Social media engagement strategies are pushed to the back burner for a number of reasons. Arguments against change revolve around funding, existing mediocre websites, the importance of personal ties and the golden years of civic engagement through perseverance. For those of you nodding your head in agreement, I am here to deliver a wake-up call. The No. 1 reason leaders do not pursue social media strategies is fear. Take a cue from Ted Gonder, the 24-year-old founder of Moneythink, who gives an inspiring talk called “Smashing Fear.” Do not let fear limit your organization’s ability to serve its mission. Fear is a sign, a compass that points us in the direction we need to walk and a guide for taking action.
You and your organization need to meet your stakeholders where they are: online.
Every organization is different, but every organization needs an online community. It is the reality we now live in. Online stakeholder interaction allows you to maintain closer relations with and among the partners, benefactors and potential influencers of your organization as a unit. When troublemakers try to obstruct goals, you can point to data and statistics gathered from an online presence and send them on their way.
An online presence does not just benefit you—it benefits your stakeholders. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., are not for advertising your organization’s services to a ghost town community. Those platforms allow your audience to access information more easily (and in multiple formats), provide feedback, quickly answer questions, provide transparency and build their own brand through exposure to the community.
The benefit is twofold. When an organization leverages a social media engagement strategy effectively, it not only saves time, money and future headaches, it benefits the stakeholders that the organization serves.
What’s stopping your from meeting your stakeholders online? For help reaching out via social media check out the Social Media Toolkit.
Lauren Lane is an associate consultant with Corner Alliance.