mnmlist: Social media strategy – a checklist, to be expanded upon

Identify your audience and its location / indentify the influencers

  • Whom do I want to reach in the first place?
  • Where are they? (geographically, media-consumption/platform-wise, technology-wise, in which scene)
  • What turns them on?
  • Who influences them?
  • What do I want them to do? Do I need awareness, word of mouth, interaction, sales?

How to motivate the audience to interact?

  • Stop just shouting to them – reply to, discuss with, cooperate with them.
  • Turn participation and interaction into collaboration.
  • What can you offer them, fitting their needs, engaging their interests?
  • Provide additional value – even if it isn’t about you; share the limelight.
  • Stay gentle in your audience approach – don’t press a sales pitch (@smudgewatchuk: “social media = no marketing”)

Content shaping and developing

  • Basis: be there in the first place; be recognizable, authentic, personal & trustworthy.
  • Don’t be afraid of being a person making errors, stay identifiable.
  • Thus: build your reputation.
  • Define stories to be told.
  • Who are your protagonists? What are they struggling about? What is their goal?
  • Find different perspectives on your narrative and identify appropriate media to tell them.
  • Don’t focus on the result, show the process leading there, too.

Where to publish and to interact

  • Which kinds of media do you have / produce / want to use?
  • Select the right channels / platforms / networks and combine them into a transmedia narration.
  • Established audiences: how does a channel fit into their lifestyle?
  • Ease of use: make your content easy to share and integrate into the workflow of your audience. Provide your audience with means to use it as they like, not as you’d like.
  • Media sources: Flickr, YouTube, Soundcloud – multimedia content available for social bookmarking
  • Combination and contextualization: Blog – group different media around a topic, provide web access / RSS source for your story. Lots of options out there.
  • Announce, discuss & interact: Twitter & Facebook; differentiate your communication styles!
  • Check current technology for easy means of production workflows (eg Google+ Hangouts on air for interactive video podcasting and auto-publishing).
  • Is it cool to be there? But: don’t switch too often, you might alienate people. Be careful about new and hip platforms; don’t invest in them if they can not easily be integrated with existing ones at first.
  • Don’t forget old media – these might still be relevant, too.
  • But: dot be afraid to cut your traditional media related budgets if the turnout is better elsewhere, even if you loose parts of your audience that way. Change hurts, but it might allow growth.

The inside perspective

  • Identify and educate evangelists in your institution, make them your representatives.
  • Don’t throw additional people and money at things at first glance; try to stay small, create double function jobs.
  • That way you’ll get additional perspectives and insights for your outbound narrative, too.
  • Reduce to the essentials – don’t do everything, don’t try being everywhere at once.

Change yourself – carefully, but do it

  • Communication channels: carefully migrate internal communication to open platforms and adjust the level of openness
  • Overcome conflicts of interest (“Why selling ideas instead of just creating world class art?” / “I need a closed space for artistic development” / “I just want to show perfect results” / “It’s our artistic freedom”). No easy solution here, sorry. Be gentle and persistent.
  • Allow and integrate input from the outside, give up some control (it’s hard).
  • Have patience – substantial changes in organizations take time, and establishing the necessary trust in the value of outside input even more so.
  • Do you need a social media policy? It depends on how big and how fast you are. Accept your errors, don’t hide them, learn publicly.

Some reading

These are just a lot of points that invite to further reflecting, true enough. I’ll revisit some of them. Discuss, and enlighten me!