Who is stopping the info flow?

Kim V Goldsmith Social Media Matters blog

Are you working in a team environment and wondering why you’re the last person to find out what’s going on?

Have you been told by management to set up a Facebook Page without any idea of what you’re going to put on it?

Having worked with a range of organisations, both in-house and as a consultant, one of the biggest issues facing anyone with a communications role is getting information out to the public in a timely way.

In the course of delivering the Social Media Matters program over the past three years, this issue has been highlighted repeatedly.

The diagram below is used in the Social Media Matters: Best Practice for Organisations workshop and often provokes a lot of questions and discussion about how to manage the flow of information from the organisation to the public.

Information flow diagram

How can timeliness, consistency of voice, the look and feel of your digital branding be developed professionally if the people responsible for getting the information out can’t get the information they need, within the necessary timeframe?

The sticking point seems to be that some organisations see social media as a cheap, easy way of simply reaching more people. Not engaging.

I still recall my surprise at hearing a member of staff in one organisation I worked with telling me they didn’t have time to engage their community.

If you’re in the situation where you have been told to “just make this social media thing happen”, it’s time to book that conference room for a chat with management. Here are some key questions to take into that conversation.

  1. WHY do we want to be on social media? Is it going to meet our business/operational plan objectives and our marketing objectives?
  2. WHO are we wanting to communicate with? Do we have a good idea of who is important to us and can we profile them?
  3. WHERE are they? There’s little point setting up an Instagram account if they’re all on Twitter, or a Facebook account if they’re all on Snapchat.
  4. WHAT are our priorities and WHAT do we want to say, ask, contribute to? Social media is a two-way street of communication. It needs to be used to not only provide information and get across key messages but to seek feedback, input and to contribute to conversations about the organisation.
  5. WHEN are we going to use social media? What are the key events in our organisations and what do we know about our audience that will inform when we communicate with them? Timeliness is critical.
  6. HOW important is this and HOW are we going to do this? Have we had a conversation about the policies, procedures, responsibilities and planning required to ensure we do this well? How are we going to resource the time requirements around sourcing, creating/curating, pre-moderation, scheduling, monitoring, moderating and evaluating our social media activities? Do we have a budget for boosting content?

Book that room for a good hour. You have a lot of questions to ask, strategies to develop and plans to bed down before you’ll clear the pipelines for your organisation’s social media success.

If you’d like to learn more about the role of social media in organisational communications, connect with us to talk about training, coaching or facilitating.

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