is a direct quote. I had one respondent who said, "I pass along something of interest that comes from someone who I know who isn't in my circle of followers." So that shows that people are paying attention to hashtags, stuff that's in their area of interest, but they may not want to follow that individual. So you never know who's going to be watching your stuff.

 21:23

Those individuals, the individuals who pass along stuff, are the connective tissue for our communities. In the earlier presentation, I called Robin one of those major connectors, because she is. She manages to bring people together.

We have a lot of them in this room. You guys can be major connectors for your different audiences. And that's a really good role to have, because that means you're valuable to your community. But you're not always valuable as a mouthpiece.

The second scary thing to me about doing this survey and doing the research was the answer to the verification of the truth of the information on Twitter.

 22:09

Do you verify what you see on Twitter? I want to see a show of hands in here. You look up every link? Click on every link?

Audience 9: Only the ones that we're interested.

Tonya Oaks Smith: OK. Say you see somebody say something that looks like it may be true but not, do you pass it along?

Audience 10: Yes.

Tonya Oaks Smith: Yeah. But do you verify before you do it? Really?

Audience 10: [Indiscernible]

Tonya Oaks Smith: Yeah. I don't know if you all in the back heard but he's talking about Steve Jobs, when Steve Jobs died, that was his immediate reaction was to go verify the information before he retweeted. That's awesome. That's awesome responsible behavior as a Twitter user, because the people who are following us do not verify information.

 23:14

That was scary. I had a quote from somebody who said, "I trust everyone I follow. Therefore, I do not look up anything before I retweet." How scary is that? How bad could that be if somebody put out something that was not true?

You had your hand up?

Audience 11: There was this situation just last week in my wife's middle school and there was a bit of a Facebook-Twitter battle about a student having been killed. It was a situation that wasn't necessarily the ability to verify public information, a catastrophic evening that ended up being completely false. There wasn't an element of truth to it.

 24:04

Tonya Oaks Smith: Yeah.

Audience 11: So there is that gray line of, especially for a teacher when you have to...

Tonya Oaks Smith: And you're dealing with a vulnerable population, too. When we're dealing with students, and particularly parents, we're dealing with vulnerable populations, too.

But that was the thing that I looked at the results of the survey and went, "I can't believe this. We've got to do this again." So I went back and talked to a subset of users and said, "You mean to tell me that you don't check what you see?" and they said, "No, we don't check what we see."

Audience 12: [Indiscernible]

Tonya Oaks Smith: I mean, there are certain populations, but you expect people who are on certain media, at least I do, to be smart about what they're doing.

 25:03

Audience 13: [Indiscernible]

Tonya Oaks Smith: Anybody could respond, but that was one of the questions that we had on the survey. That's interesting, I've never been asked that question. I did not have anybody below 18 respond, which doesn't surprise me because of the average user on Twitter. Mostly, they were 24 to 40ish in that area, which we know is the time that people use it.

And the verification of the information is really not any different. I mean, if your mom tells you something, are you going to go check it out? I'm not. It's my mom. Really?

So what's different now about the way we communicate with people, and I think this Michael Skoler quote is awesome. And he's talking about traditional media. He's not talking about social media, but I think that it applies to us as well.

 26:13

People expect to share information. We're creating a two-way communication channel, not be fed it. They expect to be listened to and they want control over their information.

We've always known this. It seems like now we have to be even more careful about what we spit out as Twitter spitter-outers, because that's what we are. We have to make sure that we don't abuse the trust of individuals, because they're going to talk about us if they find out that we've lied about something or that we haven't corrected something.

I'm going to tell a little bit about what influence means, because influence is that thing that we have to be careful about. There's been research lately that it's not all your follower number that's the big thing. There are three different methods of influence.

 27:06

There's in-degree influence, retweet influence, and mention influence, and I think you can all define this. In-degree is your number of followers, retweet is the number of times you're retweeted, and mention is the number of times you're mentioned in a tweet.

Now let's talk about the application for what this research means. You all want to stand up and do some calisthenics? I had to get my obligatory kitten picture in.

This is what the research showed me. People trust what we put out so we have to share in a trustworthy manner. We have to make sure that what we spit out is absolutely true.

 28:02

Don't share misinformation if you know it's misinformation, and squelch it if it pops up, but I mean ' squelch' in the nicest possible way. Don't be rude, don't be mean. Don't create a highly verbal enemy who has a mouthpiece, because they do at that point. And if you call somebody out and get all snarky with them, it's just not going to work.

Number two, promise your viewers or readers absolutely correct information, and then give them ways to verify it. I found that even if people didn't click on the links, it made them feel better to have the links there, when I was conducting the follow-up surveys. It made them feel like, 'OK, I can check it out if I feel like it, but I don't feel like it.'

