Organizations and Stakeholders

Tips to build relationships using social media

After a packed semester of researching social media and Web 2.0, there are many key elements organizations use to build relationships with their audiences. Many of the following tips will help you when you begin to plan your organizations social media platform.

Follow the bottom line.
Is using social media contributing to your organization’s mission and purpose? A great example of a corporation using social media to contribute to its mission is Southwest Airlines. Southwest’s mission is all about being a quality airline while still having fun and being proud of the company.  It uses a blog, “Nuts About Southwest,” where employees and customers can share their experiences with the airline.

Pick the audience, then the tools.
Find out what your audiences want before your adopt the tools. Keep in mind it may be necessary to have various sites for particular audiences. Though, remember to keep message and your brand consistent among the sites.

Be human.
I can’t say this enough. Audiences want to interact with humans from your organization. After past events and bankruptcies (I won’t get into that), people are being held accountable and cannot hide behind the organization’s brand. More than that, communication’s basic form is face-to-face and your interaction with audiences should be as close to that as possible.

Foster conversation and community.
This means talking back and allowing others to talk to each other about your brand. Building a community takes a big part in building relationships. Mashable discusses “How Businesses can Harness the Power of Online Communities.”

Keep control.
While I don’t mean control what people say and do on your organization’s social media sites, I do mean that you should monitor the conversation to keep yourself current on what’s happening around your brand. Companies such as Radian6 specialize in monitoring social media and can help your organization make sense of what is happening in Web 2.0.

Gather support from management.
Building a social media platform will go much more smoothly with support from the c-suite. If the CEO is behind you and places value on your communication goals, that are always consistent with the goals of the organization, then others in the company are more likely to adopt using the social media and communicating with audiences. Better yet, have your CEO start a blog. Ragan Communications delves into “What makes a CEO Blog Popular.”

All of these things take time, money, and human power. It’s more important to start small and optimize the use of one social medium than to try to take on Web 2.0 all at once.

Ragan Communications offers many of their own “Social Media Tips and Hints.”

Are you ready to build relationships with your audiences?


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