For many of us in the marketing and public relations fields, we understand the importance of sending out consistent messages to promote our organization’s campaigns. The message itself may be slightly modified for the individual audiences, but really nothing else.
Well, that has changed—thanks to social media. The integration of social media (which I no longer call “new media”), has revolutionized the way we communicate and interact with each other on both a personal and professional level.
Social media also allows us to be creative in the way we get our message out, and it’s no longer about who owns the message, it’s more about being the focus of conversation. Ok, many of you may already know this, but do we practice what we preach?
Yesterday, we hosted our first webinar of our spring series at Matrix Group, and we decided to do something completely different. First, we moved away from the traditional PowerPoint slides into a live demo, but that’s not all. We incorporated social media during the actual webinar and continued it once it ended. The response has been fantastic so far.
Here are the lessons that we learned that we wanted to share with you the next time you are launching a campaign:
- Hashtags can be pretty powerful. Whether you are launching a fundraising appeal or sponsoring an event, the level of activity your hashtag can generate can be huge. And, it’s not only about “promoting your campaign”; it’s about being the topic of conversation. Have you ever played “Telephone?” Well, watching conversations by hashtags can be the same experience. The conversation continues, but your original message changes in the course of it all. It’s a pretty cool way to get to know your audiences.
- Your Facebook page makes the perfect platform for discussions. With 800+ million people on Facebook, why wouldn’t it? A few months ago, I sat on a webinar with someone from Facebook. Throughout his presentation, he re-emphasized the importance of sharing and engagement. He even mentioned that one shouldn’t delete a negative comment on your Facebook page (unless it is deemed inappropriate of course based on your social media policy), but to respond instead. Because engagement on our Facebook page is important, we invited attendees from our webinar to post questions on our wall for our “in house” experts. It was a great way to engage with our attendees post webinar.
- Social media is a community so build one. Again, you’ve heard this before, your social media strategy should be about building a community, but how does really one go about doing it? The bullets above are a great way to get started!
As I mentioned earlier, many of us know this stuff, but how do we go about implementing are ideas? And how do we know it is successful? Start small and go from there. There are so many other component of a social media strategy: blogs, foursquare, YouTube, etc.
Where should you begin? Take the first step by hosting a Facebook discussion. You don’t need an app for it. Just ask fans to post questions and comments to your wall.
What social media tools have worked best for you?