Back in the late ‘90s I was one-half of a team that worked with churches to help them develop some media skills that would help raise their visibility in their community. One of the recommendations made in the presentation was to keep connected with local media with news and stories. The idea was not to bombard the newspaper or broadcast media outlets with a lot of material, but to provide timely, interesting material regularly.
We can extend that same philosophy to non-profits using online media whether social media, websites or email. The balance is between staying visible, and becoming a nuisance and therefore ignored. What you need to avoid are, what one blogger has termed, Random Acts of Marketing and Social Media or RAMs.
These are usually the result of someone deciding to take up the social media challenge for their organization and charging headlong into Twitter or Facebook without any planning or perhaps official sanction!
I encountered the latter situation with a well-known airline which began a Twitter feed a couple of years ago. As a fan, I followed the feed and enjoyed some brief tweets. After a couple of months the tweets stopped.
Curious about the reason behind the silence I contacted the marketing manager. He told me the person responsible for them had opened the account on his own initiative. Realizing the power of Twitter, the marketing department decided to stop any further Twitter interaction until it had fully analyzed its potential and how it would work into the overall customer service plan.
Within a month the airline was Tweeting merrily again. Its strategy is probably the best use of Twitter I’ve seen to keep customers engaged and happy. When I recently tweeted that the baggage drop-off line for those already checked in was taking longer to process than the full-fledged check-in, the airline apologized and promised to look into the situation.
There is nothing random about this approach to social media and online engagement. It’s not an “add-on” but integrated into the overall communication strategy.
If you are guilty of RAMs, Adnams Group is here to give guidance to help you move from random communication to creative, strategic engagement.