Part 1: Social Media Values
The principles of social media, and frankly good communications, stay consistent regardless of platform and changes in technology. If you build your foundation on these values, you will remain strategic and nimble.
Stop. Take a look and listen.
The most important thing when working with social media is to never forget that, first and foremost, social media is an exercise in listening. Flip the script by thinking less about your own communications goals, and more about what your audience needs. What do they like? What do they want? Who is important and influential in that online conversation? What are they saying about your department/issue/brand? What online channels are they talking on? Is there a pain point the community is trying to solve? Can you help? If you haven’t done the work to listen, your strategy will always be on shaky ground.
Put the “social” in social media.
Do you want to know the secret sauce of social media? It’s all in the micro-engagements. Those little likes, comments, the reply to someone’s good joke, the acknowledgment of a piece of feedback, etc. That’s the magic zesty sauce that connects you with your community and builds relationships. If you aren’t engaging with your community, you are not doing social media. You are just marketing to people online.
Don’t fall into the trap of being on all the social platforms. Be selective and do it well. Go to where your audience is, and don’t force them into another platform. Consolidate channels when you can. Look to your campus partners to see if they are talking to similar audiences. Can you work together? Avoid the temptation to create social channels for every campaign, initiative or blog. If you are actively listening to your audience, you will quickly figure out where to focus.
It’s a journey.
If you are seeking lighting in a bottle, a “viral video” or to skip the work to get internet famous – let’s pump the brakes with a reality check. There is no way to skip the hard work to establish credibility and rapport with your audience. Be patient and know this is not about instant satisfaction, but it’s a journey.