Going Digital–The Transition to Social Media

I am starting a series of posts that analyzes the use of social media and the benefits it can bring to an organization.  Some things I want to cover are the importance of utilizing social media that will make an impact, how to measure social media impressions, and different approaches of social media use and their benefits.

Why should I establish social media presence? This post will emphasize the importance of establishing a social media presence and soliciting feedback from an active audience.  Reasons:

  1. We’ve gone digital. The transition from print media to social media as a main form of communication struck as an unstoppable force that caught many print companies off guard.  Since information is readily available on the internet, many have turned to the ease of scanning articles rather than flipping through newspapers.  Countless newspapers suffered from loss of revenue and were forced to go digital. Some transitioned to printing only a few times a week, while others halted print altogether.
  2. To reach your audience.  Social media outlets such as Facebook changed the face of social media to allow organizations to release news that could be shared with friends and infiltrated through the social network.  Flashing forward to Twitter, the most current method to disclose information is fitting your message into a short and concise blurb while attaching links for additional information.  New advances have made news mobile and immediate. These trends call for action. In order to reach your audience, your organization should establish a social media presence.

How do I establish social media presence? Use successful models from past social media. Let’s look at three helpful tips:

  1. Establish your brand. Utilizing social media can help you reach your audience and establish your organization’s purpose.  The topics and issues your organization posts about can largely affect your brand image.  Reaching your audience through social media should give your organization an additional avenue to link them back to your website.  This social media presence can make all the difference when it comes to competing organizations.
  2. Monitor your message.  When planning your use of social media it is important to maintain a specific tone.  Will your tone be up-beat or serious; informative or persuasive?  Your organization’s purpose will typically determine what tone you use.  Whether you are a non-profit promoting a cause or a news organization informing recent events, pick a message you want to convey to your audience and stick with it.  Consistency is key.
  3. Audience reaction. It is important to track how your audience reacts to the messages you post.  Are you making a positive impact? Negative? Neutral? Is your audience sharing your posts with their social network?  Setting up a location for feedback can be very helpful in gauging your audience.  Many social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter allow for built-in feedback in the form of comments and retweets.  Feedback can determine whether to re-brand your organization’s image or continue current efforts.

Bottom line: your organization needs to be able to reach your audience in order to advance.  One of the most effective ways to make an impact is by establishing a social media presence and monitoring your progress.  In further postings we will analyze successful models and how to track social media impressions.