Building Up Your Org's Digital Presence

A blog post for Dave's awesome mom!

May 11, 2017

“What advice would you give an organisation to get real [digital] presence?”

It's not often that I get a question via Twitter from a friend's mom. However, that's exactly what happened this week when Dave Musson's mom, Denise, tweeted a question in response to my post about there being “no middle ground with using social media for engagement.”

While Denise's question was specifically about two regional groups that she is a member of here in the UK, the gist of how you go about building up the digital presence of a smaller community-focused organization is pretty much the same as how you would do it for a department at a university.

Here are some basic tips, tactics, and strategies for any small-size organization or department that is looking to ramp up its social media presence:

  • Why/What - There should be a reason why your organization is increasing its digital presence. Asking why you're using digital channels as well as what you hope to accomplish with digital engagement are important questions to ask.
  • The Plan - Having a plan in place that drives the activities of your department/group will provide guidance and clarity. Incorporate strategic communications in parallel with goals and outcomes. An ever-evolving plan provides a roadmap for digital activity.
  • Social Media Channels/Sites/Apps - Choosing the right digital channel is important. Where is the conversation happening? You may need to do a lot of traditional marketing and promotion in order to increase awareness of your new digital initiatives.
  • Time and People - Carving out enough time to properly manage social media activities will undoubtedly lead to an active/strong digital presence. Building up a "brand" on social media takes time and an understanding of what your followers/fans want/need to see/read/hear.
  • Measure, Measure, Measure - Almost all social media sites/apps provide easy to access analytics. Using these statistics, you can see when engagement happens. If you post all of your social media content on Monday mornings and you get a lot of engagement with your digital activity in the evenings during the middle of the week, then there is a clear cut solution where social analytics can be quite useful. Resources: Twitter Analytics, Guide to Facebook Insights, and YouTube Analytics. (Hopefully there will be much better stats for Instagram and Snapchat in the near future.)
  • Engagement and the Conversation - Social media work best when there's a conversation. If your posts are just like a bulletin board from the 1990s, you're not really showcasing the value or impact of digital engagement. Create captivating content on a regular basis. Ask your community what they want to see/hear/watch/read on your social media channels. Experiment with interactive elements...Twitter polls are a great way to find out what people want to see.
  • Have Fun and Develop Your Voice - We all "do" social media in our own unique way. From one department/org to another, there's an inherent uniqueness to how things are handled. Have fun with your social media endeavours.

What would you add to this list?

Thanks to Denise Musson and Dave Musson for inspiring this post. Also, congratulations to Dave on his new gig with Net Natives.


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