PDF The Key to Social Media Success Within Organizations - Journal Article

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  4. Social Media Effectiveness for Public Engagement: An Example of Small Nonprofits.

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Implementing a Journal Social Media Strategy: A Succesful Case Study

Jun 1. Events Calendar. Many participants also noted that they had been using social media analytical tools like Facebook Insights, Klout, and Urchin to further track the demographics and behaviors of visitors to social media sites. However, they generally did not have formalized routines or strategies for using these tools, and only looked at anecdotal information rather than tracking numbers systematically. Participants repeatedly told us that although such analytical tools provide numerous metrics, they were too complicated to interpret:. Facebook is crazy.

They measure every little click that anybody does.

Furthermore, participants noted that the analytical tools gave them little information about their performance in terms of achieving the action goal. They had no idea whether social media visitors were being effectively transformed into highly engaged members or donors. Even if they were succeeding in this goal, there was no way for them to compare the list of social media visits with their lists of volunteers, members, or donors.

Without having clear methods in place to match these sets of information, they felt it was extremely difficult to further engage with their audiences. For instance, a participant noted that it was hard for her organization to compare its Facebook audience with its existing membership list, and that the data from Facebook itself was not particularly useful:. But we need to figure out how to connect these people to our organization.

We have observed that small nonprofits seek to achieve a complex assemblage of public engagement goals with different stakeholders. However, distributed coordination with multiple sites and a diverse and fluid workforce; time, funding, and expertise constraints; and organizational policy all factored into decisions about which social media to use and how social media sites were used by these small nonprofits for public engagement.

In the small environmental nonprofits, there was usually a shortage of labor for social media management. Social media management work, though important, was only one small component on the long list of such tasks. As a result, most of the nonprofits did not have one person wholly dedicated to social media management but instead distributed the responsibility across a group of staff members.

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The first mode was that each staff member would manage one official social media page with which he or she was familiar. The challenge, as a result, was to coordinate among different social media pages. When multiple people were working collaboratively on these sites, the challenge became how to coordinate among people and conduct quality control.

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Nevertheless, most organizations did not have a rigorous policy about coordination and quality control; instead, staff members just had to trust that each person would behave responsibly when posting something:. So it does allow you to peek behind the curtain of our organization, kind of humanize people. But not in a frivolous way, and then I think that builds the interest that we naturally have. In addition to the full-time staff, the nonprofits often relied on their temporary workforce such as interns or volunteers to manage their social media sites.

These short-term workers were temporary, their schedules frequently changed, and their work discontinued after they left the job. The work of social media management is characterized by pragmatic constraints in terms of time and human and financial resources. Time constraints were the primary concern of most of the nonprofits. Even though social media were initially perceived as an easy, low-cost way to communicate, most of the nonprofits still felt that social media sites were very time consuming and that they lacked the time to make use of them fully.

Consequently, nonprofit point persons normally focused on only one or two social media channels, even when they saw other new or alternative social media sites as potentially useful:. As a smaller organization, a Twitter account and a Facebook page are pretty much all we can handle at this moment. I think as far as social media go, we have to devote our time to quality over quantity when it comes to that.

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  • Social media management was also limited by financial resources in small organizations. Nonprofits cannot usually afford to hire dedicated staff to manage social media channels, nor can they often hire social media or marketing firms to help with social media management techniques. Because the nonprofits did not have the budget for social media advertising, this dramatically limited the organic reach of their Facebook pages:.

    Facebook also has its sharing algorithm, which is very different than it used to be a few years ago. And I think that it limits how many of your supporters see your post. We should be able to have our supporters see all of our posts at all times for free.

    Several participants noted that they posted the exact same content on Facebook and Twitter, and used automatic synchronizing tools to link different sites, despite the significant differences between the two sites in terms of audiences and features. Other participants, however, pointed out problems in using such auto-link strategies across different sites:.

    Facebook and Twitter are not synonymous. The nonprofits we studied had their own organizational policies or guidelines that regulated their social media use regarding the approval of content, ownership of social media sites, and interaction with social media followers.

    However, these organizational norms and routines did not always work collaboratively with their social media practice and public engagement goals. For many, the decision to adopt social media required approval or was decided by higher-level organizations or managers. Finally, I use a range of tools to help create and manage shareable social media content from the articles we publish in the journal.

    There are more details on these at socialmedia. Even our relatively small number of followers equals a significant number of people reached over time: as of March posts to our social media accounts were reaching more than , people per year. Most importantly, these readers are not our traditional audience and they engage with our articles in a completely new way. The JPCH board has spoken out strongly against the mandatory detention of children seeking asylum in Australia. We created a simple website for other media and interested lay people, and our social media presence has allowed us to engage in the public debate in real-time.

    We have also been able to promote the academic articles we published on this issue to a general audience. Through social media a single article on this issue was seen by over , people — almost none of whom would ordinarily know about or access our journal. Finally, the JPCH board decided in to create a dedicated space in the journal for patients and their families to communicate their experience of healthcare to health professionals.


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    Very few journals in our field do this. We used social media to promote the initiative and it has led to eight accepted articles in just six months.

    1. Faster, Easier Communication

    Patients and parents are not the usual audience for our journal and social media was the perfect way to reach out to them. Creating a social media strategy, online profiles and engaging in social media for JPCH has been a time-consuming yet wholly rewarding experience. Having a supportive Board and publishing manager have been crucial, as there are risks as well as benefits to increasing our online profile.