Facebook talks like a pirate. Movember and online community rituals

Want to change your Facebook page to Talk Like A Pirate? Want to know why? Online community managers use rituals to engage social network members in conversation and producing social media.

Want to know how to change Facebook to Talk Like A Pirate? Want to know why? Ahoy Me Hearties: One of the tasks our online community managers undertake with clients (PR or Marketing agencies, or companies) is to build out a Social Media Conversation Diary – a list of tasks and engagement activities to keep online community members entertained and loyal. Whether it’s Facebook or Twitter or a blog or forum, always a great idea to agree in advance on viral spiked activities.

First, Changing Facebook to Pirate Speak

How do I change my language settings?
To set your language, go to the bottom of the page you are on and click the current language in the left corner. You may then select your language from the menu that appears. You can also update your language by going to the Account page, and then the “Language” tab there.

Or click this http://www.facebook.com/editaccount.php?language <- it’s not turned on yet. But this is what it looks like on Sunday:

facebook talk like a pirate social media

Facebook Pirate speak online community manager

Every community has rituals. In the West, it’s Christmas, Easter, Public Holidays. Also birthdays. We know these fall on set dates though birthdays are individual whereas Christmas is collective. Other rituals you can create activity around are weddings, births, engagements and so on. Even people leaving the group can create a rituals of goodbyes and “remember when…” reminiscing. To engage with your online community, play a practical joke on them on April Fool’s Day (or let them play one on you). Change your Facebook page to have Christmas Holly on it. Change your Twitter avatar to be Santa Claus. Read your community values first of course – but most are not too politically correct, and will only offer up a “but what about Muslim/Jews/Buddhists?” as a means for creating discussion. Be part of what’s going on, not above it.

Movember and Social Media

The real gift (or simply the voice of experience if you’ve been running the community for years) is to know which rituals the community members themselves adopt. For example, on both Twitter and Facebook, Movember is the rage. In the month of November, men grow moustaches to support research into Prostrate Cancer and hence many people naturally change their photos to have a moustache too. I photoshop my avatar to have a moustache –

Movember rituals in online communities and social media– so do thousands of others. Companies that follow through – Water bottles with a moustache, Google with a moustache, cars with moustaches – gain a huge amount of Brand Love.

online communities movember social media
Movember: Just remember to follow it up in online communities too

What is Movember? (from Australian Movember site)

Movember (the month formerly known as November) is a moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men’s health.

At the start of Movember guys register with a clean shaven face. The Movember participants, known as Mo Bros, have the remainder of the month to grow and groom their Mo, raising money along the way to benefit men’s health – specifically prostate cancer and depression in men.

Funds are committed to our men’s health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia andbeyondblue: the national depression initiative and the Movember Foundation. Together, the three channels work to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world class programs in the fields of research, education, support, and awareness.

After all, these companies are then demonstrating that they are “in the know” that they understand the secret handshake of the members, that they value their citizenship in the online community and aren’t just infiltrating it to sell more goods and services.

Talk Like A Pirate Day and Online Community

You’ve probably missed the opportunity to play this Sunday 19th September with communities celebrating “Talk Like A Pirate Day”.

Talk Like a Pirate Day from Wikipedia:

International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLAPD) is a parodic holiday created in 1996 by John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon,[1] U.S., who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate.[1] For example, an observer of this holiday would greet friends not with “Hello,” but with “Ahoy, matey!” The holiday, and its observance, springs from a romanticized view of the Golden Age of Piracy. The holiday is a major observance in the religion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

At first an inside joke between two friends, the holiday gained exposure when John Baur and Mark Summers sent a letter about their invented holiday to the American syndicated humor columnistDave Barry in 2002.[3] Barry liked the idea and promoted the day.[3] Growing media coverage of the holiday after Barry’s column has ensured that this event is now celebrated internationally, and Baur and Summers now sell books and T-shirts on their website related to the theme. Part of the success for the international spread of the holiday has been attributed to non-restriction of the idea or trademarking, in effect opening the holiday for creativity and “viral” growth.[4]

Baur and Summers found new fame in the 2006 season premiere episode of ABC’s Wife Swap, first aired September 18, 2006. They starred in the role of “a family of pirates” along with John’s wife, Tori. Baur also appeared on the June 26, 2008 episode of Jeopardy!, where Johnny Gilbert introduced him as a “writer and pirate from Albany, Oregon.”

As the association of pirates with peg legs, parrots, and treasure maps was popularized in Robert Louis Stevenson‘s novel Treasure Island (1883), the book has had a significant influence on parody pirate culture.

Sounds nuts? Unprofessional to become involved in such frivolities? Diddums – fish where the fishies are, sunshine. If you bend down to talk to children, if you learn a few words of Spanish before heading to South America, you can jolly well put together an engagement plan to play with customers who enjoy mucking around with Pirate Speak.

Talk Like A Pirate Day social media online communities
Talk Like a Pirate Day at the Chicago Red Stars' Office in 2008 - one of Vandervort's favorite memories with Wil

Staff too, enjoy participating in silly days like Talk Like a Pirate or April Fool’s or similar. Return on Investment seems pretty high all around!

Grab a diary, put in ritual holidays then start planning small activities to engage with customers. It’s really not that hard 🙂 If you are interested in the Social Media Conversation Diary for 2011, leave your name here or join the Facebook.com/SilkCharm fan page and I’ll make sure you get an opportunity to grab a copy. It’ll be chockers with little and big activities for you to implement to keep your Facebook, Twitter and what not vibrant with conversations and relationship building goodness. If it’s all still too hard, you can employ The Community Crew for the day to day tasks of running a Facebook page, twitter account and forums or blogs.  Up to you.

For Skribe who doesn’t “do Christmas” 😛

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