By Joe Pagano
In the past few years we’ve seen the power of social media at work in elections, the Arab spring, the Occupy movement, and in our personal communications. Leaders of all types of organizations are coming to understand the power of social media to build their online profile, attract visitors to their website, and collect information they need to engage in a two-way conversation.
So how can you best take advantage of this trend that’s moving at warp speed? As with so many things in life, there’s no one right answer. But one thing is clear – a social media presence is effective, and a “crawl – walk – run” approach can be the most manageable, especially for small- to mid-size organizations.
Some basic tips for making the most of social media:
LinkedIn is for everyone.
It’s the new phone directory – for individuals and businesses. Be sure your work and contact information are current and as complete as possible. Aim for 100% completion!
STOP HERE if you do not have the time or resources to commit to social media.
An out-of-date presence is more harmful than no presence at all.
(Keep in mind: we can help.)
PROCEED if you have 1- 2 hours per week or the resources to hire someone to manage your social media.
Facebook is a great place to start.
With 60% of its 800 million users between the ages of 18 and 44, Facebook is the mainstream choice for connecting with others and engaging in a two-way conversation.
Twitter is for pushing out news and status updates.
With 1.6 billion daily tweets and growing, Twitter is particularly effective for specific fields such as sports, entertainment, technology, politics and higher education.
Blogs and e-blasts are quick and inexpensive ways to communicate.
Focus on a targeted audience, and build a two-way dialogue with your key customers and prospects.
Online video is the future.
Video on your website creates an emotional connection and makes it easier for visitors to digest information. Video on YouTube broadens your market reach and improves your search engine optimization. Google owns YouTube; need we say more?!
You will attract and retain loyal followers by keeping your message fresh and engaging.
Everyone is busy. Provide useful information that helps people live and work smarter.
Social media is an informal and experimental platform by nature. Take some risk (for
example, offer a discount or promotional giveaway) and you’ll be surprised at the
Experience the impact!
Whether you’re seeking more customers, donors or followers, social media opens a vast
array of new channels for connecting with them regularly.