This past week, Sean Dixon, Interactive Media Manager at Springfield, Mo., Convention and Visitors Bureau, came to our social media public relations class. He gave a thorough presentation on social media strategy for an organization, and I wanted to share some of his tips.
Share with a Purpose
Before your begin your social media efforts as an organization, know why you what to participate online. It is essential to understand your purpose on social media platforms and make sure they align with the marketing goals of your organization. Your overall purpose should govern every status, tweet and update.
Create your Social Media Stack
After deciding your purpose, it is necessary to choose what Dixon called your “social media stack,” or the social media platforms you want to use. There are countless social media platforms to choose from, and no organization can effectively use them all. Research where your audience is and determine how much time you have to dedicate to social media strategies. These two elements will help decide your organization’s social media stack.
Take Pride in Every Status & Tweet
Facebook statuses and tweets may seem simple and arbitrary, but when you consider how many people could potentially view each update, it becomes clear that accuracy, grammar, spelling and witty headlines are vital. When you share a link on Facebook, you have an option to simply share the hyperlink or craft an individual headline, summarize the article in your own words and select an appropriate picture. Although it takes extra time, taking small steps to present your organization well on social media platforms can make a huge difference.
Use Mentions & Hashtags to Share your Message with a Broader Audience
On Twitter and Facebook, you have the ability to share your messages with a broader audience than your fan base by using mentions and hashtags. Mentions are when you use the “@” in front of a user’s name, which allows the user to see your tweet. Mention the right people, and your message can spread like wildfire. On Twitter, a hashtag is when you use the “#” sign to track a conversation. If someone is following the conversation such as “#sgf”, the unofficial Springfield, Mo., hashtag, they will see your Tweet even if they are not following you.
There is ALWAYS a ROI in Social Media
Dixon shared with our class the detailed process he goes through to report their social media activity each month to his supervisors. He is detailed in his reporting because he wants to prove his return on his investment of time spent on social media. Without reporting data, it is difficult to see what tactics are most effective and to prove your worth to the organization.
I enjoyed Dixon’s presentation and learned a lot of small nuances on managing social media for an organization. It goes to show every detail counts in PR. If you want to check out any of the CVB’s social media profiles, they have a Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, blog and YouTube channel.