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Experts: Planned Approach to Social Media is Key to Success

Can you say “duh” with me.  I know, I know.  It’s not fair to be critical when someone else is doing the work, but CASE ought to do better than this when they are dispensing advice on social media.

Of course planning is critical.  Planning is critical to the success of any communications campaign.  Print, broadcast, Web, invisible ink.  You’ve got to plan.  Use the classic RACE Formula; Research, Action (planning), Communicate (do the communicating) and Evaluate.  Or R-PIE; Research, Plan, Implement, Evaluate.

I’m not going to lecture any more so here’s the lowdown from CASE regarding social media:

Social media is all the rage but leading experts at a recent CASE conference say communications professionals must address five key questions before they start tweeting, blogging and posting content on behalf of their institutions.

Facebook’s Adam Conner, LinkedIn’s Ed Steinberg and DCI Group’s Julie Barko Germany participated in a panel discussion on social media during last month’s Annual Conference for Media Relations Professionals in Washington, D.C. All three agreed that institutions must be able to answer the following questions before launching a social media program:

  • What is your plan?
  • What is your end goal?
  • How will you measure success?
  • What audiences are you targeting?
  • Can you provide content for those audiences?

Institutions that have outlined their goals and expectations can build a more effective social media strategy, which will help ensure a successful program.

Other social media advice for communications professionals:

  • Use social media to reach out to journalists—Many reporters have Twitter accounts; Muck Rack pulls together Twitter feeds of journalists into one feed that can be separated into categories.
  • Monitor online communications about your institution on a regular basis—This helps build quality connections over time.
  • Use Twitter for a more personal way to connect—Twitter enables instantaneous, two-way conversations between author and audience while blogs and RSS feeds are more one-way with subscribers reacting to published content via e-mail to the author or comments posted on a blog.

The next big trends in social media? Experts say they will be social media applications for mobile phones and apps that forward information to users based on their geographical location.

TriOut is a location-based soical media service based in the Triangle.

TriOut is a location-based soical media service based in the Triangle.

Guess what?  NC State is already doing all of the above.  In fact, when we leave on Monday for the first leg of the Chancellor’s Tour of North Carolina, we’ll have social media in our pocket.  From Twitter, to TriOut, to Foursquare, to YouTube.  We’ll even throw in some traditional media relations and photography.  Should be a fun trip. Stay tuned for more.

Passion Rules!

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