The following article was recently published on page 6 of the 2014 Fall Issue of Community Resource magazine.
Like every great community, great technology is designed with people in mind. As community managers, we often use technology to connect people, share information, build partnerships and (perhaps) save a few trees. From Facebook to FaceTime, today’s technology trends meet people where they are living – in a Wi-Fi world of convenience technologies and mobile devices. Is this where your community-building technology lives? If not, it may be time to reconsider your social strategy. But with so many other items on your “to do” list, it is hard to find the time to thoughtfully consider your options. Getting started is easy when you follow these simple steps.
Know Your Audience
Before you jump in, take some time to research and understand the demographics, interests and communication habits of your residents. Which products and organizations do they currently like and follow? What connections can you help them make? Which social sites do your neighboring communities use? A community in Tucson may, in fact, have very different habits than one in Scottsdale. Doing this research first will help you build your virtual audience faster and keep them engaged longer.
Identify Your Objectives
The second step to building your strategy is to clearly identify SMART objectives that are:
These may be related to neighborhood engagement, gaining new partnerships, or educating homeowners. Without such objectives, it will be difficult to measure and report your success.
Select Your Tools & Tactics
With your audience and objectives clearly defined, it is time to select your tools and tactics. Whatever your choice, be sure you have also evaluated your resources, and can name exactly who will manage the strategy, as well as the daily administration. You will want to also create a content calendar that is scheduled along with your daily tasks.
Analyze & Adapt (Then Adapt Again!)
With the power of analytics at our fingertips, it is easy to see what is working (and what is not) with our social strategy. Make it a point to review these analytics regularly and use them to improve your results. In the ever-changing world of social media, it is critical to know and understand new tools and trends. Don’t be afraid to adapt and evolve, as your resources permit.
As community managers, we must be constantly looking for new ways to integrate and leverage our communication tools. A social strategy can help us achieve this, as we aim to connect neighbors and add value to the associations in our care. What is your social strategy?