Thursday, August 13, 2009

Social Media: Keeping Up

by Beth Graham

Okay, your organization has made the decision to enter the social media arena. They’ve done the research, understood that social media are just one part of a successful public relations and marketing strategy, decided how social media will further the organization’s mission, and integrated social media into the overall plan.

Now you’re responsible for the blog, or the tweets, or the Facebook page, or whatever channels your organization has decided to use. It’s been drummed into your consciousness (and perhaps your sub-conscious and unconscious as well) that the key to successful social media participation is keeping information current and interesting. OMG! What do you write about?

Special events, upcoming promotions, big fundraisers, of course. But those don’t happen all the time, and you have a blog post to put up at least every other day. It’s really helpful to remember that none of your readers will know as much about your organization as you do. Details and factoids (nothing proprietary, of course!) about your operation that you might find so familiar as to be dull could be fascinating for your audience.

Think about the standard “who, what, when, where and how” questions and come up with little-known information items that you could share: how does a library book arrive on the shelf, ready for the reader to check out? How do those huge planes that get serviced at the airport travel from one little service area to another? When was your company founded and why? Who is the most productive member of your staff and why? Where are your offices located and why?

In other words, you have complete control over the space and time of your social media posts. Use that access to let the world get to know your company or organization, on a more personal basis than could ever be possible with advertisements or news releases. It will help your readers – and potential customers – feel as if they have already become acquainted with you, and much more comfortable about dealing with your organization when that time comes.