Your organisation joined in when Twitter and Facebook came along.  You’ve done some blogging and e-mail marketing, too, but is all of this activity helping your organisation?

You may have started out on social media in a rather haphazard way, learning as you went along.  Yet, today you need to know how using social media applications is helping your organisation to succeed.

Having a social media manifesto could lead you to the answer.  Use the headings below to help you to create that manifesto.

Who do you want to reach via social media?

Who is your target audience?

Do you use Twitter, for example, to build your employer community?  Do you use Twitter to promote your courses?  Are you looking to draw partners and suppliers to you via Twitter?  What’s the plan?

If there isn’t one, create it now.  Having a plan will shape what you tweet about, what online content you produce, and which “conversations” you take part in, lead or start.

What image of your organisation do you want to present on each social media platform?

Your organisation has a different persona on Facebook from the one created on Twitter.  Each persona needs to be crafted carefully because brand and image matter.

It’s a good to know, for example, that you’re looking to draw the 19+ age group to your Facebook page and to direct your 16 to 19 students to your own online forums.   This knowledge will help you to decide how to promote your Facebook page, how to create social media advertising campaigns and what to write about online.

What’s the unique contribution that social media makes in your organisation?

Imagine your VP Resources has just asked you this question.

Organisations like yours have been tweeting, liking, blogging, pinning and more for quite some time.   Now the people who manage the finances are asking about the pay off.

If you’ve just set out to engage with your marketplace, which is what most organisations did, now’s the time to do more.  Can you prove that you have access to people and to organisations that you would not be able to contact or engage with via other means?   Can you demonstrate that you’re generating new business via the social media applications you use?

To do this you need a plan which sets out which organisations, businesses and people you’re targeting via social media.  Show how you plan to achieve, and then measure, your success, too. Do that and you’ll be able to demonstrate that your work is adding to your enrolments.

What are you doing to make your use of social media a mainstream marketing activity?

What are you doing to win hearts and minds?

Are you promoting your successes with social media to your colleagues?  Are you letting the people who matter know what social media is doing to build your organisation’s success?

It’s a mistake not to promote what you’re doing within your organisation.   People need to know, and be reminded regularly, of the successes that social media activity is bringing.  That means mounting an internal publicity campaign.  Do you have one?

Management and social media

If you build your social media manifesto around the issues posed in the questions above, you’ll know what to say when resource managers ask you about the return on investment in social media.

A good social media manifesto that is circulated within your organisation could become your bridge between what’s new and exciting technologically and the decision-making processes that allocate budgets.

That means it’s time to start writing your manifesto.  It will help to secure social media’s future in your organisation.

Margaret Adams MA Chartered FCIPD is a former college manager.  She helps real world businesses make better use of the online world to build their reputations and their success. 

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