Turning your web presence into a social network

by Matthew Warner

This presentation was given at the 2011 Catholic New Media Conference. Below are my notes on the presentation:


  • Being 'present' isn't enough.
  • Social media is about engaging people in a dialog; talking with them, listening to them, and RELATING.
  • Don't get caught up in monetizing your blog/site.
  • Don't get caught up in analytics and followers.
  • Focus on the PEOPLE involved in your Network.
  • "If you shoot for quantity at the expense of quality, you'll end up with neither."
  • Build your network upon meaningful relationships.

P.O.S.T Method

  • People: Who are you trying to reach?
  • Objectives: Why? What are your Goals?
  • Strategies: Ways to accomplish those goals?
  • Technologies: What tools will help you do that?

9 Basic Tips for Building Connections

  1. Use other social networks (and evaluate which ones will be helpful for your network).
  2. Ask people to connect (have it at the top of your page, have a little explanation of what they're going to get).
  3. Don't forget email. Many people want to stay informed...
  4. Twitter and Facebook embedded widgets.
  5. Make content sharable - give social media sharing links.
  6. Encourage social commenting - Livefyre, Disqus, Gravatar, etc.
  7. Use multimedia (with purpose). Don't just stick pictures in because you want a picture...
  8. Build a forum (not for everyone, though).
  9. Use a social media aggregator (like TweetDeck or Hootsuite).

Listening (and responding)

  • People will send information your way... listen to comments, tweets, replies, etc.
  • Listen outside of your official channels:
    • Keywords (Google Alerts), watch competitors, follow hashtags, etc.
  • Always respond (if you can). Especially if someone reaches out to you specifically.

Making your content social

  • Make it high quality (obvious, but requires continuous work).
  • Make it entertaining.
  • Don't say everything (leave room for other people).
  • Ask questions of your community.
  • Share you're goals - make it a 'we' endeavor.
  • Talk about your events; add suspense and drama.
  • Post as an individual, and not as an organization (if possible).
  • Be yourself.

Social media pitfalls

  • Don't let it kill productivity. Don't spread self too thin. Don't consume everything.
  • Social media is not an end itself; it's a means with which you can accomplish your mission.

Final Thoughts

  • Keep it personal and value quality relationships.
  • Have fun, be authentic, share your joy.
  • Pray, hope and don't worry.