Brown Blog

Brown Blog

Category: Social Networking

08 Nov

Put the “Social” Back in Social Media

It’s hard to believe that November is already here and before you know it we will all be busy attending holiday events, catching up with friends, remembering good times and snapping off photos like no one’s business…imagine if we tackled our online social networks with the same gusto!  We all have friends that share the details of their breakfast (no offense Healthier Twist!), but then there are others that haven’t updated their status in the last 6 months; you begin to wonder how they are and what interesting things they are up to.  When you are a business or organization, don’t make your friends wonder – integrate a social strategy into your communication plan – and start communicating!

Here are a few helpful hints to engage your audience:

1.     “Social” in “social media” means just that, being social.  Give up a little control and embrace the casual setting, avoid sounding like a form letter!

2.     It’s a busy time of year, provide high-level guidelines for employees to follow when communicating, because the outside world is already communicating with you or about you, jump into the sandbox with both feet!

3.     Engage a cross-department team to brainstorm how to communicate using social media! Believe it or not communication shouldn’t be relegated to only marketing or PR, different departments bring different focus and together will work to engage your varied audience.

4.     Not sure which social network should get your energy? Ask your clients where they are!  This usually leads to even more important conversations about how you can participate and provide value.

5.     Offer advice and information!  Just as we avoid those real friends that are self-promoters, we also tend to avoid online relationships that are the same way! Have you run across an unrelated to your business but helpful article?  Don’t be afraid, post it…you are just lending helpful advice to a friend!

26 Jul

Communication Plans – Get Started!

Communication plans take on many forms within our businesses and organizations – sticky notes, pop up reminders, spreadsheets, and 30-page manuals, and some, are even invisible – but whatever form your plan takes, is it really working FOR you?

Many of us, who are tasked with creating a communications plan, ask, is the work to develop one really worth it? The answer in short is YES, because it helps to:

  • Set priorities
  • Give your daily work focus
  • Avoid last-minute demands – although, do we ever really ditch those!
  • Provide order and control, so the task at hand is not so overwhelming; and, of course,
  • Give your strategic plan the support it needs!
Creating a plan can be as simple, or as complicated, as you make it; but we suggest the following as a way to kickstart the process:

1.     Write down every way, verbal or written, that you communicate externally (internal communications, like reports to Board, etc can be added in as well).

2.     Now, assign next to each the timing of that communication. Is it daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly?

3.     Taking that list then plot it against an appropriate calendar.

4.     To make things easier, next to each, brainstorm and write down ideas for the communication – tweet topics, resources to share, blog post ideas, announcements.

5.     You have created a plan!

Now, be sure to include ALL avenues of communication! Yes, that time spent on Facebook, is communicating, and social media should most definitely be part of an all-inclusive communications plan.  Meet your constituents where they are, and your plan will begin to work for you!

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