If you’ve been following blether and blogger or browsed my recent posts you’ll have picked up on a theme, one focused on social media.
That is because digital and especially social media has become an integral aspect of my everyday life, one I can’t see being overlooked by swathes of the public sector for much longer.
Professionally speaking, I simply can’t afford to be the at the same stage of the journey as those who look to me for advice. So I’m getting ahead of the game, and it’s paying dividends; a positive and evolutionary experience.
My approach to social media engagement is diversifying too. This is partly as a result of continuing to grow and manage my social media presence, and because I keep testing, trying and learning about what is more likely to work for who and what won’t.
Different channels and platforms serve different purposes and, with the right planning, can reach diffuse audiences in alternate ways. One major benefit of this, of adopting a multi-channel approach, is obviously that it reduces the risk of over-reliance on one platform.
Why is this so important though? Well, have you got the right gear for planning protection?
Here’s my thoughts on a multi-channel approach, and challenges to you:
- Audiences – different people live in different places. Understand what you’re trying to achieve, who you seek to engage, and their behaviours;
- Integration – how do you meet a diverse range of audience needs across and between traditional and new media channels;
- Preference – people change their mind. Flavour of the month can change;
- Trends – new platforms continually emerge so where and how people are congregating can shift;
- Type – varying styles of engagement are presented through different platforms. Microblogging (Twitter) has a different offer compared to photo sharing (Instagram); product-based communities (Ebay), different to content-driven ones (Wikipedia);
- Longevity – the lifetime of conversation varies between channels. Twitter is useful for conversation but it is most effective in brief bursts over a short period (though relationships can be fostered over a longer period), while blogs can offer deeper levels of sustained discussion but with less frequency and dynamism;
- Winter chill – what happens if you’re in the middle of a campaign and your platform freezes and suffers outage? How will you sustain your engagement and communicate that?
- Hack attack (think Burger King) – what if your account is hacked, do you have a backup plan? Can you launch another account with effective integration or adopt an alternate approach;
- Resource – what if your channel expert is poached and leaves their post, has your team the skills to cope?
- Supplier – what if any of your suppliers are unable to fulfill the arrangement you have in place?
Planning is for me the single most important aspect of using social media, whether that is planning… to gather insight; write a blog; a social media policy; to engage and how, indeed who; and plan project milestones.
It’s simple: above all I love it when a (integrated multi-channel social media) plan comes together, including planning to overcome the worst.
Social media. What could possibly go wrong?
Take it easy