CC0 Public Domain

Six Strategies for Improving Your Organization's Social Media Presence

November 30, 2016

To stay relevant in today’s shifting information economy, organizations need an effective social media presence. Being effective entails not only having an active account but also understanding its impact and quality. Several years ago, the Fels Institute published a primer on developing your organization’s social media strategy. Here are six updated strategies for auditing your social media efforts and meeting your current needs:

1 - If you don’t have one, get one.

It doesn’t matter the size of your organization or its purpose. From crisis management teams to nonprofit organizations, social media is an effective advocate to tell your story and connect with stakeholders. If your organization is still without a social media presence, you are certainly operating at a disadvantage. Realize that managing your organization’s social media image is not as intensive as you might think. Also realize that having no social media strategy is a strategy in itself, albeit a very poor one.

2 - Re-evaluate your team.   

Dr. John Kotter, Professor of Leadership, Emeritus, at the Harvard Business School, posits that without a strong guiding coalition and team, organizational change efforts are headed for failure. Organizations should periodically audit their public affairs teams to ensure information officers and public affairs staff are effective in their collaborative approaches to social media management. If your organization doesn’t benefit from such an infrastructure, ensure staff are kept up-to-date on current trends and external influences.

3 - Check your effectiveness. 

The world is dynamic, and so are the influences that affect stakeholders. Take an inventory of your audience. Is what you deliver via social media meeting customer needs? Is your strategy effective? One lapse of many strategists is a failure to recheck a plan once implemented. Ask your stakeholders for feedback. Adjust if required.

4 - What are you measuring? 

Look to see what metrics you have established for your social media strategy. Some easy metrics include: engagement rate percentage (number of clicks, shares, and likes), quality of interactions per post (number of reposts and comments), and reach (number of followers, rate of follower growth, and quality of followership).

5 - Look for ways to increase efficacy in social media. 

Social media analytics can be a powerful tool in uncovering what works in social media and what doesn’t.  Sites such as keyhole.co, Agorapulse, and Google Analytics provide powerful analytical services to deconstruct an organization’s social media presence.

6 - Ensure your organization’s media outreach strategy is diversified.

Organizations should practice diversification internally and externally. The largest allocation of your internal diversification strategy should address engagement with followers, followed by research and planning (see points 4 and 5 above). Creating content, analyzing performance, and collaborating as a team round out an effective diversification strategy for social media.

An effective social media presence is not a fire-and-forget prospect. Instead, organizations should be sure to include auditing practices in their public affairs strategy—the health of your organization’s social media presence depends on it.

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829

felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu