Integrated Social Media Strategy

(This is an outgrowth of a number of conversations at the 2010 National Conference on Volunteering and Service. The structure can apply to other types of organizations, too. Thanks to all who helped.)

7/5/10--some minor tweaks to wording.

The four main aspects of social media can work together in an integrated way that doesn't drive staff, volunteers, users, and customers crazy. Each of these refers to the other, and although there's a sequence here, many people will enter at various points and move back and forth among these tools at will. Clarifying what you're doing where can make life easier for everyone.

WHAT: Your website is the definition of the issue. Here's where you define the business, cause, mission, or group. The web is a great tool for this. You can add all of your background information, all of your research, as well as links to other resources. Downloadable files, videos, photos, and podcasts all add to your problem definition or business proposition. Use all the search engine tools to be visible to people who are looking for information about your area of interest. Through search engines and links, your website is a major entry point to your organization, and of course it has links to your blog, Twitter feed, and Facebook page. It's a great place to collect email addresses for your list.

STRATEGY: Your blog is your approach to the issue or product. It can be an evolving conversation -- that's ideally suited to blogs. Enable comments so that people can participate, and make sure there's an RSS feed so that people can follow the conversation. Of course link to your website, Twitter feed, and Facebook page.

ACTIONS: Twitter is what you're doing to implement your approach, develop your product, or market your goods -- as you do it. Encourage people to follow you on Twitter so that if they're more interested in the hands-on side of things, they don't have to listen to the background conversation.

WHO: Facebook is where people can join you. It's another major entry point through friends and their news feeds. Link to your website, and automatically pick up blog posting and tweets so that everything is here where the largest number of people may be looking for information or stumbling across the organization.