Saturday, December 05, 2009

Are you moving your organization into 2010 with a Social Media Strategy?

Social media, like it or not, is here to stay. Unfortunately, many non-profits and associations still remain confused on how to implement social media into their communications initiatives. A mystery for many, social media need not be beyond the capacity of non-profit organizations.

When Action Strategies works with it's clients on social media strategy, we work to repurpose your organization’s online PR and social media strategy is so as to wire together any content that you produce into many different web sites, in as automated a process as possible. To be effective, you need to have an understanding of how this will fit into your overall public relations and establish which social media presences will be your "anchors" vs. your "outposts". We walk our clients through developing a very robust identity and set of connections on specific Anchor Sites (eg LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, etc), and then develop a thinner identity on a large number of Outpost Sites. The Outposts lead people both to your Anchor sites and to your main web site. At the same time, your friends/connections/contacts will be connecting to you through your Anchors, and your prospects, clients and the media will find you through better and more consistent exposure on Google.

By undertaking an outpost and anchor strategy, the objective here is to connect with audiences all over the social media sphere (and internet) and draw them into your website, blog, or in the very least, your anchor sites where your team most regularly interacts with fans and supporters.

Posts on outpost sites incite visitors to your profiles downwards through to the various other positions your organization holds on the net and as a result, allow them to connect with other fans of your cause. In addition, by creating such buzz on so many other sites on the net, your organization's position in Google search engines improves and the likelihood of connecting with media, sponsors and other connections increases too.

Because the power of your strength in social media rests upon continually putting out good and relevant content, the challenge comes in assuring that your potential audiences receive information about your organization through the numerous internet forums they prefer. The trouble of course in all of this is identifying which out of the 300+ social media sites out there will act as your anchors and outposts. As an organization, you cannot nor should you try to be in every single sphere of activity. Answering that question involves the first step of a social media strategy: the social media audit which answers clearly where your audiences are located and how you need to reach out to them.

Do you know where your audiences are in the social media sphere? Give us a call for a free consultation and quote on setting your organization on the right step.
Mark Buzan is principal and chief magnifier in Action Strategies, a full service strategic communications, public relations and public affairs consultancy for nonprofits and associations. Contact him for advice on reaching audiences you may or may not have yet considered in your marketing communications and PR campaigns. You can view his website at www.actionstrategies.ca.


Randall Craig said...

Details on the Anchor and Outpost strategy are in the book "Online PR and Social Media for Associations and Not-for-Profits", available at http://www.OnlinePRSocialMedia.com/Associations. (Mark and I were the co-authors.

Mark Buzan said...

Hi Randall,

Yes, thanks for mentioning this! I also posted an update on the release of our book: http://actionstrategies.blogspot.com/2009/11/new-book-released-online-pr-social.html