A Social Media Primer

I recently blogged about the power of social media. Today I want to skim the surface of how you can adopt a social media campaign.

The first step in adopting a social media strategy is to develop a clear goal of what you are trying to accomplish. For example, one of the organizations I help has a three-pronged goal:

  • Promote the organization’s services
  • Educate people about legislative issues that affect the organization’s mission
  • Activate supporters to become donors and volunteers

This straightforward approach is a guide that I refer back to with every blog post that I write, every tweet that I send, and every item I post on Facebook. Having a clearly defined goal helps ensure that social media doesn’t become a time suck, and sticking to your goal also ensures that your messaging is consistent with your organization’s mission. Whether you are a nonprofit, a business, or an independent trying to establish your professional reputation, having a clearly defined social media strategy is a must, especially if you plan on outsourcing the task to someone else (more on that later).

The second thing you need to ask yourself is “who is my target audience?”  You can answer that question several ways (i.e. potential customers, voters, legislators, media), and you may have several answers to the same question.  However, your answer will help give you a clue about the best social media outlet you should be using.  I won’t get into the nuts and bolts of social media demographics, but in a nutshell, aim for blogs, Facebook, and Twitter as your primary social media outlets, since they have the broadest reach.  [Read more…]

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