Lurkers, laggards and slowpokes. Call them what you will, but many very good managers in the public and private sectors are still skeptical about using social media as a communications tool.
The facts expose the truth: social media is now part of mainstream communications and is an invaluable way to connect with targeted adult audiences.
Business is using social media effectively to support brands. A hyperlink survey conducted by NBCUniversal Integrate Media among 2,500 people 18-to-49-year-olds found:
• 72 percent interact with brands and companies at least occasionally, including 39 percent who interact all the time of regularly.
• 50 percent say brands are very or somewhat effective in getting their attention on social media.
This age cohort is the marketing sweet spot for most businesses. These are the people who advertisers target with promotions.
For many CFM public clients, especially school districts, this age group (age 18 to 44 years) is important. Our research has found that among these Gen X and Gen Y:
• More than 70 percent use social media to stay informed about local issues
• More than 80 percent use school district websites to get information
• More than 50 percent use smartphones
But don’t be too myopic. Recent CFM surveys have found that 50 percent of all age groups have social media accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn and others.
For clients to maximize social media use, here are recommendations from CFM Digital Strategist Hannah Smith for both public and private organizations:
Be Real: Write in a tone that indicates your organization wants to be online with people it likes. Several people from an organization will probably be posting comments, so find a common style that is consistent no matter who is updating the social media accounts.
Be Relevant: People go to social media sites because the topic or product is important to them personally. Topics should be sufficiently interesting to encourage people to return again and again.
Be Informative: Social media sites are dynamic. Older posts will quickly get buried and forgotten. Post frequently to stay top of mind with fans and followers.
Be Responsive: Social media helps develop relationships and trust. That doesn’t occur if communication is one-way. Make sure that if your fans are sharing information on your organization’s social media site, the organization is responding quickly and providing helpful information. This goes for both positive and negative posts.