 29:00

Set yourself up to be a trusted source, or better yet, set other people up to be a mouthpiece and a trusted source for you. And we talked about this a lot in other areas, that's why we have students blog, that's why we have students make videos. We can set up other people to be our mouthpieces, and sometimes that's more valuable to our followers. So stamp out that information or enable somebody to stamp out that information for you.

Sometimes what I'll do is, if we have something coming up at school, I will call one of the students I know who is a big tweeter and say, 'Hey, can you put out something about this? Because I know that the students are listening to you and they may not be listening to me.' Now they may @me for more information about an event, but if I can send that student out and create an opinion leader in them, then they're more willing to give more information for me. I mean, we do that all the time with other things.

 30:08

How many people have student bloggers or tweeters or anything like that? It's the same concept. You're just creating opinion leaders by feeding them information. We've done that with journalists for a long time. If you want a favorable story, what do you do? You give them the information ahead of time so that you can sculpt the messaging.

Now, I'm going to say something: Don't screw the people who tweet for you, who tweet about you, who are positive about you. Don't give them bad information. And help them be your best mouthpiece. I have seen students call out alumni before on Twitter because they are communicating negative things about our school. I want those people to continue to do that kind of thing.

 31:02

So we have Tweetups where we bring them in and we talk about what our messaging is and what we're going to roll out so they can get a sneak peek and they can work on things for us in the coming months, so I'm not screwing them over.

Don't wait to share your information. There is a narrow point where we have salience, and that's why we looked at those three specific dates in the research. Take advantage of that slot that you have to fit into and fill it. Sharing information at the right time at the right place is the important thing.

The propensity for individuals to share information, for instance during H1N1, I don't know if you all saw, but Lindsay Lohan got a little ill and she tweeted about having a fever, and everybody in the world tweeted that again. There were like 1,500 retweets of Lindsay Lohan's original tweet that said, "I'm feeling kinda sick." Really? She wasn't sick. She was probably drunk or hungover, one of those two things.

 32:20

Or what?

Audience 14: Meth.

Tonya Oaks Smith: Oh. I guess it could've been that. I don't know that she looks like that to me. But anyway. Or maybe she was late for court, who knows.

There was one individual who talked about a guy next to him coughing on the train and how he was going to give him a mask, and I thought, 'Gee, that's pretty weird.' That was another thousand times that was retweeted.

So remember that your information could be picked up and shared abundantly.

At times, the research taught me that it was more important for change agents, that's us, to stay behind the scenes and let somebody else be a mouthpiece, and that's the kind of thing I was talking about with planting information with your students or with other people who tweet positively about you.

 33:11

Let them be the mouthpiece, because they have more validity in the community than you do. You're just empowering individuals to share your information.

And if you do this, you will create a team of defenders for your school, for your university, for your organization. It won't be you by yourself, and that's an awesome thing. You created a community and you have the capacity to share this information and get these people to defend your borders.

I'm going to go through a series of 'Don't's and 'Do's. I'm starting off with the 'Don't's because we're supposed to always end positively.

 34:00

Don't share information that's unworthy of your followers. Don't ignore your followers' legitimate concerns. Don't waste time sharing useless information. And don't ignore misinformation.

We also can't spread information that you can't confirm. Don't abuse your followers' trust, and if I could say any one thing it is be trustworthy and be honest. And if you don't know the answer, find the answer or tell somebody you don't know the answer.

Don't use Twitter without pondering the ramifications for your schools who don't use Twitter. I would say, if you can't commit 110% to it, then don't do it at all. I think doing it inadequately and not being able to monitor it is worse than not doing it at all.

For instance, I have one of the deans in my college, and we don't have departments, we have just individual deans, because a law school is structured differently. One of my deans set up a Twitter account six months ago, and they have tweeted once from it.

 35:13

Despite the fact that students have @replied her, have asked for information directly, have had concerns, have had software issues, have had numerous problems, they have not gotten a response.

Now, how does that put up her department? I mean, how would you feel?

Audience 15: [Indiscernible]

Tonya Oaks Smith: Because they said follow them. Because they said do it.

The 'Do's are even more fun. Please accept the importance of this medium. I think it is, and I actually got one of my professors to say, at the end of the whole rigmarole, "Well, you've convinced me. It's important. OK, we should do more research."

 36:07

Do build your relationships before emergencies and crises happen. Share your salient information. And then harness the power of your network. Encourage people to question. That's important. Call attention to misinformation, but in a nice way. Fill the information vacuum, and then reduce uncertainty and verify your own information or allow somebody to verify it for you.

I'm just going to run through this slide. Do you all have any questions? Because Robin still gave me five minutes. Any questions? What do you got?

Audience 16: You talked about [Indiscernible]?

 37:08

Tonya Oaks Smith: Well, the question that she asked, if you didn't hear, was how to get buy-in from higher-ups, right? Am I hearing that right?

