Learnlets
Clark Quinn's Learnings about Learning
(The Official Quinnovation blog)

8 February 2011

Social Media Strategy thoughts

Clark @ 6:03 am

What is a social media strategy for outreach?  Really, it’s about demonstrating your thinking, your values, and background. It’s about interacting with appropriate people in ways that reflect who you are.

Here is some thoughts about how that maps out in two areas: Facebook, and Twitter.  I’m mentioning these as two of the most viable and visible tools for social media engagement.

Twitter

Having a twitter account is a necessary start, maybe several. One might be just a daily thing people can follow, but it has to provide value.  So, for example, you might stream out an interesting bit of the day. That, alone, however, is not enough.

A second important role is to engage people.  More important than the first idea is to ‘be’ an entity.  If an organization is on social media, and increasingly they should be,  it needs to be interactive. This is accomplished in several ways:

  • point to what the organization is doing
  • point to interesting things outside of the organization
  • re-tweet relevant stuff that others post (which requires following interesting people)
  • respond to people replying to that account.

These require resources, essentially a person or persons who handle these duties.  Done well, these activities demonstrate that there is an interesting mind and a sincere heart behind the account.

Facebook

The same is true of a FaceBook page.  Not only should people be friending it, they should be coming back to be engaged  the organization, but now also with their colleagues also interested in the organization.

There are different ways to be on Facebook: as a static page, or as a ‘presence’ with dialogs, groups, etc.  A static page might get a few ‘likes’, but you really want to build a site as a place to come for folks interested in the organization and it’s work.  There need to be discussions supported (and interacted with).  There need to be updates.  There needs to be a way for people to have a dialog with you.  You need information: photos, events.  Use apps to create polls. In short, it’s about interaction around the organization and it’s work.

Again, the message is that you’re active, engaged, you really care about what you do.  And, again, it takes resources.

Twitter/Facebook Integration

These two elements do not live independently.  Your Twitter strategy should be aligned with your Facebook strategy, so your tweets point to new information on Facebook, your Facebook account reflects your tweets, etc.  Your tweets should drive traffic to the Facebook site, but not exclusively.

There’s more that can be incorporated: blogs (I use twitter and my blog more than my facebook page, but I’m an individual not an organization).  However, your elements shouldn’t be too fragmented.  E.g. only have separate Twitter handles and Facebook pages if your separate initiatives have to maintain unique identities. However, that’s a branding issue, and not a place I’m qualified to talk about.  Once you’ve got the identity, then you need to align your Facebook and Twitter strategies.

So, you should be doing this, and you need to be doing it well.  If you don’t do it right, you may as well not do it at all.

2 Comments »

  1. Good read, Clark. Agree about integrating Facebook and Twitter although they should not be viewed as generating the same type of results.

    From a branding perspective, FB and twitter are different social networks and therefore offer different strengths and weaknesses. For example, a B2B business may want to utilize twitter as a business development opportunity by demonstrating their expertise in a space. By commenting on relevant topics to your customers and prospects, your brand is viewed as a thought leader and trust is generated. Where Facebook (again B2B widget-producer perspective here) is a great place to post more static content as it relates to your brand such as product upgrades. Facebook is great for feedback, both good and bad, and to announce products. In most cases Facebook is not a good B2B business development website (think FB=awareness, Twitter=transaction). It should not be used as such and businesses should avoid a “all networks are the same, one size fits all” approach wherever possible.

    In both cases, define your specific business objectives ahead of time and use the social network to its greatest strength.

    Comment by Mike — 8 February 2011 @ 9:04 am

  2. Thanks for that quick synopsis Clark. It is helping me get my head around Facebook strategy as it fits in overall social media strategy. Same with Twitter. Facebook has being a confusion for me since the beginning but I’m slowly starting to see how it adds to the overall online strategy. The whole friending concept is alien for me, now I’m getting it.. Great work on the ITA Working Smarter Field Book. I’m getting my money’s worth :-)

    Brent

    Comment by Brent MacKinnon — 8 February 2011 @ 11:45 am

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