I was preparing to participate on a panel entitled Creating Sustainable Conversations Online during the Dallas PRSA's Communications Summit. (Fellow panelists included Christi Day and Chad Sour and was moderated by Lauren Benson.)
Thankfully, we were provided with a few lead-in questions prior to coming to the panel to get the conversation going and topics flowing.
Three questions stood out for me as being particularly useful to ask yourself when thinking about how to effectively integrating social media strategies within a broader communication effort.
What do you hope to achieve through Social Media?
- Clarity of message - Understanding that control of the message is a bit of an illusion, but since we are in the social web, we can provide clarity to it to bring it closer in line with our communication objectives.
- Consistency in information - Make sure your organization's voice is one that can be replicated across communication channels.
- Listen to (and for) issues - Be available for conversations. It may not always be comfortable, but is important for your community to 1.) know you are listening and 2.) understand that you care.
- Provide assistance when and where possible.
- You must be present to win - We believed in the concept early on that conversations were occurring online with or without us.
- We wanted to be available for those conversations or miss out on opportunities.
- Don't show up empty-handed to the pot-luck - Provide useful and relevant information along with feedback for and conversations with your community.
- Bring the tastiest content and they'll want more (and may even tell their friends about it.)