Blog Archives

The Hootville agenda…

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Online: We’re building sites for Inner Melbourne VET Cluster, a family violence network headed by Women’s Health Goulburn North East and a campaign-specific website for an aged care peak body.

speakers available in australia

Hootville is ON.

Speaking: Rotary Kyabram and Our Community’s Grantmaking in Australia Conference.

EmceeingCommunities In Control 2013, Inner Eastern Lean Local Education Network, Minds At Work, Fundraising Institute of Australia, Coonara Community House, Disability Employment South Australia, Disability Employment Australia, Community Care Case Managers Conference.

Training: Australian Psychological Society, Victoria Law Foundation, Marriott Support Services, City of Gosford, City of Moonee Valley, Mitchell Shire, Monash Volunteer Resource Centre, Boroondara Volunteer Resource Centre, City of Boroondara.

Campaign planning: a breastfeeding alliance in regional Victoria headed by Women’s Health Goulburn North East.

And that’s why we never answer the telephone.

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The nine secrets behind irresistible tweets.

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According to Evergreen Search there are 9 specific characteristics behind great tweets. It’s a perfectly OK list but it neglects some proven, measured ways to gain more retweets (the proof that you are tweeting well).

1. Images. Attach interesting images whenever you can. Pictures still tell 1000 words.

2. Links. Tweets containing links are retweeted far more often than tweets containing no link. It makes sense – how interesting can one be in 140 characters? People who never tweet any links must be just talking about themselves, shooting the breeze or – mercy – sending inspirational quotes.

3. Opinion – strong, consistent, confronting – works.

Lots more advice about Twitter and tweeting on our site.

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Makeover your Twitter page

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Some simple ways to take advantage of Twitter’s new display options care of Social Media Examiner.

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How many?

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Average number of friends and followers

With age comes discernment. And trips to the pharmacy.

How connected are people? Well it depends on how old they are. Gender makes a difference too. Again, this data comes care of Sensis.


How many? How often?

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australian social media use

Non and heavy users pretty balanced out. Ain't Mother Nature wonderful?

What percentage of Australians really use social media? This comes from a survey by Sensis whose business (unwanted telephone directories) has been decimated by the web.

As you see on the left left, a third of people surveyed claim to not use social media. This group is more or less equalled by those who use it once daily or more often.

Sensis also reports that the web is getting greyer. Thus, your organisation has less excuse not to get its online act together. Build it and they will come; if a little slowly and carrying cups of tea.

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Searching for that last vital .34

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emcee for hire Sydney

Brett keeps his Auslan interpreter's hands full.

The feedback is in for Brett’s Disability Employment Australia conference emceeing performance. It was his fifth turn so you’d think he’d have it down pat by now but it seems he is still short of perfect – 0.34 short of perfect to be precise. The 600 or so conference-goers rated him a 4.66 points out of a possible 5. Brett is devastated to not be granted a perfect five. That’s his problem. If you want an emcee that divides your audience (between 4.5 and 5 out of 5) contact Hootville today.

In other recent moments of testimonial bliss David Seignior Melbourne program director at Centre for Sustainability Leadership said of Brett’s recent Media savvy 101 presentation: “We can’t express enough how grateful we are. We are certain you have upskilled our Fellows. Thanks.”  

Jan Phyland Communications Manager with Southern Cross Care said of her Social Media Savvy 101 webinar:  “I got more from those two hours than anything I had heard previously.  So kudos to you!!”

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Dealing with nasty Facebook comments

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Of all the concerns nonprofits have about Facebook, the challenge of dealing with nasty comments ranks at the very top. Even higher than getting more comments in the first place.

This video shows you how to deal with mean spirited Facebook comments from a technical perspective. (Yes you can block people.)

social media policy advice

Pity the fool who has to reply to these spirited Facebookers.

But above and beyond the technical is the cultural. Interaction is key to being successful on social media – they don’t call it “social” for nothing. The ability to make comments is an attraction to Facebook. You want comments, as one comment makes a second comment more likely and so on. This rings true for comments in the positive or negative.

Hootville promotes the idea of a social media playbook as opposed to social media policy. Policies tend to be heavy on the don’ts and light on the dos. Part of any nonprofit’s social media playbook should be how to deal with unacceptable comments.

How do you define ‘unacceptable’ beyond the blatantly privacy-breaching, malicious, threatening and unsubstantiated? What if someone writes: “I used to use your service but I found Service X and they are so much better. More friendly and half the price. Losers!” 

Will you let that stay visible? Will you reply? We hope so. Some nonprofits are affronted by anything that isn’t blatantly positive but copping critical comments with dignity, grace and humour is a good look. Something like:

“We don’t see ourselves as losers but we are sorry to lose you. Anyhow we are happy you’ve found a new service that pleases you.”

Have a policy to write back to such comments that are close to, but don’t step over the line. Even better, you may find that others who are part of your socal media networks step in to defend and praise you.

And remember – not everyone who reads what you write believes you, even when you are being sincere and helpful. The same goes double for people leaving critical, nasty comments on your Facebook wall. Most often the only people who look bad are the commenters.

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Twitter responses matter so get thy tweet on.

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twitter example for government

If people Tweet to you...

If you would like to lead an army of Twitter followers (like those who follow @Hootville) you will need to do more than just tweet messages out. You will have to show that you really give a damn about communicating via Twitter by respond to incoming tweets. 

Of course this means you will have to monitor Twitter closely. Well you already check reception, the phone, emails and the mailbox so monitoring Twitter should not be a great burden. Should it? Imagine getting this tweet above. Best advice:

  • Respond and respond quickly, preferably via a direct message. Or…
  • Suggest immediately via twitter that the tweeter telephones you. better tweet back. Quicksticks.




Do something – and do it fast. And if this seems new or strange, get used to it as more and more people will be tweeting you. There will be lots more advice like this as part of our upcoming Social Media Savvy 101 webinar.

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Analytics Savvy 101 announced

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Analytics Savvy 101

Tuesday June 12 from 10am to 11.30am. 

Got a website? Of course. Got Google Analytics? Sure. Look at your Analytics regularly? Kinda. Constantly use Analytics to improve your website’s perfomance? Well…

google analytics advice

Place your website into analysis.

Well it’s about time your all important online investment was given some adult supervision. Learn how to get the most from Google Analytics in our 90m webinar. Agenda: 


  • meet the Google Analytics dashboard;
  • de-jargonning and defining terms such as “bounce rates”;
  • benchmarking – what expectations are reasonable?
  • tracking the performance of your social media endeavours;
  • monitoring your website’s vital signs;
  • using Google Analytics to improve search engine results;
  • some clever reports to impress bosses;
  • how GA can help boost purchases and donations;
  • quarantining your colleagues’ activity from the stats;
  • finding your site’s cul de sacs and abandoned areas.

All the details right here.

Join: Jean Hailes Foundation for Women, University of Melbourne, Community Sector Banking, Cancer Council Victoria, Australian Physiotherapy Association, Tasmania Landcare, Barwon Water, Benetas, Diabetes Australia, Victoria, Alzheimers Australia Victoria. 

Your website is surely your biggest communications tool. It’s also the easiest to dramatically improve. Google Analytics helps you do this.

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Social Media Savvy 101 webinar announced

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Due to public demand (yes, really) we are holding another Social Media Savvy 101 webinar Friday August 17. All the details right here. This will be the only Social Media Savvy 101 webinar until at least 2013.

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