Oct 12 2011
Few organizations have the resources for a full-time dedicated employee to handle emerging trends like social media. For most, it falls into the purview of an already totally slammed communications department…or single communications person. Either way, it’s a social media time crunch.
Have no fear. Your organization, no matter how resource-strapped can engage in social media successfully. Here’s how.
1. Be Selective. You should be selective and purposeful in all marketing, asking questions like “is this the right vehicle” and “does it align with our message.” When it comes to adding social media, also ask yourself “What do I have time for” and be honest. From Facebook to Flickr to blogs, there’s probably more social media opportunities than you can take advantage of effectively. Ask those same strategic marketing questions you’re already thinking about and then select a few, or even just one, social media property you want to focus on.
2. Plan. Build an editorial calendar for yourself. It can be as basic as an Outlook reminder to post to Facebook every Monday, Wednesday and Friday or as detailed as a calendar of dates, topics and platforms for posting. Either way, a few minutes for planning at the beginning of every month or quarter will go a long way in daily time savings.
3. Reuse and recycle. Social media should be well integrated into your existing marketing plan. Thus each piece of content can and should reflect content you are already creating. For example, a blog post can be a repurposed, tweaked press release and then you can have a Twitter and/or LinkedIn update promoting the blog post. Reusing and recycling will save time and energy across the board.
4. Draw the line. You could check in to Twitter every 20 minutes and find new, interesting content every time. You could blog every single day. You could dedicate days to commenting on influencer blogs. The rabbit hole is unending; you have to draw the line someplace. By utilizing alert systems like Google alerts or Twitter emails, you can be notified of when your organization is being talked about without having to be logged on 24/7. Between alerts and a couple regular checks, you should be able to sufficiently monitor your online presence without falling into the rabbit hole.
Finally, whether your organization dedicates a few hours or many hours to social media, make the most of your time by keeping up with changes in technology and utilizing best practices. To get started, check out these free tip sheets.
Go forth and be social! Good luck!
Cheryl Black is the social media marketing specialist for Convio, a leading provider of constituent engagement solutions for nonprofits. You can read more blog posts by Cheryl and the Convio team on Connection Café.