The Global Innovation through Science and Technology Initiative--Social Media Strategy Implementation
The Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Initiative builds entrepreneurial ecosystems in 43 countries across the Middle East, Africa and South and Central Asia by identifying, coaching and funding promising entrepreneurs through its competitions, start-up acceleration services, online social media platform and interactive mentorship programs. GIST is implemented by CRDF Global and funded by the US State Department.
GIST needed to redesign its current website to:
- Serve as an informational resource
- Provide tools
- And, become a platform for global networking.
GIST turned to Matrix Group to make this happen.
With its audiences on the other side of the world and social media increasing in popularity among people in MENA and Southeast Asia, the team at GIST needed help to create a strong, global social networking strategy that:
- Raised awareness of the initiative and its mission among entrepreneurs in the regions, key organizations and media.
- Promoted the “Economic Development through Science and Innovation” Conference in Morocco, a large international conference in the region for entrepreneurs, investors, government officials, etc.
- Encouraged entrepreneurs, researchers, investors GIST staff, speakers and other experts to connect with each other
- Made conferences virtual by engaging attendees who cannot attend, but can participate in conversations surrounding the sessions through social media.
- Provided training on best practices to help staff manage their time and craft posts that encouraged its audiences to further engage with the organization and join its network, as well manage their time.
With an understanding of the initiative’s goals and their level of knowledge, Matrix Group worked closely with GIST’s core team on the development of a strong social media strategy.
- Determined platforms that would best meet the initiative’s goals. Matrix Group set up individual platforms on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Linkedin
- Developed an editorial calendar to ensure that campaigns were promoted consistently. The editorial calendar included topic recommendations ideas for the individual pages to help promote individual campaigns, including the conference in June 2011 and individual competitions.
- Provided best practices on how to use social media and integrate it into its traditional outreach. Since some of the members of the team were fairly new to social media, they requested support on how to use social media engage audiences, strategies for posting, including how to post and when to post.
- Recommended time management tools for managing social networking activity. Matrix Group created a schedule for GIST to implement, as well suggested tools to help them manage their time by scheduling updates in advance.
- Showed the GIST team on how to measure ROI. GIST needed to know how to measure the success of its social media outreach. Matrix Group provided them with tools on how to track activity from the individual networking sites to the its website, as well as how to conduct qualitative research by conducting searches on Twitter , and assessing its Facebook activity based on popular post.
- Collaborated with GIST on a launch strategy. Matrix Group helped the team get started by crafting the announcement messages at the time of launch.
- Crafted and posted messages for the first 30 days. Matrix Group helped GIST get started with its social networking activity by crafting Facebook posts, uploading videos to YouTube, and tweeting. During the period, Matrix Group collaborated with the GIST team on content recommendations for the individual sites.
- Provided best practices and strategy for a Facebook ad campaign. Matrix Group provided best practices and recommendations on how to increase “Likes” on its Facebook page through an ad campaign.
The development of GIST’s social media strategy and editorial calendar played important roles in generating traffic to the initiative’s website, promoted its overall brand, and encouraged visitors to join its network and participate in future programs.
GIST social networking activity to date is as follows:
- Nearly 26,000 fans on Facebook. GIST saw a significant increase in “likes” as a result of a Facebook ad campaign that targeted its demographics.
- More than 500 followers on Twitter.
- More than 1500 YouTube subscribers and nearly 200,000 views. GIST experienced an increase in activity on its YouTube channel and overall membership as a result of the GISTech-I Competition where young entrepreneurs pitched their idea in a two minute video, which were then posted on YouTube.
- Social media sites referred approximately 25,000 visits to the website since June 2011 with Facebook being the top referrer according to Google Analytics.
GIST continues to be actively involved with its members through social media.