I would say that I work for one of the best people in the world, and if anybody's on Twitter right now, give him a shout out, jmdipippa. My dean is awesome. He's on Twitter. He believes in it. But I have worked with people who don't, and I still work with people who don't.

And I think one of the most important things that I've done in my job right now is to show, for instance, the dean who did not respond to people adding. I collected the list of tweets that she was being sent and I said, "Look, this student is communicating with you and you're not responding to them."

 38:03

And then I went and I talked to the student and I said, "How did this make you feel? Was this good customer service? How would you like to have a reaction in this forum?" And then I could go back to this dean and say, 'This is unacceptable for this student to have to wait two hours to find out that you can't help them, or to find out that there's a simple workaround for this.'

Now I can't say she's totally been persuaded, but I think showing them the number of people that you have engaged through the medium is important. Showing them examples of how things pay off from us is a good thing.

I mean, I know Logan, this is a different social media. You get another shout out, yay. But I know Logan has had terrific success with Facebook and responding on Facebook. Well, it's the same concept with Twitter.

 39:08

I know that I'm open to talk to anybody. I know that a lot of us are open to talk to anybody and to help you come up with a plan. Maybe the plan is that you start communicating with the medium about things that are important to that individual.

For instance, I will have a dean who doesn't do anything communication-wise, but she always wants me to tweet about an event that's happening for Pro Bono Week. The first year I did it, she got a really good response and students said they did it because of Twitter. They came in because of Twitter. So you have to establish the metrics, and then let them talk for it.

Does anybody have...

 40:02

Audience 17: I'm curious, because we all know that having an account and not using it is not a good thing. But have you ever, I guess, what would your response be to, you do have an account, for example my institution, admissions, does pretty well with their social networking, but then they don't know what to do with the accounts once those students are at the university, and they brought it up with student affairs. But student affairs can't designate that time to those accounts, because admissions has a specific social networking person but student affairs does not.

Tonya Oaks Smith: Right. I feel like I need to...I think that's bullshit.

[Laughter]

 41:00

Tonya Oaks Smith: You have time. And I hear that a lot, too. 'I don't have time to do this,' and I'm like, 'So what about the time when you're checking your email?' It's the same thing. What about the time when you surf on YouTube at lunch? It's the same thing.

Maybe there is somebody in the department who can carve out 10 minutes a day just to pay attention to this channel. Maybe there is somebody in the department who is on Twitter already but just in a private sense, so they're interested and they can devote the time to it.

Sometimes, as communicators, it's important for us to just take on roles that we don't necessarily want to take on. So probably in that instance I would say, 'Well let's just look at how many tweets you get a day and let's try to work in.'

 42:05

Mike, you're holding up your hand and I think you probably have a solution for...

Audience 18: Is this directly about Facebook or Twitter?

Audience 17: Both.

Audience 18: OK, so just one in hindsight, if I talk about Facebook, through what we call several groups, but after that happens, I always do the handoff to whatever student organization, so kind of skipping that overall 'every student needs to be on here as their own campus' into the direct groups on campus organizations that they prefer, and the best pathway through that is just using orientation. And you might not...

Tonya Oaks Smith: That's an awesome idea.

 43:00

Law students are funny, because they say they don't have time, either. They don't have time. But amazingly enough, I found quite a few of them on Twitter. And on Facebook!

Does anybody have anything else? Any other questions? Comments? You got one?

Audience 19: I do. I'm trying to formulate it, but, I guess, I don't have to get the buy-in from upper. I have to get the buy-in from, well, the lower-end people, the people that work for me. They're technical and they don't quite do the same social stuff, at least not in the business sense. They've got their own things going.

But when it comes to stuff like this, it's more like, 'Why do they even need all this stuff?' I was thinking of admission, for example, because they're really into this social media thing. So how do you get buy-in from technical people? Is it the same process?

Tonya Oaks Smith: Who aren't in here at least social anyway? I don't think that's right.

 44:01

Audience 19: Then what?

Tonya Oaks Smith: Yeah. I think you're in a balancing situation, because it has to be persuasive to get them to do it, and they may not inherently see the value of communicating as a whole. Does that make sense?

Audience 19: Yeah. They tend to be wallflowers.

Tonya Oaks Smith: I mean, we as a group, we balance on this. It's interesting watching people interact in this group. Tom and I were talking about that. It's interesting watching, we have people who are like 'Bleh bleh bleh' and then we have people who are like, 'Just give me my iPhone.'

So you have to figure out a way, and maybe the way to do that is to find people on Twitter or find people on Facebook or find people in other medium who have something in common. Do you code this way? Do you do this?' So you're helping them establish a network where they see the value of the channel.

 45:00

Does that make sense?

Audience 19: Stuff that they might be able to...

Tonya Oaks Smith: Exactly. Exactly.