Maximize your impact through social media

By Shannon Philllips

Let’s face it, not only is social media here to stay, its dominating presence makes it essential for companies and organizations to think differently and creatively about communicating with target audiences.

Here are a few ideas to consider in developing your social media strategy:

Upgrade your “app” knowledge – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are popular platforms, but there are dozens of other apps (YouTube, Google+, Periscope, Snapchat, etc.) that are just as well-known and widely used. Before you create a social media strategy, spend time learning about various apps and how other companies and organizations use them. Remember, every app is not a perfect fit for every company. During your research, determine which apps will be most useful for your company or organization.

Here’s a list of popular social media apps to get you started in your research:

http://heavy.com/tech/2015/10/top-5-best-free-social-media-networking-apps-for-iphone-android/

Here’s a list of apps to watch in 2016:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2015/08/13/7-social-media-platforms-that-could-explode-before-2016/

Designate a social media person or team – It is impossible to have a social media strategy without a team or person to create, post and control content. To succeed in communicating your message on any social media platform, content must be consistent (at least one post/ tweet per day) and response to followers’ questions or concerns should be timely. That’s where a social media team or person comes in handy. In addition, assigning social media coordination ensures accurate communication of your message. So often, companies assign this task to 10 or 20 people without providing direction. Very little gets posted or messaging is inconsistent. The common phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen” definitely applies here. Assign one to three people to maintain your social media pages to avoid these pitfalls.

Make social media part of your daily conversation – It’s easy to focus on traditional media (newspapers, TV, radio) during communication meetings. Always remember your followers on social media who will read the information on their timeline faster than reading it on a website. Social media is a great opportunity to get creative with messaging at no cost. Planning a BIG announcement? Build anticipation with photo posts or hints each day prior to the announcement. Share the big news on social media with a short video from the CEO with the website link for more information. Remember, this is your opportunity use YOUR page to engage thousands of YOUR followers. Keep your message short and to the point.

Social media can be a fast way to connect with customers and supporters. With a solid strategy and a bit of creativity, your company or organization will experience a different level of engagement.

Shannon Phillips coordinates social media for clients at Hostetler Public Relations.

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